Alone by Robert J. Crane
(The Girl in the Box Series) Book 1
Sienna Nealon is seventeen years old. She has lived in her house with her mother since she was five years old. Her mother, who never ever let her outside of the house has a few rules. Some of these include: stay dressed at all times, wear your gloves at all times, don’t go outside ever, among others. She is punished whenever she breaks the rules her mother sets. When Sienna breaks a rule, her mother punishes her.
One day her mother disappears after punishing Sienna. After many days of no return, Sienna is forced to break a lot of rules when she finds two strangers in her home. On the run and in a world she’s never seen before, Sienna is uncertain of who to trust or where to go. But when she comes up against Wolfe, who’s in the mood to play with his prey before he finally does the job he was sent to do, Sienna finds herself nearly dead on the concrete ground one minute and in the care of the Directorate the next.
Though they give very little information, she learns from the Directorate, about a small percentage of people who hold mysterious powers, and Sienna for some unknown reason is a rare freakish gem around all the other freako jewels. She doesn’t understand her powers nor is she comfortable with them testing on her to find out.
Soon enough, she learns that Wolfe is a vicious, bloodthirsty monster who is determined to do whatever it takes to get to her. There comes a point when enough is enough and a person must stand up to what they fear the most and Sienna realizes she must either give herself to this crazy psychopath, whom no one can destroy much less injure or continue adding to the number of deaths all her fault.
As for the characters in this book I’m kinda at a standstill. Crane writes Sienna as a very interesting character and I feel myself wanting to know more about her. She is very strong willed but I feel that her independence and strength is not accurate with regards to the life she has lived up to this point. If you can get past this point, you will definitely enjoy the lack of ‘damsel in distress’ traits you get from her. There is nothing weak or ‘woe is me’ in this girl. She knows she’s in danger, she realizes that nobody seems to be able to protect her, and she decides to do what must be done. She’s characteristically a realistic teen (more like one who’s not been abused) and can’t help but see the attractiveness in the opposite sex, but the writer does well with making the storyline and the characters work.
The other characters were definitely not played up as much as they should have been. The writer seemed to make this all about Sienna, even though she has an entire environment of people around her. They all fell flat and were for the most part bland and uninteresting. The clear intention of who is good and who is bad was very blurred. I think the characters could have been better utilized but hopefully they do in book 2 and 3.
The plot was…well, the plot was basically staying alive from the bad dude. I kept waiting for the reason for the chase to be revealed but was left disappointed. Wolfe had a lot of scary elements to him and I would have loved more story behind him, why he was so intoxicated with ‘playing with his meat’ before getting to the nitty gritty, which never happened either. At the end, I still didn’t know what the plot was. The characters do a lot, they talk a lot, but it stops there. The substance, the meat of the story was left undone.
For all the negative talk, I really couldn’t put the book down. It was a fast read for the most part. There were some scenes that seemed to drag along but for the most part it was well written. It was a very weird experience for me because I can’t say it was written all that bad but it wasn’t written fantastical either. I just don’t know. I do know that…for some unknown reason I want to read book two but I just can’t tell you why. LOL For that reason alone, the reason that the author wrote a book that makes me want to read book 2 in the series I’ll give it…