Gravel Ghost (Valley of Death #1)

Young Adult

THRILLER:  Payton Morros was raised to be a killer, and she’s very good at it. However, she isn’t comfortable with who she’s been trained to be, and yearns to be a normal teenager. Her relationship with Conner is the only escape she has and it must remain a secret. However, when she is sent on an assignment and runs into him, she’s caught in her lies and must decide what she really wants to do and who she really is.

A contemporary YA, “Gravel Ghost” is the first in the series and it shows. A great deal of great world building occurs but with few answers as to who Payton really works for and what happened to her real parents. The relationship between Payton and Conner is also quick to start. However, the fast pace of the action and diverse setting allow for interesting developments for the next book. The odd relationships within Payton’s adoptive family spark most of the conflict in the story and drive the plot in a good way. In particular Payton’s adoptive father is a driving presence in a genre that usually excludes parents. This is a romantic action with a lot of good action, and plenty of story left to be read in the future.

Sarah E. Bradley