The Six Train to Wisconsin
by Kourtney Heintz
4 out of 5 Stars
The Six Train to Wisconsin is a contemporary fantasy that is mostly true to life except some of the characters have special abilities such as hearing thoughts or being able to enter other people's dreams. The main characters, Oliver and Kai, are a married couple living in New York. The concentrated population is having a detrimental effect on Kai who hears everyone's thoughts and experiences their deaths if they are in close enough proximity. To make the situation worse, Kai works as a social worker helping abused children. All these things combined together sends Kai in a suicide spiral that her husband wants to save her from. Oliver decides to kidnap his wife from the big city and take her to the small town he grew up in so his wife can escape the voices.
Right away when I started reading I liked the voices of the two characters and the way the story is written. I also liked the very artistic, visual way Kai's power is handled throughout the story. Everything came across realistically, until the kidnapping. The kidnapping part is written well, but I don't know if it's a realistic action of a husband. It's more likely he would have worn her down over time until something happened that convinced her to try his idea for a while. The death of the girl would have been a great reason for her to change and follow him to the small town. I'm sure many will disagree and that's OK. The kidnapping parts, as I said, are written well and Oliver is desperate enough and Kai is stubborn enough to make it believable.
The story continued well and kept my interest until the part of the missing child. Here, about 60% in and continuing until close to the end, I felt the story started to drag, too much character thoughts on the situation. Some of it was repetitive and I think it could have been cut or shortened to keep the novel moving forward. Again, some readers will disagree loving all the internal drama. I love it, too, but not when it's the same info. Once is enough for me. Perhaps the author was trying to delay the ending to keep the reader in suspense longer. I didn't have that effect on me. I wanted to skip it to get back to the good stuff.
One thing I'm really happy about, this self-published book has an ending. So many don't and I never read on when the first book doesn't end because I don't trust the author to know how to end a novel if they can't end their first novel. Kudos to the author. The ending is a pretty decent one, too. I think most readers will enjoy it. I guessed it earlier in the story, but that's OK. I don't think it was meant to be a surprise ending to the reader, only the characters.
One point that bothered me that brought the star rating down, the explicit sex descriptions. I don't like erotica, preferring a more Gone With the Wind handling of sex scenes. Detailed descriptions of the act turns me off and makes me cringe, but for those who like it, you'll definitely be satisfied. Someone else complained about the language in the novel. It didn't bother me. The characters are adults and adults cuss. With that said, this book is not for young readers, eighteen and above only.
Would I recommend reading this book? Yes. Despite the slow area and the sex, I did enjoy the story and the characters. The plot is solid and well constructed, the characters are developed and have pasts and issues like normal people, and the novel won't leave you hanging without an ending like so many other self-pubbers.