Title: Fate and Fortune
Author: Julia Sherman
Publisher: Julia Sherman
Publication Date: January 27, 2018
Genre(s): Adult, Paranormal, Thriller
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
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June 6, 2014 was a beautiful sunny day until two gunmen, wearing black masks, ran into a local coffee shop in the middle of the day and took people hostage. As the police burst through the door, the two men killed each other but not before they began shooting people one by one. The shooters thought that they were possessed by the Devil, and the Devil was ordering them to carry out his plan.
Two years later, after the news of the shooting became a distant memory for most, four different people from four different walks of life suddenly meet the same lady, who starts to impact their lives in unexpected and mysterious ways. But, just as they set out to discover who she really is, and what it is that she wants from them; they find themselves stuck in a life-and-death struggle as the mystery unfolds, and suddenly nothing seems sure anymore.
TW/CW: PTSD and mass shooting — flashbacks of the shooting are mentioned throughout the story, along with the lasting effect on the MCs. PTSD is not explicitly mentioned, but notions of survivors guilt is a theme in the book and certain actions of the characters mirrors my textbook/superficial knowledge of the disorder.
Fate and Fortune is one of those books that has a strong concept. I love the idea of following different survivors from different walks of life and I thought the mysterious women added an interesting angle. That being said, I’m still mixed about how I feel about how the actually story unfolded.
While following the different characters added to the story, I kind of wish we got more time with them. Between the short length of this book (around 250 pages) and the short passing of time during the story (only a few days), I felt like we didn’t really get to know the characters. Because of this, I had a lot of trouble connecting with the characters. There were times where the author successfully created compelling chapters that had me speeding through, but other chapters felt lack luster.
This was mostly due to the writing style of this book. There were times where the dialogue felt a bit clunky and times where the characters would either talk directly to the reader or have a flashback with little narrative structure. This made the writing feel a bit amateur and disjointed. Despite this, the book was still an incredibly quick read. I was able to finish this entire book in less than 2 hours and overall was able to overlook the writing for the majority of my time reading it. There are also readers that will probably not mind the writing style, but is something I wanted to note.
As for the plot, this book is definitely a slower moving book that focuses more on the characters. This was the best way to tell the story and up the stakes. I kind of wish more time was given to the mental health of the characters. There was mentions of survivor’s guilt and Alex’s claustrophobia, but one of the scenes with a therapist displayed more symptoms more consistent with PTSD and was written off as anxiety (these are different things, though they can be comorbid (or cooccurring) and are usually treated differently) and the character was given breathing techniques and a “this too shall pass” speech. This usually isn’t how this kind of stuff is handled, though most readers will probably overlook this, but as many of you know I come from a psychology background. Psychology aside, I think the actual arch the characters go through was ultimately enjoyable, well mostly.
While I didn’t love the ending, and I did like where it was going. I think the reveal at the end really helped elevate this story, but the last couple pages quickly lessened it for me. Though other readers will of course have different views on this. While this isn’t a spoiler, I think the one thing that really lessened the reveal was the lack of time and weight added to a couple of the scenes and a couple of the characters. I think that some extra length and backstory would have really helped. For me, the quick mentions made me more suspicious and disconnected, which kind of took away the fun from the reveal.
Lastly, while this book certainly has paranormal elements, I really like that this books wasn’t too paranormal. I think the one paranormal entity in a relatively normal setting actually helped make more creepy. This book wasn’t scary (at least not to me), but the idea that a mysterious being is following four characters with some other weird stuff going on in their lives just added a layer to this book that I really enjoyed.
Overall, Fate and Fortune is a fun quick read. While there was some things in the execution that lowered the overall rating and a couple plot points that slightly decreased my enjoyment of this book, it’s still one I’m glad I read. This book is a great palette cleanser, or one to pick up if you’re doing a readathon or just want something different. This is a book many are going to find as a hidden gem or may be talking about for a while.
I think there is definitely a target audience that will love this book, specifically those who are fans of stories will mysterious entities tied to a traumatic event — okay that sounds bad, but I think you guys know what I mean. This book is also great for readers that want something creepy, but not scary or are just missing the Halloween season.
Fate and Fortune will definitely have me questioning the next time things appear to be going a little too well in my life.
⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ – 3.5/5 Stars
*HUGE THANK YOU TO JULIA SHERMAN AND YA BOUND BOOK TOURS FOR PROVIDING ME WITH AN E-ARC OF THIS BOOK. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN*
To visit other stops on the tour, you can view the full schedule here.
Julia was born in Minsk, Belarus. At the age of eleven, she immigrated with her family to the United States. She currently lives in Chicago, IL with her husband, their daughter, Arielle, and son, Benjamin.
She graduated from DePaul University in 2002 with a B.A. in Accounting and Finance. She also has an MBA from DePaul University in Entrepreneurship.