Book Review: Patchwork


Renata Lake thought her relationship would be the only casualty of prom. Then the bomb went off.

It was supposed to be a night to remember—a cruise through Boston Harbor, dancing beneath the stars. But when an explosion tears the ship apart, Renata wakes up in Patchwork, an ethereal world where all her memories have been stitched haphazardly together.

In order to catch the assassin who murdered her friends, she’ll have to navigate the twisted landscape of her mind and relive critical moments from her past in search of clues. Can she uncover the killer’s identity and find her way back to the man she once loved before it’s too late?

Note: a version of this review was posted on my GoodReads page. I’ve minorly edited this review for some obviously bad goofs on my part and to clarify certain points.

Review – In terms of content – this skews closer to Knight’s Wildfire books; mythology plays a role here, though not as heavily and paranormal shenanigans abound (NIGHTINGALE, SING had far less paranormal shenanigans in comparison). There’s also a number of murderous descriptions I’d caution the faint of heart but big on imagination to be wary of. Some of this is straight up gruesome.

So let me ask y’all a question Renata herself poses at one point – if you had a chance to relive a year you consider a happy one, but with its shadows and regrets – would you relive it exactly as you remembered or would you try to adjust it for the better?

This is the dilemma Renata faces for much of the book. While being chased through time and space by a masked villain intent on the highest body count they can manage, she relives meaningful moments in her recent past. A big game she flubbed, a visit to a college with her friends, a big night with her boyfriend – all moments wherein the result was a (mostly) happy memory. Yet reliving those moments in reverse, remembering the outcome and knowing the other person may not…it does wear on you emotionally.

So thank God she had a villain chasing her to keep her head in the game. I can’t imagine what would have happened if she had only the angst of her decisions to focus on.

Renata is at times unlikable. While she comments seeing her friends in reverse gave her a new not so rosy perspective of them, its an issue of throwing stones in a glass house. At first things seem very happy – close friends, great boyfriend, bright future, but even before Osiris starts their bloody massacring that life unravels. Things that you notice in the moment absently, but push away with some rationale? They do no one favors on inspection.

It’s those pieces I found interesting. A person can play the hindsight game, but no memory has perfect recall. No matter what you do your experience after that memory will influence or diminish certain aspects of the memory, tainting it without you realizing. I wonder, after finding out the villain, if I could spot the clues in Renata’s memories.

This is what I find fascinating about books and movies like this. Not quite the Groundhog Day approach, though its cousin certainly (I’m going to lay my hat on either the trope of “Eternal Recurrence” or “The Story That Never Was“, depending on how you see the villain’s motivation).

I’ll admit I pegged one char purely based on the fact how clean cut this person is. It proved wrong (horribly so) but I wonder if that meant I was blind to other clues? I’m a sucker for a good Red Herring (and they always look like this) and let’s face it, I’m not the sharpest Detective…

Want to Know More?

Published by: Self-pubbed
Release: February 28, 2017
Series: Stand Alone
Add it to Goodreads

Connect with Karsten: Twitter | Goodreads | Website


Lexie Words

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s