The Naturals Series
Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Trauma induced talents. That is at the core of this series.
The Naturals series, (aptly named btw) takes a deep look at what happens if your trauma, instead of debilitating you, grants you a creepy but very useful super power.
These books are for the people who binge True Crime stories, and who love unraveling what is going on in a killer’s head. If that is your jam, this series is a must read for you.
Our main character Cassie, has had the worst thing possible happen to her. Her mother, the only parent she really knew, disappeared one night and her case remains an unsolved murder that she understandably cannot let go.
Cassie, though, through her mother’s training and the trauma of that night, has developed an uncanny ability. She can observe and predict people’s behavior. She makes a game out of it, but as with all people who have special skills, someone eventually observes them. For her, it is a Special Agent, from the FBI, running a barely legal program. This program is filled with teenagers on the cusp of being adults, who also have very special gifts, which were all trauma induced. Their job is to solve cold cases. Murders specifically.
A lure Cassie cannot resist. After all, she has an unsolved murder she needs to solve herself. Interesting right? Nope. It is not.
What it is, is… mind bending and freaking addictive!
I know I just laid out the premise, and it seems, well, that might be a good read. But good is deceptive. Because it is not simply good. It messes you up. Especially since every so often you remember or are reminded that these are still children, and the situations, persons, and circumstances they are dealing with, most adults would run from!
Clearly they start off with cold cases, but by the middle of the first book, they are smack dab in a very hot case with a deranged killer. What also builds the tension book after book is the fact that everything you read is interconnected and line by line is dragging you into a conspiracy of murderous mayhem that I cannot give more details about because I will spoil it for you.
The series is dark, heartbreaking, and honestly, irresistible.
To be balanced, I have to say it is not all gory murder all the time. There is a beautifully written found family aspect as you go from book to book, alongside a hard fought for romance. Actually, more than one!
I must also say wrapped up in the thrills and murder are these softer, well told parts that really make you tear up and want to hug some of the characters.
It tormented me, and I loved it. The writing flows, and the twists pull your emotions, even as your freaked out factor climbs exponentially. This is not a series for the fainthearted or easily scared.
It will keep you from sleeping comfortably until the very end.
However, if you need and crave crime-thrilling documentaries to rock you to sleep at night, pick this entire series up. Do not just get one and say I will just try this and see…you will regret it. At least pick up the first two and time it so that you can get the other two before you finish book two. Because not knowing what happens next will drive you batty, almost as batty as some of the villains this book introduces us to.
Lol…enjoy The Naturals and tell me what part made you scream the most when you do.