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What if someone tried to fake the rapture? When hundreds of thousands of people disappear in the middle of the night, including sixteen-year-old Gwen's best friend Lana, no one knows why. Some believe they were taken in the rapture, while others are convinced that it can't be true. Doomsday prophecies abound that involve horrifying tales of plague, famine, earthquakes, and What if someone tried to fake the rapture? When hundreds of thousands of people disappear in the middle of the night, including sixteen-year-old Gwen's best friend Lana, no one knows why. Some believe they were taken in the rapture, while others are convinced that it can't be true. Doomsday prophecies abound that involve horrifying tales of plague, famine, earthquakes, and more. At first, Gwen doesn't know what to think. While she is busy mourning Lana, many people around her are getting taken in by the cultish True Believers Temple, including Gwen's dad and her friend Mindy. It is clear that more and more people are going to be pressured to join this church, as it starts taking over the media and the government, gaining zealous followers all over the world. Then Gwen starts receiving emails from Lana. She claims to have been forced into hiding with thousands of others in an underground compound. Gwen is convinced the emails are real and the only other person who also believes her is Isaiah, her moody crush. Together they resolve to find out where everyone is hiding and help set Lana free.


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What if someone tried to fake the rapture? When hundreds of thousands of people disappear in the middle of the night, including sixteen-year-old Gwen's best friend Lana, no one knows why. Some believe they were taken in the rapture, while others are convinced that it can't be true. Doomsday prophecies abound that involve horrifying tales of plague, famine, earthquakes, and What if someone tried to fake the rapture? When hundreds of thousands of people disappear in the middle of the night, including sixteen-year-old Gwen's best friend Lana, no one knows why. Some believe they were taken in the rapture, while others are convinced that it can't be true. Doomsday prophecies abound that involve horrifying tales of plague, famine, earthquakes, and more. At first, Gwen doesn't know what to think. While she is busy mourning Lana, many people around her are getting taken in by the cultish True Believers Temple, including Gwen's dad and her friend Mindy. It is clear that more and more people are going to be pressured to join this church, as it starts taking over the media and the government, gaining zealous followers all over the world. Then Gwen starts receiving emails from Lana. She claims to have been forced into hiding with thousands of others in an underground compound. Gwen is convinced the emails are real and the only other person who also believes her is Isaiah, her moody crush. Together they resolve to find out where everyone is hiding and help set Lana free.

30 review for The Departed

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    As Gwen is getting ready for school she finds it odd that her best friend Lana isn't answering her texts but Lana's parent are very religious so she also thinks that Lana is probably just in trouble yet again. But Gwen gets to school that day and finds that Lana is not there so when she starts hearing that there have been a lot of missing people being reported Gwen begins to worry. The news stations are reporting that hundreds of thousands of people disappeared that night. There was never a trac As Gwen is getting ready for school she finds it odd that her best friend Lana isn't answering her texts but Lana's parent are very religious so she also thinks that Lana is probably just in trouble yet again. But Gwen gets to school that day and finds that Lana is not there so when she starts hearing that there have been a lot of missing people being reported Gwen begins to worry. The news stations are reporting that hundreds of thousands of people disappeared that night. There was never a trace of them anywhere, no hint of struggles, not even their shoes are gone from their homes. Authorities check cameras and look for witnesses but after not finding anything to lead them to any of the missing the top theory becomes that the rapture has begun and people start turning to the church for answers. I will admit that when I read the synopsis for The Departed it was one of those books that while I thought it sounded like it might be an interesting read I never expected to actually love the book. When finished though I had to give this one five stars, I flew right through this read hooked on every page. I think for me the biggest draw to this story is just how realistic this could actually be. We've all seen news stories of different religious rights debates from abortion to gay marriage and many other things there is always something being talked about. There are debates on the varying religions, there have been different cults featured in the news stories that had their own beliefs. Just so many different things in the media over the years that when reading this book I thought wow, I'm surprised some group hasn't actually tried this. When finished with this first book in this series I immediately had to grab the short story that the author offered at the end the is a companion read and definitely plan on continuing on with the series. Definitely a book I'd recommend checking out. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....

  2. 4 out of 5

    Marla

    The Departed is a very quick read. It puts a spotlight on how one person or organization can manipulate the gullible to do something crazy. It reminds me Jim Jones and his followers or Charles Manson. Some people it doesn't take much to manipulate people. When Gwen's best friend Lana goes missing in the night along with her family and thousands of other people, she thinks something has happened but doesn't believe they are dead. Some people think it's the rapture and start trying to be good Chri The Departed is a very quick read. It puts a spotlight on how one person or organization can manipulate the gullible to do something crazy. It reminds me Jim Jones and his followers or Charles Manson. Some people it doesn't take much to manipulate people. When Gwen's best friend Lana goes missing in the night along with her family and thousands of other people, she thinks something has happened but doesn't believe they are dead. Some people think it's the rapture and start trying to be good Christians. This is an interesting take on how people can be manipulated and how dangerous it can be. I'm interested to read book 2 and find out what happens to Gwen, Isaiah and Mindy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Siobhan

    The Departed is such a great little read. You can complete it in no time at all and it’s super addictive. The Departed takes a unique concept and builds up something much more than I’d anticipated it would. As soon as I read the synopsis, I knew it would be interesting; and yet, it turned out that the book offers more than I’d initially predicted. People are disappearing. It’s a premise that many books have started with. Of course, the conspiracy theories will fly everywhere. Aliens. A virus. Magi The Departed is such a great little read. You can complete it in no time at all and it’s super addictive. The Departed takes a unique concept and builds up something much more than I’d anticipated it would. As soon as I read the synopsis, I knew it would be interesting; and yet, it turned out that the book offers more than I’d initially predicted. People are disappearing. It’s a premise that many books have started with. Of course, the conspiracy theories will fly everywhere. Aliens. A virus. Magic. You know, it can go so many ways. With this one, we have the rapture. Or, at least, it appears as though we do. Very quickly, you find out such is not the case. Rather, people have created a fake rapture for a much larger reason. Of course, not all of the ins and outs are explained in this book – and I cannot wait to see where everything goes – but in this one we get to see a lot more about the reasoning than I’d initially anticipated. We get to see quite a lot in this book, even though it’s such a short read. We get to see how people react to the news of the rapture – because, as you would expect, it’s merely the characters we are following who know the truth of the situation. We get to watch as people’s views are turned upside down, as people slowly question what it is they believe. Truthfully, I would have liked a little bit more from this aspect, yet I feel as though the second book promises such a thing. With this one, we get to see the initial big changes that happen with a bit of a glimpse into the smaller changes. We get to see some of the details of how the rapture was faked. What I mean by ‘some’ is that we get to understand the bigger picture, with the smaller aspects still being a mystery. I’m hoping the smaller questions I have will be answered in future books. Mostly importantly, we get to see what has happened to the missing people. I feel as though this aspect was over too quickly, and I’m super hopeful when it comes to receiving more details in the future books. I really enjoyed the small snippet I got to see, and I have high hopes that an extended amount of time viewing that aspect of the story will leave me super engaged. Honestly, I could say so much, but I fear doing such a thing. The details of the story are so intricately woven, and I fear spoiling anything through saying too much. Just know it is a great little story, offering up a lot for such a simple premise. The only real downside I had was with certain aspects of the writing. First up is the exclamation marks! Oh wow! There’s so many of them! Like, seriously! Lots and lots! Everyone is so excited! All of the time! I wish I was that excited! Okay, I’ll stop with the sarcasm now. Such is just how it felt to me. I’m someone who believes exclamation marks should be used rather sporadically. If they’re to be used, it’s because they’re truly necessary. With this one, it felt as though they were handed out too often. The other aspect is that the characters felt a little bit flat when there was action. As a whole, I had a lot of fun with the characters. However, whenever some action came about they all seemed to read the same. It simply saddened me – I had wanted a little bit more. Overall, I really enjoyed this one. I’m super excited to see where the story goes from here.

