First just let me say that this is an absolutely amazing book! I loved the characters and the depth of them, there were layers that rarely show in “early” writing of an author, but Bradon showed them. It’s a moving story that has you feel for all the characters and their own certain tragedies especially Johnny.Keeping the Tarnished focuses on Johnny, who ran away from home when he turned 18 and is then taken in very “Blind Side” like, and work with him to put him on his feet and give him a future. While the book drew me in right from he beginning, I waited for the thriller part to show up. I enjoy thrillers and the darkness in them. The book has a great psychological aspect and is very well done, the thrilling part left a little to be desired. While some of the material was dark as anticipated, it didn’t last or resonate as a thriller to me. Which isn’t a bad thing, it’s just more of a psychological read and more touching/family orientated which I still enjoyed.
I loved the strength that Johnny’s character showed, his ability to create a small amount of happiness even through his nightmares and melding of time (and again great psychological stuff, just not a lot of thriller).
This book was a beautiful piece of work, and really inspired me to be a better person, much like the Everett’s. While the ending is open ended, I hope for the best for all involved, maybe we will one day figure out what happened to Johnny in one of Bradon’s later novels.
TLTR version: I definitely recommend this book. Although there’s not a thriller in the sense of suspense, action, or darkness as expected the psychological aspects were on par and impressive. It is true to the psychological aspect of the genre. It’s heartbreaking and uplifting in one book.