Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review: Clarity by Kim Harrington

Clarity by Kim Harrington

Series: Clarity (#1)
Pages: 241
Publisher: Scholastic Point
Published: March 1st, 2011
IBSN: 9780545230506

Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift.
And a curse.

When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case - but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother - who has supernatural gifts of his own - becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?

Though the premise of psychics working with the police isn't exactly the most original, I thought Clarity's ability - different to classic future-seeing, mind-reading abilities - could make for an interesting twist on the slightly clichéd trope.

The plot was fairly straight-forward, with a straight-forward problem to solve. I usually don't get into mysteries because the main character solving the crime doesn't have a real investment in the complication, but I was pleased to find that the case held some importance to Clarity beyond just helping the police. 

The equation of that graph* is y=-(x-4)^2+16, x being a member of the set [0, 7].
Not like that's important. That's just me studying for maths (also, showing off a little). Anywho, let's continue with the review:
The writing style was easy to read, with the prose spare and clever. Through it, Clare's personality shone, and though I can't say that I liked her personally, she was a strong character who was constantly doing what she felt was right.

A love triangle felt imminent throughout the book, and will presumably rear its head more in the sequel. However, it didn't feel as though there was any chemistry between either coupling. Especially between Clare and Gabriel: their flirting just felt...unnatural.

Also, the paranormal aspect was played down. I could find myself at times forgetting she had preternatural powers, she used them so little.

I recommend Clarity to any fans of murder mystery novels, but not to anyone looking for a strong paranormal or romantic aspect. Overall, it was an enjoyable read, but it could have gone a little deeper or been more intense in places.

I give Clarity a 3 out of 5.

* You may have seen my original drama vs. time graph in my review of Wildefire. I got surprisingly positive feedback for that, so it'll become a semi-regular thing in my reviews.