What Lies Within
“You’re going to die” A single text message and Shelley Marano’s world is upended. A normal high school senior, Shelley discovers she is adopted. She goes on a journey to uncover her past, only to find she was part of a horrific experiment to test the theory of nature versus nurture. In a culture of violence committed by young people, she may be one of these killers. With the lives of her and her friends in the balance, one thing is certain: she will never be the same.
Jim Morris is a former television writer – with credits including “Smallville” and “Crossing Jordan.” Recently his young adult thriller WHAT LIES WITHIN was part of Amazon’s new crowd-sourcing imprint, Kindle Press. After a 30-day campaign, it was selected to be published and I can understand why. This narrative starts with a fantastic emotional hook; Morris has created the most threatening vision of evil I have come across in a long while, there is something about the image of a lone motorbike rider, full face helmet, no hint of the person underneath visible, following your car, that cranks up the goose bumps and fear factor a notch or two. Morris has created a great villain but he is by no means the vilest in the book, evil can present a face of “normal” and that person is far more dangerous and scarier (no spoilers here) than the menacing bike rider.
After this first incident we are dropped almost casually into the almost mundane world of teenager Shelley Marano – stellar student, helps her dad in his business after school hours, loner and seemingly “ordinary” in most ways. Suddenly Shelley’s world is turned upside down when teenage angst meets identity crisis and a stranger with a bewildering message. I didn’t even notice the pages I was rapidly turning – the action had me engaged and the new themes regarding the development of personality and character, nature versus nurture, had me mesmerised. Morris writes a great visual tale, at times the pace is blistering and before I knew it the last page was read. I was disappointed, just a little, at how quickly the threads of this narrative were drawn together and neatly tied off. Overall a really engaging action packed story that asks many many questions…
James Morris – I would really like to see this story animated. What do you think? I think it would work and the YA /adult audience would love this emerging hero that is Shelley Marano.