Beyond Reach is the second book in a series by Melody Carlson, but it reads like a stand-alone novel. From the first page, the author pulls the reader into a dramatic scene. Samantha is in an airport and her vision involves terrorists—that's when the reader finds out more about Samantha's special gift. The burden seems to be too much at times, and Samantha complains to God about this. Then she stops having visions and she's worried God has taken away her gift.
There are two core components of the rest of the story. Samantha is trying to determine what happened to Peter, who died five years earlier from a gunshot wound to the head. And then there are the strange visions of suicide attempts that plague her.
Without giving the story away, I'll say that Carlson really knows how to pull readers along. Sometimes you think you know who the person in danger is, but then she twists things or puts a spin on the direction you think the story is going. I figured out who was in danger before he was revealed, but that didn't bother me because it made me even more invested in the story. Because I cared about the characters, I wanted to make sure the person was safe, and I sat at the edge of my seat as things became clearer to Samantha.
Beyond Reach is a multi-faceted novel of intrigue, suspense, and mystery, but it is also a story about the value of true friendship and unconditional love. The heroine genuinely cares about the hurting people in this story, and it clearly makes a difference in their lives. She sets aside her own fears and concerns for the benefit of others. That is what true Christian faith is all about, and Carlson does a fabulous job showing that Christ-like love can literally save someone from total destruction.
This story inspired me because the characters were very three dimensional and interesting. There was nothing sappy about this book. In fact, Beyond Reach is superior to many YA novels on the market because while the subject matter is depressing, in this story there are vivid scenes that offer hope. In addition, Samantha is such a wonderful role model for youth. I highly recommend this book! – Michelle Sutton, Christian Book Previews.com
Meet Samantha McGregor
She seems like your average teen, but Samantha is unusually gifted. God gives her visions and dreams that offer unconventional glimpses into other people’s lives and problems. It’s a powerful gift with a lot of responsibility…
Garrett Pierson is one of those quiet, academic types. Some kids call him a nerd. When Samantha, his chemistry lab partner, tries to draw him out, he shuts her down and requests a new partner. One day when Samantha prays for him, she experiences a vision where he’s teetering on a railroad bridge—and then falling backwards, just beyond reach! What does the vision mean, and…where is Garrett, anyway?