Jake Lukin just turned 18. He’s decent at tennis and Halo, and waiting to hear on his app to Stanford. But he’s also being followed by a creep with a gun, and there’s a DARPA agent waiting in his bedroom. His secret is blown.
When Jake holds a personal object, like a pet rock or a ring, he has the ability to “tunnel” into the owner. He can sense where they are, like a human GPS, and can see, hear, and feel what they do. It’s an ability the government would do anything to possess: a perfect surveillance unit who could locate fugitives, spies, or terrorists with a single touch.
Jake promised his dad he’d never tell anyone about his ability. But his dad died two years ago, and Jake slipped. If he doesn’t agree to help the government, his mother and sister may be in danger. Suddenly he’s juggling high school, tennis tryouts, flirting with Rachel Watkins, and work as a government asset, complete with 24-hour bodyguards.
Forced to lie to his friends and family, and then to choose whether to give up everything for their safety, Jake hopes the good he’s doing—finding kidnap victims and hostages, and tracking down terrorists—is worth it. But he starts to suspect the good guys may not be so good after all. With Rachel’s help, Jake has to try to escape both good guys and bad guys and find a way to live his own life instead of tunneling through others. (goodreads.com)
From the second I started reading I was zipped into a plot that didn’t stop moving until the end. And even then the wheels were still turning.
Jake is a kid on the verge of graduating from high school who, against his better judgment, uses a neat little trick he can do as a party performance and ends up eating his own foot for it. With this ability that he has, after years of his dad telling him to hide it otherwise They will find you, for the most part he keeps it under wraps but enter a girl who we likes and boom. All of a sudden the government’s wedged itself up his backside and Jake doesn’t know what to do with himself.
He’s really a great character. Completely down to earth and just a little bit snarky but nothing that’s obnoxious or over the top. He’s pretty protective of his genius (literally) little sister and even his mom. He’s the “man” of the house since his dad died two years before and he put himself in that protective role. His home life is pretty well-balanced. His mom isn’t around too often because her job begs after hours time from her but she’s there and a presence in his life. It all feels like a real dynamic with Jake as a real kid and I could really get on board with him, if for no other reason than he name-drops Buffy. I do wonder if that’s more the author giving a nod than having an 18-year-old boy in current time being a Buffy fan. I’m out of it in that regard but it did seem a little out of place. I’m okay with it, though.
The poop hits the fan from the first chapter. Said fan stops spinning just long enough for some of that excrement to slide off and things to settle before it gets turned on high and everyone is trying to get out of the way. Jake finds himself in a position where he’s 100% manipulated (and he does know it, to some extent) and he makes the choices he makes in order to ensure sure his mom and sister remain okay. Except those decisions aren’t necessarily the best for him and he quickly realizes that. He’s smart, though, and he doesn’t tolerate crap for long and he uses what he has at his disposal to help himself since there’s next to no one else there to do it.
Even when the plot doesn’t move (spinning circles in Jake’s home life or while he’s held captive) Adrian writes in a way that you’re always on edge. There’s always something lurking around the corner or some surprise attack and you don’t know when it’s going to hit. She keeps you on high alert from beginning to end and you end up zipping through the story and barely realizing it’s over. I loved it. You’re running on 100% for the entire book and even when during those lulls there’s still the threat of something so you’re still buzzing.
The ending leaves a lot open and there’s definite sequel potential here. I don’t know if this is a planned series or not but I would definitely read more with how it ended. It wrapped up the overarching plot of TUNNEL VISION nicely but introduced an element that created a whole new set of problems for Jake that could absolutely be explored in another book. I’m content with the one book. I would be thrilled for a second. I’m just saying.
The only thing I’d say against it is I didn’t see the point of the song titles as chapter titles. I mean the songs themselves, at least the titles, were relevant to what was going to happen in the chapter but music isn’t a prominent element in the story so it seemed irrelevant to have those there. Chapter titles would have worked without them being tied to a song. Not to mention a lot of the songs were ones I didn’t know. I just connected the title itself to the advancement of the plot.
And the romance. Blurbs keep mentioning romance. There really wasn’t any. Jake liked a girl who ends up being a major element in his story near the end but using the word ‘romance’ is stretching it. It skirts the edges of the story and Jake thinks of her in times of stress as a way of calming himself but it’s such a minimal element to the story that I think it’s a disservice to really draw attention to it. I don’t have a problem with it. In fact I thought it was balanced excellently in the story and I really liked Rachel. But I can see how people may get the wrong impression about the story.
But overall TUNNEL VISION was pretty fantastic. I’d highly recommend it. It takes an element of the supernatural, being able to “tunnel” as Jake calls it, see from someone else’s eyes in real time by touching an object they own, and applies a real world element to it. Except that real world element can have horrific ramifications and what was an innocent gift is turned into a weapon. A weapon that a teenager has control of. At least Jake has a conscience. Terrifying and thrilling all at the same time.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Is it time for the giveaway now? I think so! St Martin’s Griffin has graciously offered up a finished copy of TUNNEL VISION by Susan Adrian for one lucky winner! Just leave a comment below with a way to contact you for your chance to win. One entry per person, you must be at least 13 years old, and the receiving address must be located in the US. Good luck! Giveaway ends at midnight, AZT, on February 8th.