Dark Visions (Sarah Roberts, Book 1) Review
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Sarah Roberts suffers from a condition known as trichotillomania, an impulse control disorder that causes her to pull out her hair by the roots while under stress—and Sarah has major stress in her life. She’s also an automatic writer who gets messages from the other side. She blacks out, and, upon awaking, she discovers that she’s written cryptic messages that could save a person’s life.

While trying to intervene between a kidnapping victim and her kidnappers, Sarah ends up abducted in the girl’s place. Someone isn’t too happy that she’s put a crimp in their kidnapping business. Sarah always seems to know exactly when and where to be, but there might be more to the kidnappings than what appears on the surface.

One message leads Sarah to the world-famous Dolan Ryan’s Psychic Fair with a warning that Dolan must save himself. Dolan no longer wants to help the police find missing persons—but, when Sarah vanishes, Dolan agrees to help one last time. But he’s forced to deal with a skeptical detective named Sam Johnson and Sarah’s overwrought parents, who seem to have a few secrets of their own.

Despite the fact that I found Sarah’s hair-pulling to be a bit on the strange side for a main character trait, Dark Visions turned out to be a fast-paced, suspenseful, and enjoyable read. At times, though, the book’s narrative reads a little on the awkward side, and the plot doesn’t always flow well. Overuse of the passive voice doesn’t help in that regard, either.

Sarah is your average teenage girl—just with an unusual paranormal gift and an impulse control disorder. Her desire to help is constantly at war with her sense of self-preservation and the yearning to be a normal teenager, yet she always chooses to help, which says a lot about her character. Secondary characters are somewhat memorable, but not anything to wow over.

All in all, Dark Visions is a good start to a young adult paranormal series. Though the writing could have been better, this first book in the Sarah Roberts series holds just enough imaginable story potential to make you want to pick up the next one. I know I will—just to see how much the author’s writing skills improve—and I’ll be sure and let you know, too.

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