Bishop - by Candace Nola
I received an ARC of this book (with thanks) from the Author and her marketing team, after having seen it previously on social media. The cover holds the premise of the book (Werebear) quite clearly to the fore, and I think it was one of the draws to the book – aside from wanting to read something from Candace – that hooked me.
This is only 147 pages long, and you don’t notice the length of the book, Candace sets up the scenario in the first quarter, the rest is time spent on the hunt for two missing family members, a sister and her daughter, lost in the wilderness. We are aware from the get-go, that the two are themselves hunted by a creature, and whilst the nature of the creature is not disclosed until later in the book, everything points to a paranormal/supernatural creature feature. Whatever is coming, it’s not normal.
I won’t go into the plot too much, there are only 147 pages so you can discover it for yourself. Candace paints her main character, Troy Spencer (distant relation, perhaps?) with empathy, we do root for him on his journey, burdened by his limitations (a bad knee), and when he joins up with Bishop, the secondary main character, we obtain a second pov and history – through Bishop’s pov we learn what the creature is and his history with it.
Pov jumping in chapters was a slight negative – there were times it switched from one sentence to the other, to show what another character was thinking, or to give their input to the reader based on experience – but I’m well documented on what I think of Omni pov. Nevertheless, I have to say I found myself rushing to the end, so Candace does a fantastic job of ramping up the adrenaline and pushing us toward a finale.
I was a little disappointed with Casey, given that the book spends enough time telling us how she is a real thinker and adaptable, at the end, she was a damsel in distress, I really wanted her to be an active part in the confrontation with the creature. That didn’t happen, she let the guys take over and was relegated to a side role, a pity, by that point in time my belief in her was solid.
It would have been nice to have seen a more empowered female role in the book (leaving aside her mother, who is incapacitated and not really too much a part of the whole story), but again, I'm biased from having a strong independent daughter, and through her, it's made me want to see more active female MC's and a little fairer representation. However, make no mistake, Candace has crafted a great story here. There is attention to detail, all of the characters are fully rounded and likable, the inhabitants of the area were well fleshed out and realistic, and as mentioned before, the speed of the novel is adrenaline-fueled. You are as out of breath at the end as the main characters are. And of course, Bishop and his relationship with both Troy and Casey give you that feel-good feeling at the end of the novella.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Bishop was a returning character, there are certainly other stories in my mind leading from this.
Candace, it was great reading you for the first time, and Bishop is – in my humble opinion – a great showcase for a voice I’d like to read more from.
This gets 4 out of 5 ⭐ ‘s from me, and compliments on your marketing team who were lovely in their correspondence.
You can buy Bishop, by clicking the appropriate Amazon link, below:
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