  4. 5 out of 5

    David Tucker

    I found The Departed to be an intriguing read. I felt a strange sense of suspense as I turned each page and viewed the lives of the small group, dealing with one of the most major events in human history. The literal interpretation of the book of Revelation and the way the author used it, made for a fantastic premise. However the believable reactions of her characters was what really shone for me. This story is well thought out and propelled at a great pace. Although it is not an action book, I w I found The Departed to be an intriguing read. I felt a strange sense of suspense as I turned each page and viewed the lives of the small group, dealing with one of the most major events in human history. The literal interpretation of the book of Revelation and the way the author used it, made for a fantastic premise. However the believable reactions of her characters was what really shone for me. This story is well thought out and propelled at a great pace. Although it is not an action book, I was reading at a rapid pace, to see what happened next. The lives of its protagonists and supporting friends began to matter as I become more invested with each page, meaning a believable cast was definitely drawn. The hook was also very clever. The ‘event’ had me sold and guessing to what happened. I would definitely recommend this book to read and am happy to give it my 5 stars, which I feel most readers would agree with once reading this fantastic book. I am looking forward to seeing what happens next.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Zippergirl

    Goodreads author debut and a wry commentary on fundamentalism of any denomination. The Rapture pulled together some of my favorite themes: cults / religion / conspiracy. It's first in a series about The Rapture that didn't happen and a cult-like church. I read it in one sitting! Highly recommended for readers of the young adult genre, and any reader looking for a peek inside an international plot to bring the world back to old time religion. Kristy Cooper is a new writer to watch, she has the mag Goodreads author debut and a wry commentary on fundamentalism of any denomination. The Rapture pulled together some of my favorite themes: cults / religion / conspiracy. It's first in a series about The Rapture that didn't happen and a cult-like church. I read it in one sitting! Highly recommended for readers of the young adult genre, and any reader looking for a peek inside an international plot to bring the world back to old time religion. Kristy Cooper is a new writer to watch, she has the magic touch. The plot is well-imagined and nicely presented. Also check out the short story: What Happened in Colorado for some behind-the-scenes deviltry. I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Kelly

    I read this fairly quickly because I couldn't put it down! It was a fast paced read, and good thing I didn't work the next morning! Although there are certain small plot holes, and bits that feel a bit contrived, overall this YA novel was a winner. The fake rapture and all the following controversy was landed some credibility by the instability in the U.S. Political climate right now (2016 Election Season, anyone?) and it just made it all the more immediate - even though this is not at all a poli I read this fairly quickly because I couldn't put it down! It was a fast paced read, and good thing I didn't work the next morning! Although there are certain small plot holes, and bits that feel a bit contrived, overall this YA novel was a winner. The fake rapture and all the following controversy was landed some credibility by the instability in the U.S. Political climate right now (2016 Election Season, anyone?) and it just made it all the more immediate - even though this is not at all a political book. It is also not a blast for or against religion. The author takes a really balanced view and represents sympathetic characters who are believers, non-believers, and questioners alike. That *also* gives the book a credibility that helps to overshadow the few weak spots. The ending of this book was really strong and I admit a little surprising to me! The best thing I can say about this book is that I immediately put #2 on my "want to read" shelf on Goodreads.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nancy (The Avid Reader)

    Gwen wakes up one morning and texts her best friend Lana like she does every morning but there is just one thing not right on this beautiful morning Lana doesn’t text her back. By the time she makes it to school she is becoming very worried. She hopes that when she gets to school Lana will be there and there will be some reason as to why she has not texted her back yet. But low and behold when she arrives at school and meets up with her other best friend Mindy guess what no Lana. Mindy and Lana s Gwen wakes up one morning and texts her best friend Lana like she does every morning but there is just one thing not right on this beautiful morning Lana doesn’t text her back. By the time she makes it to school she is becoming very worried. She hopes that when she gets to school Lana will be there and there will be some reason as to why she has not texted her back yet. But low and behold when she arrives at school and meets up with her other best friend Mindy guess what no Lana. Mindy and Lana start to try to figure out where Lana could be and what could possibly be wrong. But they don’t get very far by the time they have to head to their first class. It is during first hour that she realizes that Lana is not the only one missing. She soon learns that there are thousands of people all over the world are missing. They disappeared during the middle of the night with no witnesses to the event. By talking with Mindy and her friend Isaiah plus other classmates she soon learns that a lot of people are beginning to believe that the missing people were taken away in the rapture. Gwen and Isaiah just can’t believe this they are more out to believe that it was aliens than any rapture. Gwen and Isaiah start to question everything and everyone. Gwen is determined to find out what happened to her best friend and where she is. One day Gwen wakes up to an email she received from Lana after she went missing. Gwen is ecstatic to hear from her friend and know that she is alive. So of course she is very excited to show it to Mindy and Isaiah. They think that it could be fake and that it could be from someone playing a joke or even a hacker. But Gwen believes that it is from Lana and sets out to prove it and save Lana. Is it from Lana? Is Lana alive? Where is she? Where are all the missing people? Where have all the people gone? The Departed has been a very interesting and enjoyable read. I loved the plot and how the world could end. It is filled with so many twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. And it will grab you up on the first page and won’t let go until you have read the last page and still then it will hang on for a long time to come. If you have not read The Departed then let me suggest that you do today.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Frank Palumbo

