Good books have the power to make you ignore your to-do list and forget about your bedtime. Fantastic books do all of that but also make you think about them constantly so that normal interactions or sleep become a thing of the past. The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni is a fantastic book.
For one thing, Kiva is such a sympathetic character. After all, she arrives at Zalindov at the age of seven and is still alive and mostly thriving after ten years, in a place where the life expectancy is not nearly that long. The fact that Kiva is in prison as a child immediately piques your interest because you automatically wonder what is happening in a society where they allow children imprisonment. Soon, her fierce desire to remain alive, her empathy, and the seriously messed-up life in which she lives keep you reading.
While you are reading about Kiva’s desperation to keep one prisoner alive and to find out the unknown source of the mysterious illness, you forget about such things as anticipating what is going to happen. You become so absorbed in watching Kiva fight her feelings for Jaren that you don’t attempt to try to figure out what is going to happen. So, when Ms. Noni starts dropping plot twist bombs, you don’t see them coming, and your shock only adds fuel to your reading fire.
Before you know it, you are racing to the end, desperate to find out how Ms. Noni will resolve certain situations, all the while tempering your expectations because The Prison Healer is the first book in a series. It is way past your bedtime and you know you have to get up in very few hours, but you are going to finish the book no matter what, and then IT happens. Ms. Noni drops the mother of all plot twists on the very last page of the book. It isn’t a cliffhanger, but it is something that shakes your entire understanding of the book to its core. You know your head is going to be swimming with thoughts about the book in light of this new information for the remainder of the night. And you love every excruciating minute of it.
This is The Prison Healer. Ms. Noni knows how to write one hell of a story that is compelling without any plot twists, but wherein the plot twists make it that much better. I cannot wait for others to read this so that I can experience their shock and awe at what Ms. Noni can accomplish. At the very least, it will give me something to do instead of stalking her to find out when the release date of the next book in the series is.