Book Review: Hush Money

4 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review

Hush Money book cover Title:Hush Money (Talent Chronicles #1)

Author: Susan Bischoff

Summary: [from GoodReads]

They call their abilities Talents, and that’s what they call themselves as well. Talents are people born with supernatural powers, feared by the population at large. Possession of an “unregistered ability” has become illegal, and those who are discovered are forcibly removed to government-run research facilities. For Talents, keeping their secret is the most important thing in their lives. For some, that need for secrecy begins to define who they are.

That’s how it is for Joss, a high school girl who does everything in her power to go unnoticed. She’s incredibly bright, but strives to maintain grades that are good yet not too good. She doesn’t participate in school activities, keeps quiet in class, eats by herself. Despite her longtime crush on Dylan, she wouldn’t even think about trying to talk to him. Joss doesn’t make friends of any kind, because friends can draw attention, friends can make you slip up, friends can make things complicated.

When new girl, Kat, steps in to rescue Joss from an uncomfortable situation with Marco, the class jerk, she doesn’t realize what she’s getting into, and it blows up in her face. Joss finds herself torn between a desire to do the right thing, to find some way to help a girl who was kind to her; and her need to mind her own business and fade into. For the first time, Joss begins to question the way she operates, and starts to long for connections with other people–especially a connection with Dylan, who’s finally starting to talk to her.

But what’s up with Dylan’s sudden interest? As Marco’s best friend, can he be trusted at all?

It’s bad enough when a girl’s got to worry about friends, boys, over-protective dads, and shoes that pinch, but when you throw in blackmail, government agents with guns, and really annoying little sisters…that’s just about too much to handle, even for a girl with an ass-kicking superpower.

My Review: In general, I don’t do indie or self-pubbed novels without strong recommendations from multiple sources that I trust. I’ve been burned far too many times by books with great summaries or amazing premises that were so awful they made my teeth itch! I wasn’t interested in putting in the effort to track down what seemed like the minority – the few gems among the rocks.

This book may very well change that. I forget who exactly brought it to my attention, but it wasn’t even a recommendation – more like a bargain books round-up. But it was cheap and the summary intrigued me, so I bought it. And I was absolutely blown away by it. It was well written, devoid of the technical mistakes I’d come to expect from indie/self-pubbed works, and it drew me into a beautifully imagined world where evil was very real.

I loved Joss as a character (once I got over my insistence that “Joss” is a boys‘ name, right? Nope, this time it’s short for Jocelyn). She’s quiet and intentionally tries not to draw attention to herself, but she still has such a strong personality. Her snarky inner commentary made the book twice as fun.

Dylan’s storyline was almost more intriguing though, like a superhero story crossed with mob boss problems. I hated the situations Mike put them in, and I strained to think of something to fix it, but I couldn’t. The two plot lines together made for a truly riveting story.

My only real complaint? It felt too short. There were lots of things that could have been expanded on, but mostly I felt like I was stopping right in the middle! Luckily there’s 2 more books in the series out, and I’ll be reading them as soon as I can!

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4 Responses to “Book Review: Hush Money”

  1. Love the superhero idea! Truly, this needs to get on my wish list :))

  2. Alexa says:

    I’ve seen this book several times for really cheap and have yet to actually get a copy. I do love some indie authors and their books but I’m really picky about them and so I see where your worries come from.

    I’m so glad you enjoyed this one though and I hope you continue to give some indie authors a chance.

    Thanks for the great review.

    • Anne says:

      I plan to, at least occasionally! I always felt bad just writing off anything indie, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy a novel, even for really cheap, and just read a few pages before giving up. I’m hoping, though, with a little more research I’ll be able to find some that won’t be like that, so I can justify it to myself, you know?

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