    The Departed: Book 1 of the Departed Series, by Kristy Cooper, Olivier, July 6, 2016, 176 pages. Reviewed by Frank Julius Palumbo. The Departed, written from the first person perspective, begins with Gwen, a teen girl who wakes up one morning to discover that her best friend, Lana, is missing. As the story unfolds, the television news stations broadcast that hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have just vanished. Rumors of a biblical Rapture begin to spread, and soon it is disco The Departed: Book 1 of the Departed Series, by Kristy Cooper, Olivier, July 6, 2016, 176 pages. Reviewed by Frank Julius Palumbo. The Departed, written from the first person perspective, begins with Gwen, a teen girl who wakes up one morning to discover that her best friend, Lana, is missing. As the story unfolds, the television news stations broadcast that hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have just vanished. Rumors of a biblical Rapture begin to spread, and soon it is discovered that only those members of the True Believers Church, of which Lana’s father is a Pastor, have been chosen. Most of the people in her town come to believe in the Rapture, including Gwen’s dad and try to discover the secret to being a true Christian, in hopes of being raptured before the seven years of tribulation begins. Gwen and her classmate, Isaiah, question the legitimacy of these claims and start a search to reveal the truth of the alleged missing people of the True Christian Church. The discourse between Gwen and the other characters in the novel are enlightening and give the reader a perspective from both sides of the argument of whether blind faith or rational judgment should pervade in unraveling the truth to the disappearances. The dialog runs smoothly and flows naturally, often explaining to the reader the turmoil one may experience as they contemplate the consequences of believing and blindly following institutionalized dogma, and thus the Rapture, or choosing a more open-minded approach to the missing, and therefore the truth. The message being broadcasted by television evangelist is, ‘Stop thinking and believe because that is what everyone is doing.’ The author delivers to the reader a compelling story that suggests to the reader that questioning authority, although unpopular and dangerous, as Gwen and Isaiah soon find out, can lead to greater revelations of common beliefs. The reviewer found this book to be a fresh look at an old theme and is especially fond of the intelligent rebel, Isaiah, who helps Gwen in her quest for the truth. I would recommend this book to all young adults, if not for the great read, then for the contextual ideas that are presented.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Travis Bow

    3.5 stars... a solid, quick read that keeps you turning the pages. The Departed is a scenario-type plot, a "What would it be like if...?" story. The characters are real enough to be interesting, but not particularly deep or emotionally engaging. They are there to help tell the story, and the story is about A) exploring a pretty crazy scenario and B) exploring belief. The scenario was pretty fun, and I didn't see any gaping, unsolvable plot holes. I had to suspend disbelief a little to accept 300, 3.5 stars... a solid, quick read that keeps you turning the pages. The Departed is a scenario-type plot, a "What would it be like if...?" story. The characters are real enough to be interesting, but not particularly deep or emotionally engaging. They are there to help tell the story, and the story is about A) exploring a pretty crazy scenario and B) exploring belief. The scenario was pretty fun, and I didn't see any gaping, unsolvable plot holes. I had to suspend disbelief a little to accept 300,000 people pulling off a hoax so flawlessly, but some explanations were hinted at... enough that it didn't bother me. The building conflict of unraveling a mystery while tensions between family and friends grew strained kept me wanting to find out what would happen next. I finished the book in two days. The exploration of belief was pretty interesting, too. The author seems to be pretty well informed about the non-homogeneity of Christian belief, and discussions about religion, faith, and believing with and without evidence are worked in without interrupting the story very much. Most of the opinions portrayed are pretty stereotypical (Christians who believe blindly without evidence or even in spite of evidence, atheists who refuse to believe in God because they think he's mean and therefore unreal, atheists who would rather believe in aliens or that people had simply disappeared than admit the possibility of God, manipulative con-artists who use the Christian religion to gain money, power, or control, and smart, normal people who believe in God, but think he must be a lot nicer / more American than religious people portray him), but sometimes comparing stereotypes is informative. The ending was very abrupt and cliff-hanger-y, but there was enough to the story to be fairly satisfying. Overall, I enjoyed it. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest, non-reciprocal review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Wendi Wilson

    How do you cope when your best friend and her entire family vanish without a trace overnight? What if three hundred thousand other people from around the globe disappeared at the same time? This mystery filled with intrigue, suspense and mass hysteria gripped me from the very beginning and never let me go. I was fascinated by each turn in the story, the way the puzzle of "what really happened to the departed" divided the world, the community, and even individual relationships. Our main character How do you cope when your best friend and her entire family vanish without a trace overnight? What if three hundred thousand other people from around the globe disappeared at the same time? This mystery filled with intrigue, suspense and mass hysteria gripped me from the very beginning and never let me go. I was fascinated by each turn in the story, the way the puzzle of "what really happened to the departed" divided the world, the community, and even individual relationships. Our main character Gwen finds herself somewhere in the middle- not really sure what to believe with different people in her inner circle pulling her in different directions. Then one chance email changes everything.... The writing is on point- well developed, believable, interesting and entertaining. The story had me questioning, "What would I believe?" if this were to really happen....thinking about it even when I wasn't reading- the mark of a great book. The characters were likable...or hatable, depending on who we're discussing. The storyline moves at a decent pace, taking enough time to explain actions and thought processes without dragging down action. I found myself on pins and needles about 75% through, where things started to get real. The ending was dramatic, with a cliffhanger and a peek into book 2 that made me want to read it RIGHT NOW! I really love this book. Great job!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sacha Valero

    This is a very quick and easy read. I think people might be put off by the religious theme, but it isn't a religious book. At least it wasn't to me and I was raised in an evangelical family that does indeed believe in the rapture. Perhaps that's why I'm an atheist. That said, the story is told in the first person by Gwen, a teenage girl who's best friend Lana is among three hundred thousand that go missing over night. After some investigation it comes to light that they are all part of the same This is a very quick and easy read. I think people might be put off by the religious theme, but it isn't a religious book. At least it wasn't to me and I was raised in an evangelical family that does indeed believe in the rapture. Perhaps that's why I'm an atheist. That said, the story is told in the first person by Gwen, a teenage girl who's best friend Lana is among three hundred thousand that go missing over night. After some investigation it comes to light that they are all part of the same church. There are memorials and the world begins to deal with the reality of the biblical Rapture. Gwen is on the fence until she gets an email from Lana. My criticism of the book isn't with the subject matter it's with the dialog. For the most part the dialog is fine, however when the teens are speaking it tends to come across as an adult writing like a teen. What I mean is that the kids speak about the events that occur and philosophy they speak with more insight and wisdom than most teenagers possess. This little gripe is pretty trifling and the book was a fresh and pleasant read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Aoife

    The Departed was a very frustrating read. I wanted very much to like it because the premise sounded so good. But the writing style really jarred for me. There was an awful lot of telling rather than showing and oftentimes I would infer something about a character or their personality through their behaviour as described in the text only to either have this exact trait spelled out for me or completely contradicted in an 'explanation' later. I appreciate that the author was assuming a certain leve The Departed was a very frustrating read. I wanted very much to like it because the premise sounded so good. But the writing style really jarred for me. There was an awful lot of telling rather than showing and oftentimes I would infer something about a character or their personality through their behaviour as described in the text only to either have this exact trait spelled out for me or completely contradicted in an 'explanation' later. I appreciate that the author was assuming a certain level of ignorance among her readership of the Biblical references and details of the rapture and the following tribulations (I can certainly plead guilty to that) but at times there was such an info-dump on this subject that it felt a little like being sermonised at. I'm sure this book has an audience, unfortunately it just wasn't for me.

