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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
How far can a man be driven by fear? This seems to be one of the central questions driving the plot in this fascinating blend of fantasy and psychological novel by Caleb Monroe. Breaking Free deals with fear in its intoxicating, nauseating form. As a young person, Jacob witnessed the murder of his parents, a murder that was shocking and orchestrated by a monster. Many years after that, he is still haunted by the experience, suffering from repeated nightmares and bad premonitions. He’s shut himself away and lives as a recluse in utter fear, but how long can he continue to live this way? Read to discover how he found the reason to fight and what happens when one faces the very thing one fears.
This is a book written with simplicity, the prose flowing with rare fluidity. Caleb Monroe masterfully sprinkles excellent passages that are both rich with psychological intuition and insight with interesting dialogues throughout the book. Readers will find the exchanges between Jacob and Cecilia very entertaining and revealing. I enjoyed the presence of the creature the protagonist calls the Shadow in the story, and how it slowly draws Jacob out of his shell. I have never read a book as engrossing as this one; there is a disturbing darkness that runs through the lines of the story, dark images that justify the extreme fright of the protagonist. The story is told from the point of view of the protagonist, in the first person narrative, and the voice comes out powerfully and convincingly. Breaking Free is a story about fear and freedom, a story that readers will easily relate to. As the reader watches the protagonist driven to the edge of madness, they can feel waves of conflicting emotions surging within them. This book captures the reader’s attention and doesn’t let go for a single moment.