Monday, September 17, 2012

Review: Untraceable by SR Johannes

SR Johannes
November 2011
315 pages (Kindle)
Coleman & Stott
Source: Purchased
"16-year-old Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival.

When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him.

One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father.

Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves." 
Untraceable Quote
When it comes to self-published novels, I'm rarely a fan. They usually seem unpolished and too underdeveloped. Yet, to my surprise, Johannes quickly made me a fan of her story, her writing, and her characters. As a protagonist, Grace is very endearing with her spunky, opinionated, and fiercely determined nature. While everyone else in her small town has given up on finding her father alive after he's been missing for three months, Grace has invested herself in investigating his disappearance in order to discover the truth. 

Gripping and exciting, Untraceable went above and beyond my expectations. From the romance to the family aspects, each was portrayed as realistically as possible - with all the awkward moments and silly fights you'd expect from each. But it was the characters, and especially Grace's insights, that made this story incredible. The great thing about Grace is that, despite her skills and resourcefulness, she makes mistakes and sometimes needs a helping hand. If you're looking for a mystery you can't set aside with a dash of romance and an outstanding narrator, look no further because Untraceable has it all. 

Highlights: While I was able to guess a few things, Johannes managed to stun me with a couple revelations. Very vivid regarding imagery, excellent pacing, and a wonderful cast of characters. I love how Grace quoted Monty Python1. The survival tips. The romance seemed genuine. Even with all of the darker elements, Johannes wrote enough humor to keep this story nicely balanced.

Lowlights: Two or three instances with spelling errors. Sometimes, Grace jumped to certain conclusions without any thought.

Note: Descriptions of animal abuse. Also, person-against-person violence. Nothing you haven't seen before in a PG-13 movie. 


1 "It's just a flesh wound"
* Quote on page 99, location 2148 (Kindle)



  1. I feel the same way about self-published books, but that always makes it more exciting to find a really good one! You've made me want to read this one, thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for the review. I also shy away from self-published novels for all the reasond you mentioned. I think we like a lot of the same books, so I'll have to give this one a try.

  3. I usually avoid self-pubs but S.R. convinced me. A very enjoyable and unexpected novel, I must say!

  4. Love this review. I agree that sometimes self-pubs are unpolished and just a lot of work to get through. I may have to check this one out though. It sounds like it may be worth it.

  5. I admit to being a bit reluctant when it comes to self-published books, myself. It just takes me out of the story completely when the writing isn't edited and proofread properly. But if you say that this one is well done and enjoyable, then I believe you!