I just had the distinct pleasure of finishing the first book in the Litmus Series, Losing Nuka, by Kayla Howarth. Personally, I think you should drop everything and read this book. Maybe call in sick tomorrow, download it to your e-reader and find a quiet place to sit and read. Overall, it was a great adventure!
What I Loved
I believe that if you want to write a great book, you need to really write great characters. Ms. Howarth has done that masterfully in this book. I really fell in love with the central character, Nuka. It made me genuinely care for her. However, it really doesn’t stop there. She also made me fall in love with her sister, Sasha, and her body guard, turned boyfriend, Brett. There are other characters in the story, but these are the ones I really fell in love with. When something happens to one of them, your heart races in agony because you hate to see anything happen to them. It’s genuinely good writing.
I love it when the writing style is clean. Kayla Howarth writes in an easy to understand, easy to follow, way. I never had to backtrack to find out what she was talking about and that is the mark of a truly great author. It’s logical and chronological. When there is a flashback of any type, she makes sure to tell the story through one of the characters. It really makes them come alive on the page. More importantly, it makes them seem real and that can be a challenge for even the most experienced authors.
Ms. Howarth also does a terrific job building a world for her characters to live in. While they are still the main focus, it didn’t seem necessary forced on them. The way they interacted with their environment seemed natural. Another plus is that the story does not over indulge on details where they are not necessary. She allows the characters to carry the story, not the world around them.
This story is really about a young woman and her fight for what’s right. Don’t let the fact that the story line is hung, at least partially, on her participation in an underground fight club, called Litmus, be a barrier to reading her book. Sports stories always come across as jargon-filled to me, but Ms. Howarth did an excellent job avoiding that trap. Even those who really don’t care for sports centered stories will enjoy this. The characters carry the story and not the world they function in.
Overall, I gave this a solid five stars because I thoroughly enjoyed it. It grabbed me by the nose and pulled me along through the story at a good pace. The story was well written, perfectly edited, and it made me pine for more. Kudos to Kayla Howarth.