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A Human Element by Donna Galanti
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A Human Element (edition 2012)

by Donna Galanti

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155647,891 (3.94)None
Member:KMT01
Title:A Human Element
Authors:Donna Galanti
Info:Echelon Press Publishing (2012), Paperback, 310 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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A Human Element by Donna Galanti

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At first I really enjoyed A HUMAN ELEMENT. It was mysterious, a bit spooky and I thought the concept was unique. All those elements continued throughout the book, but it lost me about halfway through when it didn't pick up speed. I slowly started to lose interest in the story all together and had to force myself to finish it with the slow pace. I did like the characters and the overall storyline was interesting. There is a book 2 coming A HIDDEN ELEMENT, but I'm just not invested enough in the story to want to continue it.

* This book was provided free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  STACYatUFI | Sep 5, 2014 |
I received my copy of A Human Element from Library Thing to read and review. A good mix of sci-fi, mystery and romance, this book grabbed and kept my interest from the get go. Ben is a young boy running away from home when a meteorite crashes in the resort area where he and his family are staying, destroying most everything and killing his parents. Laura, who was born about the same time as this event, also is from this area, though she is raised by adoptive parents in the nearby rural area. We follow these two through their lives, filled with ups and downs as well as some strange events until they meet up and are smitten at once. How this all turns out is fascinating. In the plot, there is a good mix of everything, from their romance to friendship to a mysterious government cover up to a fight between good and evil. Just what the evil and good are presents a fascinating tale. How it all turns out is even better. In many ways this book tells the story of something that could never happen, and in many ways it tells the story of is something that is very possible. The descriptions of the meteorite event as well as of those events that occur in Laura and Ben’s lives, whether together or apart are well presented and entice the reader to keep reading. The characters other than the two main ones lend as much to the story and plot as the two main characters do. I hope there are other books by the author as well done as this one is. As an avid reader, I am always on the lookout for like to find new authors to read and enjoy, and this author is one I will definitely keep in mind. ( )
  KMT01 | Nov 3, 2012 |
In A Human Element, Donna Galanti has created a thriller with a huge, aching heart. Her main characters, Ben and Laura are conjured in delicious detail, as are their personal trials.

Laura longs to know who her birth parents are, who the hulking man with green eyes is, and why he follows her through the years. She's also tortured by the mystery of why people closest to her are dying gruesome deaths. She fears she is jinxed, or worse, next in the line of victims.

Ben, who's had quite a traumatic childhood and teenhood, enlists in the Navy and is stationed in Hawaii. He can't figure out why he finds it impossible to commit to one woman, as his friends do. He also suffers from feeling responsible for the murder of his abusive stepfather.

Laura and Ben's lives begin to merge through the appearance of the strange man with green eyes in Ben's life, at a crucial, terrifying moment. I can't say more about the plot without spouting forth spoilers.
But I will say, that arguably my favorite character is Galanti's villain X-10, almost tenderly portrayed as both a pathetic, lonely misfit, yet also as a bloodthirsty monstrosity who kills with glee, and whose powers of murder are strong enough to kill from a distance.

Galanti's rich and provocative thriller asks big questions. What makes us human, what makes us monstrous? Is there a love that can transcend the physical and emotional, to the supernatural? What activity exists far beyond the confines of earth, and what would we do if confronted with it? I'm happy to report that Galanti's response to this is much deeper than the knee-jerk Hollywood alien takeovers, or even the cutesy ET tropes. Galanti has given us an impressive debut. With her blending of romance, the coming of age quest, and the supernatural, she is a writer to watch, who will surely expand the diameters of the thriller genre. ( )
  CatherineStine | Oct 15, 2012 |
In the summer of 1979, in the Catskills Mountains of New York, a meteorite crashed into a lakeside community of cabins and forever changed the life of nine-year-old Ben Fieldstone. In May of 1980, a runaway girl gives birth to twins: a deformed boy, who was given to a mysterious man in black with bright green eyes; and a normal girl, who is adopted to a childless farm couple, and is named Laura Armstrong. But Laura isn't your average normal little girl, she has special powers: she can read people's thoughts and heal people through utilizing visualization and the touch of her hands. Through the years, both Ben and Laura are watched over by the mysterious man in black with the bright green eyes ... who is he, and what does he want from them? Ben and Laura's lives unknowingly intertwine and eventually they meet, but with a killer on the prowl, named X-10, who makes Laura his top prey, Laura must decide how to use her powers when she comes face-to-face with the killer. Can their relationship survive or will their destiny have an untimely and fatal end?

A Human Element is a fast-paced paranormal suspense thriller that will keep you engrossed as you turn the pages. The storyline is well written and full of intriguing and suspenseful twists and turns; the author masterfully interweaves a plot with paranormal, sci-fi, murder mystery and romance themes. The characters are realistic, their complex individual personalities and stories add a powerful and compelling depth to the story. I found both Laura's and Ben's stories intriguing, the author does a great job of intertwining their lives and developing their relationship. The settings are cleverly described, the author utilizes such beautiful settings as the Catskill Mountains and Hawaii, mixed with sci-fi / paranormal happenings that I found fascinating.

I generally do not read paranormal, sci-fi, or fantasy novels, but A Human Element peaked my interest with the interweaving of the paranormal - suspense thriller - romance themes, and I found myself pulled into Laura and Ben's story, I couldn't help but want to go on their journey with them.

A Human Element is a story that will immediately grab your attention, and it won't let go until the very end! It is a story that will have the reader pondering about supernatural powers and the evil forces of humanity, this suspenseful tale will stay with you long after you have read the last word. Bravo to the author on her debut novel, I look forward to reading more of her novels.

Disclaimer: Upon the request of the author, a PDF version of the book was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest review and participation in the virtual book tour event.

Virtual Book Tour Event: On Monday, April 9, 2012, author Donna Galanti participated in a virtual book tour event with an Author Guest Post and Book Contest Giveaway on Jersey Girl Book Reviews.
http://jerseygirlbookreviews.blogspot.com/2012/04/author-guest-post-donna-galant...

http://jerseygirlbookreviews.blogspot.com/2012/04/human-element-by-donna-galanti... ( )
  JerseyGirlBookReview | Apr 9, 2012 |
Here's a page-turner filled with fascinating twists and turns!

Galanti’s debut novel features Laura Armstrong, an endearing heroine with a mysterious past, a big heart and a future filled with dread and peril. The last third of the novel is a race to the finish, and I was glued to the pages, hoping the characters I’d grown to love would finally find the peace they deserved.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Galanti’s debut is a thrilling ride full of believable characters, a terrifying villain, an epic battle for survival, and a love worth killing for. Highly recommended! ( )
  marielamba | Mar 18, 2012 |
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First words
Ben Fieldstone jumped over the rotted log at the edge of Coopersville Lake. A short lifetime of summers told him it was there.
Quotations
We all have something redeemable in us, no matter how small. - Laura Armstrong
Someday you might not thank me. Someday you may not survive. - The Man in Black
I saved my mother's life once and my friend, Mr. B, but I couldn't save my other friends. They died in horrible ways all because of me. - Laura Armstrong
I never made love, only hate. Hate for myself mostly. - Ben Fieldstone
What if you discover me, the real me. Things I've done, things that have happened to me and decide you don't want me? Will you help me remember love then? - Ben Fieldstone
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One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next.

Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite–her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a mad man, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together. But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his and she has two choices–redeem him or kill him.
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