Sunday, 27 April 2014

Review: Paranoia by J.R. Johansson

Title: Paranoia (The Night Walkers #2)
Author: J.R. Johansson
Release date: June 8th 2014
Publisher: Flux
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Thriller
Format: eARC
Pages: 329
Source: NetGalley

In the aftermath of the events that nearly killed him, Parker Chipp is trying to learn to cope better with life as a Watcher. And it seems to be working...until he wakes up in jail with a hangover and 12 hours of missing time. Darkness has somehow taken control and Parker doesn't have a clue how to stop him. He finds an unlikely ally in Jack, the mysterious guy in the motorcycle jacket who offers to help Parker master his abilities as a Watcher. But even as they practice, the darkness inside Parker is getting more and more powerful, taking over Parker’s body and doing everything he can to destroy Parker's life.

When Jack reveals that there is another kind of Night Walker, known as a Taker, Parker starts to wonder if the strange things happening in Oakville are more than just a coincidence. After all, people are more than just sleepwalking. They're emptying their savings accounts with no memory of doing so, wandering into strange parts of town and disappearing, they're even killing other people--all in their sleep. If Parker wants to find out what's happening or have any hope of seeing his father again, he’ll have to defy Jack and put his own life in danger...because the more he learns about these other Night Walkers, the more certain he becomes that his life isn't the only one that could be lost.

Paranoia exceeded my expectations and I ended up enjoying it even more than I did Insomnia! It's very rare that I like the second book in a series more than the first - usually I like the first better or they're equal. But there was so much plot development in this, and character development as well. It was a fantastic read, and I loved every bit of it.

After the fire that almost killed Parker, Mia and Finn, they're all laying low. Parker continues to sleep in Mia's dreams, but when Mia goes on vacation with Finn and Addie, Parker's forced to survive the nights alone. And that's when he suddenly loses several hours of his time and ends up in jail. He knows that Darkness, his evil side, can take control now. Jack, a guy he met after the fire, returns to teach him about his abilities, and Parker realizes there's more to it all than he'd thought.

We get a lot more background in this book. For starters, there are three different types of Night Walkers - Watchers like Parker, Builders, and Takers. All have different abilities. Jack teaches Parker about his own, and how he can change dreams slightly to have control. Through Jack, Parker also finds out more about his father and who he really is.

It was interesting to see Parker along with Darkness, because they're two distinct personas, but essentially the same person. Darkness is just the side of Parker that only has survival in mind. No morals, no nothing. And he's getting stronger. But then so is Parker. I liked seeing how much more confident he's gotten in this book.

We get to see Mia, Addie and Finn again as well, and there are some interesting developments. I wish there was more of Finn in this book though, he's my favourite character and the comic relief. But I loved this book anyway. Parker and Addie have gotten closer, but they're still keeping their relationship a secret. They go through a lot of rough patches in this book thanks to Darkness, and Jack too, but they're strong enough to make it through.

Jack really intrigued me throughout. He's very mysterious, and we don't get to know much about him apart from the fact that he was sent by Parker's dad. Jack is only a year or so older than Parker, and he has a thing for Addie so there's a lot of jealousy and resentment going on between them. There's a twist in the plot later on concerning Jack, but I saw that coming a mile away so I wish parts of the book had been less predictable. There are also definitely developments that I didn't see coming, and those were pretty awesome.

Parker learns a lot more about other Night Walkers, and though he's glad he's not alone, there are some evil people out there who'd use humans in any way to get what they want, and to survive. There's suspense everywhere, and quite a lot of danger and action, too. The pacing is great, and I just really, really enjoyed the book. There aren't really any loose ends at the end, and no cliffhangers or anything, so it left me wondering whether there will be another book. I sure hope so!

*Thank you to Flux for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 4.5/5

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