Jake Lukin is your average teenager, except that he’s being followed by government agents. When Jake holds a personal object, like a pet rock or a ring, he has the ability to “tunnel” into the owner. He can sense where they are, like a human GPS, and can see, hear, and feel what they do. It’s an ability the government would do anything to possess. Forced to lie to his friends and family, and then to choose whether to give up everything for their safety, Jake hopes the good he’s doing—finding kidnap victims and hostages, and tracking down terrorists—is worth it. But he starts to suspect the good guys may not be so good after all. Jake has to try to escape both good guys and bad guys and find a way to live his own life instead of tunneling through others.
Warning: This book contains light profanity and this book review contains spoilers.
For a while I have been reading a lot of romantic contemporaries, so this book was like a breath of fresh air. Every single word was gripping and very action packed. As I kept reading the book, I had to remind myself to not trust anyone, which proved to be a challenge. I am the type of reader who wants to connect with each of the characters, thus getting quite attached. But trust me, this book will definitely make your head spin. Once you think you can trust someone, they do something in the next chapter that makes you hesitant. You never know who is being honest or who is only working with Jake just for their own personal gain. Since Jake possesses this amazing talent of tunneling, it clearly comes at a price.
He easily becomes a hot commodity to not only the government, but to some sneaky dealers as well. There is a ton of grey area between deciding whose side to go on, and you really get to feel the anxiety, sadness, and overall insanity that Jake slowly gets to in the book. Jake reaches a lot of low points and the way the book expresses what he’s feeling and thinking really drew me to him even more.
Moreover, you get to see how Jake struggles to maintain a normal lifestyle; but what is normal when you possess such a special talent? His lifestyle makes it hard for him to remain sane in front of his family as well as attracting the attention of Rachel, who is his love interest. You also get to see how much he loves his family, especially his sister, which melted my heart. As one who has a brother, this relationship really hit close to home.
I completely and utterly adored the relationship between Jake and Myka. From beginning to end, you see their relationship remain strong. In the end, after the drama, captivity, and lies, they finally get to be reunited. He kept a close eye on her by tunneling to her and reminding her that he was okay. So after the government faked his death and Jake found out about what was really going on, he knew he had to be with his family again. Myka and Jake were not going to stop at anything until they finally got to be together. They had heart, determination, and truly stuck together like ‘glue.’ The bond between them was unlike any other as they could always sense when the other was in danger. Their relationship was one of my favorites to follow as I read the book.
As for the ending, I was happy that Jake escaped. If he was able to rid himself of tunneling completely we may never know, but at least it is safe to say that he is not held captive anymore. Also, his family is reunited more or less. How you feel about what happened to his father and how he ended up is another post on its own.
Overall, I could not put the book down. Tunnel Vision is a well thought out book that is properly executed. The power of tunneling brings the drama to a whole new level. I was on the edge of my seat until the very end and really felt bad for Jake and all he went through. The story development is great and there are twists and turns throughout the whole book. For anyone looking for a gripping adventure, you should definitely pick up this book. It was quite different than what I usually pick up but that is probably what I enjoyed the most. It was refreshing and a lot of the times, I forgot that I was reading a young adult book.
This blog tour was held by St. Martin’s Press.
We also had the lovely opportunity to chat with Susan Adrian and get more of her insights on this thrilling story and how it came about.
1. What inspired you to name the chapters after songs? What do you want readers to take away from the song titles as they read the book?
I think of the songs as a soundtrack. The story was always very visual to me, so I thought of it like a movie or a TV show—each song is linked to the chapter, and provides a meaningful background that you could either listen to as you read or listen to all together. The songs are sometimes linked just by the title, but most of the time the lyrics or music hook into the mood or action of the chapter. I posted the TUNNEL VISION soundtrack to Spotify, here, so you can listen along:
The book is an awesome action packed thriller. What authors and stories inspired you as you wrote the book?
The initial inspiration was actually a spy TV show I’m a huge fan of, called CHUCK. I loved the idea of a nerd with a superpower, interacting with the government. Of course Jake is a totally different character, has always had his power, and his interactions don’t go the same way at all… but the inspiration was there, enough that the last line in the acknowledgments is to Chuck. But I love action movies and thrillers, so a lot of those made their way in too.
3. How did the power of tunneling come about? What inspired you to have Jake possess this unique ability?
You are the first one to ask that! Interesting story: I actually knew a boy in high school who claimed he had an ability like that, and I spun it off from there. You never know where inspiration will come from.
4. Can you explain the process of how you wrote the book? Did the characters come about before the plot? Or vice versa.
It was a strange process. I actually had quit writing—or tried to quit—out of sheer frustration after 10 years of writing and trying to get published. But this story in my head wouldn’t leave me alone, so I told it to myself night after night, until it got so captivating it was keeping me up, and I had to write it down. It definitely was situation first, but Jake followed not long after. His character really fully developed once I finally gave in and started drafting the story. I gave him the last name of Lukin—a Russian version of “onion”—because he just kept revealing new layers to me as I wrote.
5. If one song can collectively capture the feel of the book, what would it be?
It’s so hard to pick just one, with forty-two songs on the soundtrack! If I really had to, I think I’d go with Little Truth by The Delta Routine. All Jake wants, for most of the book, is a little bit of truth—but most of his life is full of lies.
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (January 20, 2015)
Length: 320 pages
Source: ARC from publisher
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/ Action & Adventure