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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
The Builders by Tonya Cannariato is a sci-fi fantasy that focuses on one person's acceptance that she’s worthy to be loved and even save an entire species from extinction. The story opens in Milwaukee, where event planner Tara Shifflet tries to unwind at the bar after a work conference. Her brief encounter with a beautiful stranger named Navenah stirs up her rather routine life, when strange events keep happening to her afterward. When she tries to fly home, the airport is on lock-down after an alien pattern appears on its tarmac. Every time she thinks she’s out of the woods, a peculiar event happens, one after another, delaying and preventing Tara from flying out of the airport and back to her therapy cat, Bear, and the normalcy of her life.
I truly sympathized with the protagonist’s predicament, especially when she has a history of mental issues that managed to creep through the psychological wall that took her years to build. Desperate to get home, Tara finds a way to get a flight through another series of unusual coincidences, with the mysterious Navenah tagging along. The story is highly engaging from the start, and the premise and plot are ingenious and intriguing. Tara’s reluctance to accept her self worth is understandable due to her painful past. Nevertheless, Navenah is a savior to Tara, as much as Tara is a savior to her. On the whole, this is an interesting and substantial read from Cannariato. I hope to see more of her work in this particular theme and genre.