post written by Esther Filbrun
Title: Termination Dust
Author: Alana Terry
Series: Alaskan Refuge Christian Suspense
Major Themes: Abuse, Domestic Violence, Suspense Books
Synopsis: Though she feels somewhat stuck with her stepfather, Kimmie knows she must find a way to escape—soon, or both her brother and she will suffer even worse abuse than they already face.
Recently, I remembered Alana Terry’s Unabridged podcast (of which, by the way, I’m a real fan), and I got to listen to Termination Dust on there. Although it isn’t my favorite of her stories—and I’m not actually sure which one is at the moment!—this was a good story and kept me well entertained on a recent road trip.
When her mother suddenly dies, Kimmie realizes just how much her mother had to put up with in her stepdad. It had been bad before…now his actions were nearly unbearable. And worse, she realized she couldn’t put up with his hatred toward her and her brother. Aside from the mental and verbal abuse, the threat of physical abuse is getting worse, too. But what can she do to protect Pip? What if the police can’t protect her—what if her father claims sole custody of him? What would she do then?
As with many of Terry’s other suspense novels, I had a hard time putting this one down. Thankfully, the one time I did have to take a break I was at a good stopping point—but those were few and far between here! I loved Pip. He’s such a sweet boy, though he had a hard road to travel. I appreciate that Terry doesn’t always have “normal” people in her books—she has a good mix, which I think makes the stories somewhat more realistic. In here, Pip is a very slow talker, and though it’s never mentioned, one could infer that he is somewhat autistic. That just added something to the story, I feel like. Some of the other characters were downright annoying—but that’s just how people are sometimes!
Overall, Termination Dust was a good book—I loved how Kimmie kept referring back to her mother’s Bible songs to encourage herself in tough situations. And there was a satisfactory ending. But it didn’t end up being a standout read to me. Perhaps it was because I had a hard time connecting with the characters, or some parts seemed to drag on longer than they should have (Kimmie waffling made me really want to give her a good talking to several times!), or perhaps it was just the wrong book at the wrong time for me. I don’t know. I did enjoy it, but I doubt I’d ever go back and reread it. If you’re looking for a short(ish), realistic, exciting story set in rural Alaska with a sweet romance on the side, you would probably enjoy this one!
WARNING: I listened to this book, so I can’t give specifics, but just bear in mind that it is more of an adult book. The main character’s mother has just died at the beginning of the story, apparently due to suicide, and that is mentioned multiple times throughout the book. There are also frequent mentions of her father’s abuse, although all that is shown or really talked about is the verbal abuse, which eventually escalates to threats to kill. Later in the story, one character finds out about another character’s cheating on his wife. And near the end of the story, someone is nearly killed and there is a house fire. WARNING:
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults
Links to buy this book:
Keywords: Abuse, Domestic Violence, Christian Fiction, Suspense/Thrillers Fiction, 21st Century History, North America, Books for Women, Faith