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I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.
“To tornadoes, may they dance across the sky but never across a man’s body.”
From the book’s evocative cover and intriguing synopsis, I was immediately captivated and had to know more. Ultimately, this was an absolute gem that BLEW me away, but thankfully not in the literal sense!
Following a talented and eclectic group of storm chasers, it was utterly fascinating to read about various aspects within the field of meteorology. Elaina and her academic partner, Heath, are doctoral candidates studying tornadogenesis, the process by which a tornado forms, and its implications towards increased response time. She has always felt a kindred tie to the weather, especially when she experiences a close encounter that awakens a memory from her past. Seth is a TV meteorologist, attempting a second chance at getting his career back on track after an on-air fallout. Tuck runs a “tour” business shuttling people to storms so they can witness the awe of Mother Nature firsthand. Each converges in unexpected and emotional ways that makes this story so much more layered and unique than the synopsis could ever ultimately convey.
“The rotation scooted back, but still churned overhead, not yet birthing a tornado, but definitely in labor.”
Nothing is ever as it appears to be and I absolutely loved the use of storms as a metaphor to communicate not just the actual weather itself, but the emotional and personal struggles facing each character. There are a lot of conflicts churning largely centered on relationship dynamics, so batten down the hatches for an amazingly graceful and touching ride.
Everything from the masterfully relatable character development to the author’s meticulous and atmospheric descriptions made this story come alive! The pacing and suspense work so well together to truly drive the high speed intensity and energy of the work involved. In much the same way that a tornado suddenly touches down and leaves an impact, I was left breathless as it all swept into my life when I opened the book and out again when the final page was read.
The story’s use of memory rewriting was one of the most compelling and interesting features I have read within the psychological genre. It was such a refreshing departure from all the amnesiacs, alcoholics, and adultering gaslighters! This concept crafts a heart-breaking, yet heartwarming tale that is deeply moving, entirely unforgettable, and hard to put down.
A completely immersive experience that should not be missed!
PRAISE FOR VORTEX:
“Set in the heart of America’s Tornado Alley, Kimberly Packard’s latest psychological fiction swirls with discovery and betrayal. VORTEX may make you question who among those closest to you are really your friends.” — Addison Brae, author of Becker Circle
“Vortex is a fast-paced story with a strong woman at its center. Readers will be in for a wild ride full of secrets, the labyrinth of memory, and the spark of romance. Definitely one to add to your reading list.” — Christine Brodersen, author of Lip Gloss, Shame and Murdered Tomatoes
“Kimberly Packard is an accomplished author who writes strong women characters. She blew me away with her Phoenix series (three books you don’t want to miss) and now in Vortex, we meet Elaina Adams, who, like all of us, struggles with her past, her career, and her family secrets. Action, and emotion-packed, this page-turner is a different kind of love story.” — Vanessa Foster, author of More than Everything