  13. 4 out of 5

    T.H. Hernandez

    3-1/2 stars. I love the whole concept behind The Departed. When 300 thousand people disappear overnight without a trace, the world’s Christians believe the Rapture has occurred and they missed the bus. Panic drives people to search for answers, including both religious and scientific. High school sophomore, Gwen, lost her best friend, Lana, in the disappearance. She’s caught between the boy she likes, who’s an atheist, and her other close friend Mindy, who’s trying to convert her to become a Tru 3-1/2 stars. I love the whole concept behind The Departed. When 300 thousand people disappear overnight without a trace, the world’s Christians believe the Rapture has occurred and they missed the bus. Panic drives people to search for answers, including both religious and scientific. High school sophomore, Gwen, lost her best friend, Lana, in the disappearance. She’s caught between the boy she likes, who’s an atheist, and her other close friend Mindy, who’s trying to convert her to become a True Believer. At home, she’s caught in the middle of a similar battle between her parents. Plot The plot is intriguing. The idea of a faked Rapture has so much potential for conflict and author, Kristy Cooper, delivers. The pacing is good and I never found myself skimming. There were a couple of interesting twists to keep the reader hooked. The Writing The writing disappointed me. There are paragraphs of exposition that are difficult to get through and far too much telling rather than showing. It’s a good story but could have benefited from the services of a decent editor. The Characters I love Gwen. She’s a sweet main character with a healthy dose of skepticism, probably as a result of being raised by a scientist. Isaiah is the potential love interest and self-professed atheist. He comes across as very authentic. And Gwen’s other friend, Mindy, is believable as the teen who turns to religion to find meaning in what’s happened. The Ending So the ending didn’t really work for me. It just sort of stopped, nothing really resolved. It’s not exactly a cliffhanger either. In fact, the author includes the first page or two from the next book in the series, and I think it would have been better to end the first book either a few pages earlier, or included the first part of the next book in this story as a cliffhanger ending. I realize that can upset readers, but I think I’d rather be upset than left feeling “meh” after the ending. Top Five Things I Enjoyed About The Departed 1.The story. It’s a great premise and a good plot. 2. Gwen. I love her perseverance when it comes to finding out the truth. 3. Isaiah. He’s one of the truly good guys in young adult fiction. 4. The cultish religion. The author does a great job of creating a plausible reality with power-hungry crazy religious types as well as logical, honorable believers, who truly believe they’ve been chosen by God for their adventure. 5. The plotting. It was really well done and the main plot points were wrapped up by the end. Bottom Line The Departed is a great premise with decent plotting and likeable characters. Disclaimer I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Keturah Lamb

    This book has a very unique and interesting premise. People that love apocalypse/ dystopian stories will be drawn to this book. I enjoyed reading the book and it had a great ending that made me "want more" yet there were several things through out the book that made me a bit frustrated at times. 1. The author seemed to have a strong dislike bordering hate for adults, homeschoolers, Christians, and conservatives. Most people in those groups were shown in a negative light, even to the point of bein This book has a very unique and interesting premise. People that love apocalypse/ dystopian stories will be drawn to this book. I enjoyed reading the book and it had a great ending that made me "want more" yet there were several things through out the book that made me a bit frustrated at times. 1. The author seemed to have a strong dislike bordering hate for adults, homeschoolers, Christians, and conservatives. Most people in those groups were shown in a negative light, even to the point of being unintelligent. I don't think there was one smart adult in the whole book. 2. I felt the author was trying really hard to write a liberal story and make conservatives look bad, but there was no evidence. 3. I didn't really like the main character. And I was very surprised every time she cried... Gwen didn't seem capable of empathy. For the most part she was selfish. 4. I didn't like the main love interest. The character found him attractive because he was moody, and though he was smart he never turned in his homework just because he didn't want to (hence, he was lazy and would rather play video games). To me at least those two qualities do not make a guy attractive. Also, once he was mentioned as being black, but it was barely mentioned then never addressed again. The one time it was mentioned it was a big deal... but never again. Then when we saw his mother, it was made clear that his mother had messy hair that she patted down, something I would not imagine with a black lady's hair easily. 5. The story had a lot of telling where it could have been made more engaging through conversation and story. Some of the minor characters were a bit more likable, Lana for example. And I felt some of the adults could have been the same had the MC given them a chance. I didn't mind so much that the character and overall attitude of the story hated anything conservative and christian except for the fact that the other side wasn't addressed with facts and reasons. The hate was unreasonable and incoherent. But the plot was wonderful! The story idea is amazing! The underground compounds are intriguing. The villains are... spot on. The tension of danger was perfect. The book was very appropriate, too. Language was mild. There was only one kiss, and it wasn't dwelt on too much. Also, it's an Indie book, but the editing was pretty good, with just a couple typos. The clean text made my eyes happy.

