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Stitch (Trading Stitches Book One) by Timothy Collins #BookReview

Turns out Dad was right when he said, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Twenty-two-year-old Marc Cheeks did not anticipate the truth to be so literal. But like his father, and his father’s father before him, and his father before him, Marc discovers that dying – or almost dying – makes him physically stronger. Now, he hopes he can avoid the steep price each Cheeks man before him paid.

Struggling with his newfound talents, the loss of a beloved family member, and the potential loss of his career, Marc finds himself thrust headlong into the darkness that is being a Stitch–where dying is the easy part.
A young man fights the powers within and without that threaten to tear him apart, all while he discovers the reality of what he is, and what he is not.
Whether a curse or a blessing, Marc’s ability to fight the darkness and addiction that comes with power will determine if he will be the hero or the villain of his story.

Stitch (Trading Stitches Book One) by Timothy Collins cover art

Title: Stitch (Trading Stitches Book One) | Author: Timothy Collins | Publisher: Foster Embry Publishing, LLC  | Pub. Date: 31 October 2020 | Pages: 375 | ASIN : B08K3NGWY3| Genre: Horror/ Sci Fi | Language: English |  Source: Received a copy from NetGalley | Unstarred Review

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Stitch (Trading Stitches Book One) Review

Stitch weaves a story around Marc, a twenty-two year old man with the ability to gain strength every time he experiences injury. The supernatural/horror elements of this book are unique and fascinating, but the premise around it lacks believability.

Marc is a student-teacher who befriends a high school student named Glenn. This begins the problem of believing what the story presents. Marc acts younger than he is, and the fact that he connects most to a student he tutors makes him even more juvenile. Readers are meant to believe he’s in his twenties, but his dialogue and actions often reflect a teenager. The motivation to getting close to Glenn is to get closer to the student’s older sister Susan as a potential love interest, but that story line also falls flat, despite the threesome teaming up to defeat evil.

The story begins with Glenn being beat up and Marc being thrown into the fight in order to start learning more about his powers, something he (and readers) are left to wonder about for much of the first half of the book. As Glenn is getting his butt kicked by student bullies, the cops and the football coach encourage the violence. Again, is this believable? I think many readers will struggle to connect to the characters, their motivations, and their actions in these opening moments. It continues to spiral out of the realm of believability when we discover the majority of the town seems to be swept up in a gambling ring. Also, Susan seems to pop up at the most convenient times rather than organic moments.

The world created around “the stitch” (the ability to come close to death, survive, and grow stronger) is intriguing, and if a more realistic story had been crafted to cradle this one-of-a-kind notion, the story would have flourished. There’s creative bits of ideas peppered into the plot, including the introduction of Kismets, who are emotional and telepathic partners of those with Marc’s ability. Each person with the ability has an indivudal Kismet, and readers will be pleasantly surprised to discover who Marc’s Kismet is.

If the story had stuck more in this scifi/horror world and less in the gambling ring, small town politics and antics, I think it would have come alive in a thrilling manner. Readers who like their supernatural tucked in corrupt town policies may want to give this a try.

Published inBook ReviewsHorror Book ReviewsUncategorizedUnstarred Reviews

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