Home > Writing > The first pre-release review of Daughter Cell

The first pre-release review of Daughter Cell

When is a sequel not quite a sequel? Answer: When an author is confident enough to take his characters in a whole new direction, despite setting a high bar in his first offering.
In his second full-length novel, Daughter Cell, suspense author Jay Hartlove masters this delicate balancing act by delivering us back to the world of psychologist Sanantha Mawaud, but (for the most part) without bringing back the supernatural element that played such a large role in Hartlove’s first novel, The Chosen.
This time, our setting is Malaysia, Sammael and his machinations have been defeated and Sanantha is caught in a high stakes, high concept medical thriller as she seeks to help a brilliant biologist named Randy Macklin sort out a mysterious, months-long memory lapse apparently brought on by the traumatic events surrounding his wife’s death in a car accident.
Macklin comes to Mawaud with his life in tatters: his wife is dead, his daughter lies in a coma and his memory of all the events leading up his present condition is gone. And that’s just the beginning of the twists and turns that Hartlove takes us through before the full secrets of Daughter Cell are revealed.
As with The Chosen, Hartlove delivers on the tension in Daughter Cell. Fans of his first novel will be pleased to find that the narrative runs the reader through a rampage of deceit, double-crossing and the darker side of human motivation in the same fashion as before. His premise and background research in Daughter Cell are both top notch, no mean feat given the difference in theme from his first offering. And again, the blending of history, culture and various spiritual traditions that make up his character’s backgrounds shows the author’s ability to deliver those little details that makes a good story that much richer and satisfying.
Hartlove’s returning readers may feel a little disconcerted that he doesn’t return us to the fabulous world he created in The Chosen. There were a few moments that I felt the wistful pull for Charles Redmond and his fabulously imagined world of outright insanity. But despite the fact that the stakes in Daughter Cell are less grand and more personal, Hartlove still manages to bind the story together with his sharp eye (and ear) for character, tight plotting and intricate theme.
Daughter Cell makes the case that Jay Hartlove is not just a writer who works well with the supernatural, but is an up-and-coming author to watch in the thriller trade.

Jason M. Stewart
http://www.criticstudio.com

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Categories: Writing
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