  15. 5 out of 5

    James Hockley

    This is a young adult story set against a pre-apocalyptic back-drop – the end is coming! It’s a really interesting premise, and one that I think has lots of legs; hence this is the first part of a series. The characters are classically YA without having too much about them, but there are some interesting side-characters too. I particularly liked the dynamic between Gwen’s parents – very thoughtful. Overall I enjoyed this, but it didn’t captivate me, though that is most likely because the genre i This is a young adult story set against a pre-apocalyptic back-drop – the end is coming! It’s a really interesting premise, and one that I think has lots of legs; hence this is the first part of a series. The characters are classically YA without having too much about them, but there are some interesting side-characters too. I particularly liked the dynamic between Gwen’s parents – very thoughtful. Overall I enjoyed this, but it didn’t captivate me, though that is most likely because the genre is not mine. If you like the younger end of the YA spectrum, then I highly recommend this book. Set in modern-day (or just around the corner) America, a small town wakes to find a host of its inhabitants having just disappeared. It is peculiar, particularly for our protagonist, Gwen, whose best friend is one of the departed. But it is made all the stranger when it turns out that three hundred thousand people have just vanished across the world. An evangelist gives a story that the population of Earth can grab hold of, but Gwen is dubious. And so we follow Gwen, and another friend Isaiah, as they conduct their own investigations into this strange phenomenon. Suffice to say that danger is quick to catch up with them. The book is written in first person, told exclusively from Gwen’s perspective. This method seems to work quite well in this case, as we uncover things at the same pace as Gwen does. This meant being trapped in the mind of a very young adult (just coming up to sixteen I think), which is okay. Gwen is thoughtful and intelligent, which makes her interesting, and though she strays into YA type meanderings – which is to be expected for someone aged sixteen – it is not overbearing. There is a sensible mix of character play and story development. Having said this, I was not captivated by Gwen – her problems didn’t really register as such for me. And although one can appreciate her bravery in acting as she does, I am not won over. I enjoyed her tale, but it is not one that I am desperate to come back to. That, though, must surely be a taste thing. But there is much to like in this story, and the idea behind the departed is a good one. Now, I am aware that ‘missing people’ as a story idea has been used a number of times, but though I’m not well versed in this blueprint, I am going to stick my neck out and suggest that this is quite an original interpretation. It certainly felt original to me. And though we reach some sort of equilibrium by the end of book one (this book), there are lots of unanswered questions and a whole host of potential problems still lurking in the shadows. So plenty of scope and promise. Not that there aren’t interesting developments in this book itself (which there certainly are), but you get the sense that the major events are still to come. The key antagonists certainly seem amply crazy to make the future path very interesting indeed. But that leads me to perhaps my only real criticism of the book – its ending. It is all rather sudden and open-ended, and though we need the threads to stay loose so that we can weave the rest of the series into it, this feels a little too loose. There is no real tying up, and though this can be admirably seen as a way to lead the reader into the next book – and it probably will work – my view is that it undermines this as a standalone novel. However, thinking about this more, if I were more invested in Gwen’s future, then I doubt this would be a problem for me because I would be desperate to read on. But as I’ve said, though I found Gwen’s tale interesting, I was not captivated and so I would have liked some closure. A personal point, so if this is your sort of book, then read on! Overall I think that this is an interesting and very well executed young adult novel. Painted against the backdrop of a really interesting “departed” premise, there are good characters and some really interesting secondary character dynamics. Plus, there is great promise in the series to come. Recommended. http://www.jhockley.com/epic-fantasy/...

  16. 4 out of 5

    A. Fae

    Kristy Cooper gives us, what many in our current societal situation might call, a controversial look at Christianity in her YA fiction book, The Departed – which is the first installment in The Departed Series. In our society’s present political state where concerns of religious rights, gun rights, and the lot are being contested in the upcoming election arena of debate, Cooper’s The Departed may ruffle a few feathers for certain. But, despite the ideological, political, or other possible areas Kristy Cooper gives us, what many in our current societal situation might call, a controversial look at Christianity in her YA fiction book, The Departed – which is the first installment in The Departed Series. In our society’s present political state where concerns of religious rights, gun rights, and the lot are being contested in the upcoming election arena of debate, Cooper’s The Departed may ruffle a few feathers for certain. But, despite the ideological, political, or other possible areas Cooper may draw stares from, I enjoyed the book AND the possibilities it offered. Gwen, Mindy, and Lana are best friends in high school; all three different – the brain, the jock, the actress. Life appears to be going as usual until, one day, 300, 000 people across the world vanish, Lana being one of them. Although not immediately apparent, those missing all seem to be a part of a particular denomination of Christianity, Lana’s father even a preacher of his congregation. While some believe that the Rapture has taken place and that the missing were taken to heaven so that the Tribulation could take place, still others refuse to believe. The climate around the world begins to change with new believers becoming the majority; the skeptics in the minority. This same climate is taking place at the high school the girls attend. Our narrator, Gwen, believes something is amiss; whereas, Mindy is among the majority who begin attending church and rapidly changing their ways. Memorials are held for Lana and the couple of other students who are among the missing. Discussions are held in classes about how prayer should be returned to school; abortion outlawed; Christianity made the main religion in the Bill of Rights. Houses are divided; Gwen’s parents, one constantly tuned in to the televangelist or at church, whereas her mother is drinking and sleeping on the couch. Times are a changin’. But throughout it all, Gwen and her close friend, Isiah, are convinced that something is amiss. Until one day, Gwen receives an email from Lana claiming that it all may be a hoax. For a YA book, the characters seemed below average – not extremely developed. As a matter of fact, the story is so plot-centric, there’s hardly any character development at all. Obviously, so long as the story is being carried without super in-depth characters, it isn’t such a major deal; however, I just wanted a little more from the characters than I got. The setting wasn’t as neglected as I felt the characters were because I feel it played more of a role in the plot development. As a matter of fact, when I think back there were aspects of the setting that still linger in my mind. Gwen was walking down the street and passed Lana’s house. She spoke of the tulips in the yard and mentioned that if the disappearances were a hoax, and Lana’s mom had known she’d be leaving things behind, why would she have tended to the tulips the way they’d obviously been tended to. I really liked the storyline. Although not a new subject matter – of course, which book has a never before subject – the spin that Cooper took on it was really intriguing to me…at least once it really got going. Yes, I did find the beginning (probably the first 30%) a bit slow. I almost wanted to quit reading, but I held out hope and Cooper pulled me through. Although I’m sure our current political climate wasn’t the reason Cooper wrote this book, I don’t think her book could have come at a better time. Christianity and the ideologies that go along with it are on center stage of the Republican versus Democratic politics; so the idea that perhaps someone could have put the Rapture into action as a hoax in an effort to bring more people to the light, so to speak, seems quite plausible. With no intention of causing an argument of sides or choice of political candidates, Trump definitely seems the type that could pull something off like Cooper details possibly happening. And as someone who almost finds this whole political season comical, I thought it was a great time for Cooper’s book, The Departed. I will say I detest the fact that this is the first in a series!!! Ugh, I can’t stand waiting for another book to be released. It’s one thing to read a book that the series is already established; however, to come in on the front-end makes me super crazy to have to wait for the next book to come out. Honestly, when you read as many books as I do as part of reviewing, I will often forget to go back and read the second one unless I receive another author request. That makes me sad, but I’ll be putting a note on my “must read” list to catch the next book! Great book!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Mariampillai

    I received a copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. This was a great read. I thought this was an interesting dystopian book. The characters were great. I thought that the characters were likable and interesting. I just wish there was more to each character. The story was a thrilling read. I wished that it could be longer. Overall, an enjoyable read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Megalion

