Review: Last Breath, a novel by Brandilyn Collins and Amberly Collins

Last Breath, by Brandilyn Collins and Amberly Collins

Last Breath, by Brandilyn Collins and Amberly Collins (Zondervan, 2009)

Last Breath picks up where Always Watching, book one in the Rayne Tour series, leaves off, and it’s been a long wait to find out what happens.

Shaley O’Connor is the sixteen-year-old daughter of rock star Rayne O’Connor. Book one took her through paparazzi harassment and even worse: the deaths of some key members of Rayne’s concert tour team. Shaley herself was in danger, and the villain’s dying words warned her the problems were far from over.

Then we had to wait for the next book to release!

Living the rock star life has stresses of its own, but Shaley’s biggest issue (apart from the danger she met in book one) is that she never knew her father, and her mother won’t even tell her his name. Mother and daughter have a good relationship, but Shaley needs to know.

When Rayne is hospitalized, Shaley won’t leave her side. Rayne overhears Shaley talking about the words the killer whispered with his last breath, and knows danger still haunts them.

Partly to distract Shaley while the police search for threats, Rayne decides to tell her daughter the truth about her father. This love story from the past alternates with scenes from the present as we watch suspicious characters plotting to reach Rayne and Shaley.

Last Breath is a young adult novel that adults will enjoy too. Grandmothers, mothers and daughters are all reading this series. I preferred Last Breath to Always Watching simply because there were no teen-girls-at-the-mall scenes (in my 40’s I don’t relate well, but I really liked both books).

This novel is both suspense and love story—and a bewildered teen trying to protect her mother, stay safe, and figure out life. I had the rare chance to read the entire novel in one sitting, and I’m glad—it would have been really hard to put down.

It ends with more closure than the first book, but I still want to read the last instalment: Final Touch comes out in May 2010. I have a feeling Cat, the malicious photographer, will find a way back into Shaley’s life.

You can read the first chapter of Last Breath here, but don’t read it unless you’ve already read Always Watching. The series is worth reading in order, with no spoilers. Also, check out an interesting podcast interview with the mother-daughter writing team at the Fiction Addict blog.

Thank you to Lena Nelson Dooley for offering Last Breath on her blog, A Christian Writer’s World. I won my copy there!

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