Due to my personal life getting extremely busy of late, I’ve fallen far behind my typical reviewing pace — while the queue of titles to review has continued to grow. In the hope of trying to do some catch-up, I’m going to try to write more concise reviews for at least the next couple months…hopefully without sacrificing too much in the way of opinion and analysis. With that goal in mind… let’s get going…
I’ve reviewed a couple of Paul Kane’s titles in the past — Sleeper(s) and Pain Cages — and now he’s back with a YA thriller under the thinly-veiled pseudonym P.B. Kane, published by Rocket Ride Books. At a high level, it’s a tale of an interloper who manages to keep his true nature hidden from all but a single, strangely perceptive teenager.
Fifteen-year-old Daniel Roush is that teenager, a kid at a tough spot in his life, with a deceased father, a mother who’s a little too fond of the bottle sometimes, a little brother who’s always trying to tag along, and a male friend (Greg) who shares with Daniel a crush on their mutual female friend, Jill. Feeling somewhat trapped, and often bored to tears, on the secluded island of Shorepoint, Daniel’s world is turned upside when an amnesiac man apparently washes up on shore. The stranger — who is given the temporary name of John Dee — is able to assert a subtle but powerful control over seemingly everyone on the island except Daniel. Unable to convince others of what he perceives about Dee, Daniel finds himself more alone than ever as the fate of the island hangs in the balance.
The Rainbow Man is a quick read at 162 pages, but even at that length, the story seems to drag a bit at times. I’d attribute that primarily to the YA target demographic, which typically yields a tamer plot, as seems to be the case here. The narrative and the language used seem quite basic, but not to the point of simplicity. Kane’s initial foray into the YA field is a solid read for that age group, but perhaps not too engaging for adult readers.