    Very much for the YA audience. Some of my fellow reader friends liked this very much but it was simply an ok read as an adult. If I were that age, probably closer to a 4 star. As the synopsis says, when that many people go missing, something big is afoot. For Gwen, it's personal because her best friend Lana disappears. And their mutual bestie, Mindy, ends up losing her mind somewhat. Why I say it's more for the YA audience, the action is feels ham-handed to me. Which is something I accept from Y Very much for the YA audience. Some of my fellow reader friends liked this very much but it was simply an ok read as an adult. If I were that age, probably closer to a 4 star. As the synopsis says, when that many people go missing, something big is afoot. For Gwen, it's personal because her best friend Lana disappears. And their mutual bestie, Mindy, ends up losing her mind somewhat. Why I say it's more for the YA audience, the action is feels ham-handed to me. Which is something I accept from YA books but not adult fare. The book poses some interesting ideas about religion, Christianity in particular. Whether or not one religion should be allowed to dominate a country and or the world. I didn't feel as the author was making any particular judgements either way about Christianity itself. I felt that she was targeting the more extremists followers (of any religion) who do extreme and often horrible things in the name of religion. I'm reminded of my favorite line from the movie Dogma by Kevin Smith. Despite the immense controversy where it was lambasted by religious folks as heretical, it's actually a love letter by Kevin towards his Catholic upbringing and personal reconciliation with the strictures there of. In it, Salma Hayek's character says to the Last Scion, "[You guys] mourn your faith." Instead of being uplifting and joyous, too many times (in my opinion) the focus is on a God that is vengeous and wrathful. Isn't that a huge contradiction if God is all loving and forgiving of his children, which by the Creationist story, are ALL made in his image? He gave us free will did he not? If it wasn't in his design for people to be individuals, then he is a flawed Creator. If it was in his design, then his children are meant to grow and become who they are. The story of Babel also reinforces my interpretation that He did mean for the world not to be homogenous in their spiritual beliefs. Anyways, hopefully the book will give some food for thought to its younger readers about their own beliefs and etc. A final note, for those who dislike cliffhangers, you'll want to wait til the next book is out as the action stops very abruptly. In my reviewer's copy, it included the first several pages of the next book which tells you what happened in the incident that it cuts off at. Which frankly was obvious and therefore pointless. Thank you to the publisher for the free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mark Kasniak

    I really don’t know how I’m going to begin to explain just how much of a super fun read “The Departed” is. I freaking loved this book! Action, adventure, mystery, dogma, and faith are just some of the words I can use to describe this story. So, the story begins with the rapture, but only 300k worth of seven billion people on the planet has been called home. At first, nobody thinks anything of it, but when these recalled people go missing for an extensive period of time, the world begins to take I really don’t know how I’m going to begin to explain just how much of a super fun read “The Departed” is. I freaking loved this book! Action, adventure, mystery, dogma, and faith are just some of the words I can use to describe this story. So, the story begins with the rapture, but only 300k worth of seven billion people on the planet has been called home. At first, nobody thinks anything of it, but when these recalled people go missing for an extensive period of time, the world begins to take notice. Our main heroine, Gwen, is a high school aged girl, and it just so happened that her best friend Lana is one of the missing. Gwen immediately wants to go looking for answers, but at first finds none, it seems as though she’s just going to have to accept that her friend is gone. As the story progresses, the rest of society starts to come to grips with the disappearance, and people begin to alter their way of thinking according to their new found belief structure that the Bible was right, God does exist, and maybe they weren’t good enough to get into heaven. Another one of Gwen’s friends, a girl named Mindy falls into this crowd as she converts from somewhat atheist to a true believer and born again Christian. Now, not to be a spoiler, because believe me, you’re going to want to read this book, it’s an amazing story, but Gwen with the help of one of her guy friends Isaiah eventually go to work in search of Lana after they notice strange things happening in connection with those who have departed. As they dive deeper into their investigation, they have to uncover the truth about whether the rapture was real or just a hoax. Kristy Cooper did a wonderful job bringing her characters and their belief structures to real life. Although the book is filled with religious dogma, it’s not preachy; it does however give you a clear insight into the minds of those who you may call “Holy rollers.” The book moves at a moderate pace, but holds you all the way through, I never got bored or confused by the plot. All in all, “The Departed” was just a superb read for me, I love dystopian, darker side of society novels, and this book hit a home run at that. If you’re a fan of The giver, 1984, or Brave New World, than I’d say this book would be right up your alley. Solid A+ Can’t wait for more from this author!!!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Just One More Book (Kris Miller)

    Sixteen year old Gwen is just like every other teenager. That is, until her best friend Lana goes missing along with 300,000 other people around the world in the middle of the night. Initially, no one has any idea what is going on. Some wonder about alien abduction. Then, several days later, they figure out the missing link. Most of the missing people were members of the True Believers Temple, a cultists like religion. Now it seems as if the rapture has happened. Many are touting the book of Reve Sixteen year old Gwen is just like every other teenager. That is, until her best friend Lana goes missing along with 300,000 other people around the world in the middle of the night. Initially, no one has any idea what is going on. Some wonder about alien abduction. Then, several days later, they figure out the missing link. Most of the missing people were members of the True Believers Temple, a cultists like religion. Now it seems as if the rapture has happened. Many are touting the book of Revelations and it's Doomsday prophecies that include wars, famine, locusts, plagues and natural disasters. TV Evangelist are urging people to change their ways before it's too late. People are listening, including Gwen's father and other friend Mindy who have become obsessed with the teachings of Christianity. Still other's, like Gwen's mom, who is a scientist, and Isaiah her crush, find the rapture hard to believe. Gwen herself, doesn't know what to believe. Just when Gwen starts to believe that the rapture may in fact be real, she receives an email from someone claiming to be Lana. She claims that she was forced into hiding in an underground bunker along with all the others. Despite no one but Isaiah believing Gwen, Gwen is certain it's really Lana, and will stop at nothing to find her and to prove it. Holy hell! It's not very often that a story surprises me, but this one did. So hats off to Kristy Cooper for this utterly amazing tale! This had everything I look for in a finely crafted book including, a well thought out storyline, mystery, suspense, world building, great characterization, etc. The story starts out on the day of the rapture with Gwen waking up to finding out her best friend Lana is missing. From the moment I opened the book, I became engrossed within its pages and was spellbound until the final scene. From the start, the storyline is well thought out, well paced, and contains spectacularly unforseen twists and turns. While religious over and under tones throughout, at no times, does the book come off as preachy in any way which I truly appreciated. What it did do was make you think. Not only is this a story that will leave you guessing all the way until the end, but it is one that will leave its mark upon you long after you close the final page. Overall, a must read for any young adult, and not so young adult!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Knives Boone

