“You mean like Elmo?”
“No, real monsters.”
“Honey, there’re no such thing as real monsters. They’re just make believe.”
“There are,” she insisted. Madi leaned in, spoke in hushed tones. “I just saw one.”
Galen Snowden and Cathy Newcomb introduce an unlikely heroine named Madrigal, Madi for short, in their paranormal novel Vision. She’s not a typical woman in her early twenties. She’s shy, doesn’t have a lot of friends, and doesn’t have a family around. She helps run an all-female indie record label with her only friend Cassi. However, Madi doesn’t really like music and she doesn’t listen to the words. You would think that Madi feels all alone. But she isn’t. That’s the problem in Madi’s life. Ever since her childhood, Madi has lived with a special gift: she sees the demons that surround humanity. When Madi sees or interacts with a person, she also sees that person’s demon and hears the demon’s thoughts. Cassi tries to convince Madi that her visions could be a good thing since Madi could potentially stop bad things from happening. Madi never saw this side of her gift and only focuses on the bad. Instead of helping, Madi always runs away to seek solitude. She wants the demons to disappear, but is she prepared if they actually do leave. And the one night when her best friend needed her, Madi ran.
When Cassi has an accident and ends up in a coma, Madi struggles to pull everything together. Her guilt about not being there for Cassi stalks her every day. She decides to keep Cassi’s music dreams alive and tries to take over the reins of their company, Vision. Overwhelmed with it all she hires a temp named Gabe Sheridan. He’s a confident go-getter who starts to turn the company around. Without Madi’s permission he signs a young singer, Haneul Ahn, who is fragile but talented. Before Madi can stop Gabe, he is planning a benefit concert for their newest acquisition, whose mother is a cancer survivor. Haneul has to work day and night to pay off her mother’s medical bills.
Madi feels incompetent around Gabe. He seems like a nice guy, but when the demons stop appearing to Madi she doesn’t know who she can trust. She hated her gift and yet over the years she relied on it to read people. Now she is on her own. To complicate matters she never developed people skills and now she has learn fast to keep Cassi’s dream alive. Madi feels guilty for letting her down on the night of her accident. She does not want to let Cassi down again.
Vision is a curious blend of Christianity and the supernatural. Every time I thought I had things figured out, the authors added a new twist that kept me guessing and wanting more. Madi is a character that most readers will empathize with and who they can relate to on some level. I found myself cheering her on and I wanted her to succeed against the odds.
My one criticism of the novel is the way the authors introduced Madi and the demons. In the first few pages I struggled with the identity of the demons and what role they played in the story. It took me some time to put together that Madi saw the demons of individuals and through them she could get a sense of what a person was really thinking and their motives. Before I figured this out, I felt lost and somewhat frustrated. This tactic may have been planned by the authors to get the reader to feel more for Madi. For me though, it was rough start.
Overall, I give Vision 4 out of 5 stars. Snowden and Newcomb have proven to me that they can craft a story that will hold my attention. I’m curious to see where they go with their talents.