The Girl Who Could See, by Kara Swanson

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About the Book

Book title: The Girl Who Could SeeThe Girl Who Could See, by Kara Swanson

Author: Kara Swanson

Release date: June 1, 2017

Genre: Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy/Young Adult

All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality — but what if she is the only one who can truly see?

Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that’s what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now 19 and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear normal, she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness — a blond warrior only she can see.

Tristan was Fern’s childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls.

As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man is not a hallucination after all — and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.

My Review

The newest offering by independent author Kara Swanson, The Girl Who Could See, is a fast-paced and intriguing work of speculative fiction.

Swanson does an awesome job of continually ratcheting up tension throughout the 200-page novella and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout.

I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the world presented in this novella, and the characters who inhabit it.

Fern was an interesting character who battles with whether or not she can trust in herself, which is not a theme that you see very often in fiction.

I simply loved reading about the relationships she has with her niece and her “imaginary” friend Tristan.

I also enjoyed watching the relationship she was able to build with FBI Agent Barstow grow through the course of the story.

Swanson does an excellent job of creating vivid descriptions and really makes you feel like you are there with the characters.

I would have like more from the story, though, especially about the way the world works in connection with the more speculative/science fiction elements of the story.

There were some tough topics touched on in this story, e.g. abuse (both substance and physical) and trafficking, but it does not go into detail regarding them.

Overall, I would highly recommend this clean read to fans of this kind of sci-fi, but they should be aware that since it is a novella, there is not a plethora of details regarding some of the science behind what is happening.

About the Author

Kara Swanson

As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent 16 years of her young life in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped suddenly into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the speculative genre and soon was penning stories herself.

At 17, she independently published her debut fantasy novel, Pearl of Merlydia. Her short story is included in Kathy Ide’s 21 Days of Joy: Stories That Celebrate Mom. She has published many articles, including one in Encounter magazine, and she received the Mount Hermon Most Promising Teen Writer Award in 2015.

Guest Post from Kara Swanson

Did you have an imaginary friend growing up? I did. And I think most of us probably understood what it was like to use our childhood imaginations to create friends and take us places.

The Girl Who Could See follows Fern Johnson, a young woman whose imaginary friend, Tristan, first appeared in her life when she was 8 years old — and has never left.

Now 19, Fern still sees Tristan, only he is no longer her friend. Now he is her curse. The source of her insanity. The reason Fern cannot keep a job and has been passed from one psychologist to another. The reason she is one step away from a psych ward.

However, Tristan disagrees. He says that he’s not a figment of Fern’s imagination and is determined to prove it. But if his existence is real, it has dangerous implications not only for Fern, but for her world. Because the creature that decimated Tristan’s planet is coming for Earth — and only the girl everyone says is crazy can stop it.

I wrote the novella as a way to explore the idea of what would happen if someone had an imaginary friend who never left. What would the psychological and daily implications be? And what if that imaginary friend wasn’t imaginary? The story that grew from those sparks of ideas became an adventure that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I did. ?

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To celebrate her tour, Kara Swanson is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!