    MEDIUM: eBook MY RATING: 3.5/5 I wasn’t sure if I would like this, but after I finished it, I contacted the author about when the sequel will be coming out. One morning, society awakens to find a small portion of people have apparently vanished in the night – approximately 300,000 people across the globe. Upon investigation, it’s learned that there are no signs of struggle, beds are left as though having just been slept in, personal effects such as purses, cell phones, and vehicles are all left behi MEDIUM: eBook MY RATING: 3.5/5 I wasn’t sure if I would like this, but after I finished it, I contacted the author about when the sequel will be coming out. One morning, society awakens to find a small portion of people have apparently vanished in the night – approximately 300,000 people across the globe. Upon investigation, it’s learned that there are no signs of struggle, beds are left as though having just been slept in, personal effects such as purses, cell phones, and vehicles are all left behind. After many possibilities are dismissed, it comes to light that every one of the missing people were affiliated with a specific church denomination. Gwen is best friends with one of the departed, and has a very uneasy feeling from the very beginning about the situation. And then she receives an email that changes everything… As stated earlier, in many ways this book is similar to The Leftovers by Tom Perotta, in which a portion of the population vanish, in what appears to be the Biblical rapture where God brings his followers to Heaven, while the rest of the population on Earth endures a period of trials and Tribulation. Perotta’s focus is on how those who remain on Earth cope with life after loved ones, family, and friends have departed. Cooper tends to focus more on the actual event, and the possibility that this “rapture” may have been a hoax. I read this in basically one sitting as it is rather short, and very easy to read. The twists and turns make it difficult to put down, and I’m very anxious to read the sequel, which the author told me would be released this fall. The pacing is quick, the dialogue is sassy, and there is a young female lead who doesn’t rely on some boy to rescue her. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read fiction with a religious slant, but please don’t misunderstand me, this is not Christian fiction. Those readers who like dystopian novels will probably like this as well, because society definitely begins to break down in the aftermath of these “departures”. Also, as it is similar to The Leftovers, if you liked one, you will probably like the other. I suggest reading them both, then comparing and contrasting how each author handles a mass disappearance.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Field

    I'm in two minds about this book. For the majority of it, I loved it. Great premise, great execution, interesting characters, without any overt sign of the author really beating her reader over the head with her own religious beliefs. But then I really disliked the ending. So I'm torn. The spoiler for this book is right there in the synopsis above: Hundreds of thousands of people suddenly take it into their minds to fake the rapture. I love it. The rapture is an interesting topic of discussion f I'm in two minds about this book. For the majority of it, I loved it. Great premise, great execution, interesting characters, without any overt sign of the author really beating her reader over the head with her own religious beliefs. But then I really disliked the ending. So I'm torn. The spoiler for this book is right there in the synopsis above: Hundreds of thousands of people suddenly take it into their minds to fake the rapture. I love it. The rapture is an interesting topic of discussion for me anyway, but this is the first piece of fiction I've read about it. It's a credit to Kristy Cooper's writing that one very quickly forgets that the outcome has already been advised in the outline of this book, which I assume will be true for the companion novella to The Departed, What Happened in Colorado. Gwen is a typical high school student who is too tied to her mobile phone and best friends at school. When her dearest friend Lena doesn't reply to a couple of text messages and isn't at school, Gwen starts to become worried. That's where it starts. Other friends, Isaiah and Mindy, have completely opposing beliefs on what has gone on to lead to so many people missing, but Gwen manages to stay true to a fairly middle ground reasonable opinion in spite of this and also her parents polarising and fighting on the whole topic. The greater world gets split up in the wake of so many peoples' disappearances and religious individuals speaking publicly on the rapture and what people should be doing to get ready for the tribulations to come. It's a fantastic cultural study that is, at the same time, a very character driven novel. Told in first person narrative, this story is sure to get the imagination running long after they've finished the book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    E. Ardell

    I'm going to date myself, but when I was a kid all those Rapture movies came out and we would play jokes on friends who left the room for a second and hide, so when they came back in...it'd be the Rapture. But then again, we played Bloody Mary, Quija, light as a feather, stiff as a board, and put each other into "trances" too. Fun times, but this book really reminds me how times have changed. I swear sometimes it feels like I was a kid in the Stone Age instead of the 90s, because back then, I th I'm going to date myself, but when I was a kid all those Rapture movies came out and we would play jokes on friends who left the room for a second and hide, so when they came back in...it'd be the Rapture. But then again, we played Bloody Mary, Quija, light as a feather, stiff as a board, and put each other into "trances" too. Fun times, but this book really reminds me how times have changed. I swear sometimes it feels like I was a kid in the Stone Age instead of the 90s, because back then, I think a lot of people would have made Rapture jokes or even thought that's what it was when all of those people randomly disappeared and were reported missing all over the world. I love the religious/philosophical debates and the questions the main character, Gwen, had to ask herself as she tries to figure out what's going on while her best friend is presumed dead or taken, her parents are falling apart and her other friend is changing into someone she doesn't know. There are many questions we'd have to ask ourselves in such a situation. In a sea of YA books that all sort of sound the same, who would have thought there would be a book about a fake Rapture. I was enthralled, wanting to know how it could happen. This story was an interesting, thought-provoking adventure. And, as someone who's never too crazy about romance, I think the author does a good job with planting a romantic seed, but letting it flower organically (which means slow...no love at first sight, and no one is described as being "drop dead gorgeous and perfect and I can't believe he's talking to me because I'm so boring and mousy" *bats eyelashes*). I'd recommend this book to other people looking to read outside of the box.

