Saturday, August 20, 2011

Indie Author Kia Heavey - Night Machines

Night MachinesNight Machines is another great indie novel. I received this book in the mail, and it came with a few other goodies which I got fairly excited about. First thing I noticed was an Anadreme pill bottle with little blue pills in it. Of course, they were blue sugar candies, but I will admit, I was caught off guard. There was also a CD and a Night Machines bookmark. Excellent attention grabber. The best way to grab my attention, however, is to write a good book that is well edited and proofed. Kia Heavey managed to get my attention on all fronts. I will admit, having the paper back in hand brought the book to the top of my to be read list, but if the story hadn’t been compelling and well written it would have been pushed back down to the bottom.

Night Machines tells a story about Maggie, a wife and mother of two small children. Her husband Rowan is a police detective who works long hours and, in the beginning of the book, becomes emotionally distant with the onset of a new, horrific case that he is working. His emotional distance increases until he is rarely home, and when he is home, he is also physically distant from his family.

Maggie begins a new job at the start of the book. When she goes to interview at a large pharmaceutical company, she feels completely out of place. Upon meeting founder and president, she is surprised to learn that she has a connection with him that she barely remembers.

As time goes on, Maggie’s relationship with her husband continues to deteriorate. While sleeping and dreaming vividly, Maggie conjures up a romantic scene with a man from the office. Upon awakening, Maggie decides that a little fantasy romance can’t hurt anyone or anything. Especially since no one needs to know the details of Maggie’s dreams…or do they?

As her fantasy world grows larger, Maggie’s life begins to spin completely out of control and she doesn’t see a way to stop it.

Night Machines had me hooked. I didn’t want to stop reading at night, and on more than one occasion I stayed up much too late reading only to pick it up again in the morning. When I came to the last 40 pages, I locked myself in my bedroom leaving my husband and children to fend for themselves for a while so I could read the conclusion.

The characters were all likeable and real. I was hard-pressed to dislike even the distant husband because the author showed inside his head, the reasons he was distant, and his true feelings toward his family.  Maggie was the most likeable character in the book. She always wanted to do what was best for her family, especially her children. She took her wedding vows very seriously; she just needed a little romantic outlet, and she chose to do so completely in her head. The man whom Maggie becomes secretly involved with is also likeable, and, despite my better judgment, I found myself cheering him on throughout most of the book. Of course, the author doesn’t always show his true colors.

The plot was well laid out and detailed. There were parts that I thought had been left to chance, such as some of the husband’s police work, but in the end, the author was able to logically and thoroughly explain how each piece of the puzzle fit into her story. The only hazy point in the plot that I can come up with was how Maggie’s future, secret-romantic interest was able to know that she was going to apply to work for the pharmaceutical company. Unless he put his plan into action after seeing that she had applied. If so, that was some amazing planning and follow-through in a short amount of time.

Without giving away the ending, I wished that it had happened a bit more dramatic. The selflessness that was seen was very uncharacteristic. It did provide the story with a neat, clean, completely final ending, but neat and clean isn’t always the best way to end a story. The finality of the ending could have been achieved a number of ways that aligned better with the character’s nature—selfish and crazy.

Kia Heavey didn’t disappoint. Excellent story, well written, and more than decently proofread. She will certainly be on my list of authors to look for in the future.