  24. 4 out of 5

    L.N. Denison

    Written in the first person, this story follows Gwen on her quest to find out why close friend, Lana Foster has disappeared. Many theories float round as to why people were disappearing, and 'the rapture' was the main thought of the people, a religious culling, so to speak. Many of the people who had disappeared were highly religious, hence the rumours of 'the rapture'. After about a month, Gwen receives an email from Lana, which blows the rapture theory out of the window completely. Whether or Written in the first person, this story follows Gwen on her quest to find out why close friend, Lana Foster has disappeared. Many theories float round as to why people were disappearing, and 'the rapture' was the main thought of the people, a religious culling, so to speak. Many of the people who had disappeared were highly religious, hence the rumours of 'the rapture'. After about a month, Gwen receives an email from Lana, which blows the rapture theory out of the window completely. Whether or not the email was real, was something she had to figure out. Her friends were torn between the idea of a hacker sending the email or that it was sent by Gwen's lost friend, but with one of her friends trying to convince her otherwise, Gwen was torn with indecision, as to what was real or not real. I won't divulge too much, you know...spoilers and all. This book has very strong religious overtones, continually mentioning the rapture and the tribulations, which are mapped out concisely throughout the story. I love the fact that you are seeing the story from Gwen's point of view. The author has done well to translate her story, and enjoyed following her on her journey to discovering the truth. The departed was fun to read, and I loved the way it has been left open for the next one, it leaves you hanging, in a sense. Bring on the next instalment, I shall definitely be taking a look. *I was given a free copy of this book for an honest review.*

  25. 4 out of 5

    Whoo Gives A Hoot

    * Read more of my reviews at Whoo Gives A Hoot * I generously received an ARC from YABound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review... The Departed by Kristy Cooper is the first book in the newest anticipated Dystopia series. This book was a relatively quick and enjoyable read, taking me only about two and a half hours to read. Like any other Dystopia novel, it was a realistic look into what could happen in the future. One morning reports are coming in all around the world, claiming that th * Read more of my reviews at Whoo Gives A Hoot * I generously received an ARC from YABound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review... The Departed by Kristy Cooper is the first book in the newest anticipated Dystopia series. This book was a relatively quick and enjoyable read, taking me only about two and a half hours to read. Like any other Dystopia novel, it was a realistic look into what could happen in the future. One morning reports are coming in all around the world, claiming that thousands of people are missing, having disappeared in the middle of the night. There are many speculations on where they could have possibly gone. Gwen soon discovers that her best friend, Lana, is among The Departed. While mourning the loss of her friend, she receives an email that changes everything. Since I don't want to give away too much all I will say is that we experience many twists and turns throughout this book. You'll be kept on your toes until the very end. I recommend this book for readers who love Dystopia novel and are fans of trying something new. Pick up a copy because you won't regret it! :)

  26. 4 out of 5

    A whole new girl

    Very thoughtful debut novel! I received a free copy for an honest review and I really enjoyed it! Kristy Cooper creates a believable vision of what "The Rapture" *could* look like. Ms. Cooper takes on a potentially inflammatory and controversial topic. "The Rapture" is a subject of intense disagreement between Christians, non-Christians, and between different Christian groups as well. Ms. Cooper manages to write characters who come from very different viewpoints in a way that is nonjudgemental a Very thoughtful debut novel! I received a free copy for an honest review and I really enjoyed it! Kristy Cooper creates a believable vision of what "The Rapture" *could* look like. Ms. Cooper takes on a potentially inflammatory and controversial topic. "The Rapture" is a subject of intense disagreement between Christians, non-Christians, and between different Christian groups as well. Ms. Cooper manages to write characters who come from very different viewpoints in a way that is nonjudgemental and respectful of the characters and by extension the real-world people who hold these diverse viewpoints. This is the beginning of a series and I am looking forward Book 2! *I plan to post a more detailed review in later days but for now I just wanted to blow the trumpet and say "Behold! It's a good one!"

  27. 5 out of 5

    John Autero

    Kristy Cooper’s novel, ‘The Departed’ is the first book of a multi-book series. As with any first book in a series, its job is to draw you into the story and hook you, and I can tell you it did just that. The story revolves around the disappearance of a large group of people from across the world. Speculation runs rampant as the people who were ‘left behind’ try to figure out what happened and where the missing went to. I don’t want to explain too much of the story as not to give away any of the Kristy Cooper’s novel, ‘The Departed’ is the first book of a multi-book series. As with any first book in a series, its job is to draw you into the story and hook you, and I can tell you it did just that. The story revolves around the disappearance of a large group of people from across the world. Speculation runs rampant as the people who were ‘left behind’ try to figure out what happened and where the missing went to. I don’t want to explain too much of the story as not to give away any of the plot twists, but I can honestly say, I must have said “Wow! I didn’t see that one coming” about ten times. Ms. Cooper is an excellent author and her writing flows very well. From the first page, I felt that I was in tune with her story telling and wanted to read more. Her follow up book entitled ‘The Sainted’ is due out in late 2016 and I look forward to enjoying it as well.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wilde Sky

    When thousands of people ‘just disappear’ a number of wild theories are put forward but soon a ‘religious prophecy’ starts to become accepted as the cause. I found this a quick and easy read. The controversy and possible explanations for the missing people were well handled and the way alternative ideas were discussed / reviewed by pundits was believable. How certain individuals manipulated the ‘departures’ to support and promote their own causes was a bit scary – as it was very credible. The were When thousands of people ‘just disappear’ a number of wild theories are put forward but soon a ‘religious prophecy’ starts to become accepted as the cause. I found this a quick and easy read. The controversy and possible explanations for the missing people were well handled and the way alternative ideas were discussed / reviewed by pundits was believable. How certain individuals manipulated the ‘departures’ to support and promote their own causes was a bit scary – as it was very credible. The were a few small plot holes, some of the story line was a bit too convenient and in places the writing could have been tighter but it kept my interest from beginning to end. Overall an entertaining read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gary Smith

    The intriguing concept behind this novel - what would happen if it appeared that the rapture had come - is well developed and is particularly successful due to the strong characterisation within, as we see the impact on Gwen and all the people in her life. It's rare for me to read a novel in one sitting but I could not put this book down, desperate to find out more and follow Gwen on her quest for answers. The ending of the novel leaves the protagonists in a fraught situation that leaves me eage The intriguing concept behind this novel - what would happen if it appeared that the rapture had come - is well developed and is particularly successful due to the strong characterisation within, as we see the impact on Gwen and all the people in her life. It's rare for me to read a novel in one sitting but I could not put this book down, desperate to find out more and follow Gwen on her quest for answers. The ending of the novel leaves the protagonists in a fraught situation that leaves me eagerly awaiting the next novel in the series, and I will definitely be looking out for other books from this author.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ellie Crowe

    An unusual and entertaining concept: people are disappearing, including the heroine's best friend, and no one knows where to. The plot was quite convincing, I could fully imagine it happening in real life. The heroine and her friends are appealing characters as they try to work out where their friend and thousands of other people have disappeared to. Soon I wondered too. The whole saga seemed very realistic. I enjoyed this well written YA book, the first in a series. I received an ARC in return An unusual and entertaining concept: people are disappearing, including the heroine's best friend, and no one knows where to. The plot was quite convincing, I could fully imagine it happening in real life. The heroine and her friends are appealing characters as they try to work out where their friend and thousands of other people have disappeared to. Soon I wondered too. The whole saga seemed very realistic. I enjoyed this well written YA book, the first in a series. I received an ARC in return for an honest review.

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