A Human Element

  • by Donna Galanti
  • Narrated by Chase Bradley
  • 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Evil comes in many forms...
One by one, Laura Armstrong's friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next.
Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite in her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents' death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a madman, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together.
But the killer's desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben's emotional relationship and Laura's pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his, and she has two choices-redeem him or kill him.


What the Critics Say

"A Human Element is an elegant and haunting first novel. Unrelenting, devious but full of heart. Highly recommended." (Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author of Code Zero)
"Be afraid. Be very afraid. And be utterly absorbed by this riveting debut that had me reading till the wee hours of the night. A thriller star is born. Don't miss A Human Element." (M.J. Rose, international best-selling author of The Collector of Dying Breaths)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

It was fate

Any additional comments?

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Donna Galanti and Auspicious Apparatus Press. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Laura Armstrong is someone special. She has great healing powers, but that does not prevent her loved ones from being murdered one by one. She has terrible nightmares about somebody who wants to kill her too. Somehow it is all related to a supposed meteorite fallen years ago, when Ben was just a child. Ben is meant to meet Laura to try to fight against this evil.

I rarely judge books by their cover, but in this case its cover was what drew me in. I was not sure what to expect from it, it seemed a paranormal novel, but it was a sci-fi wannabe. The story about the two twins was a good premise, but it failed in its execution.

The characters were just plain and I could not connect to them. Laura was just too perfect, naive and kind to be real, and Ben was broken, and this was a good possibility for good character development, but Galanti just left it as merely drafted. Relationships were forced. I never got Laura's friendship with Jim, and how her parents accepted this without any questions or concerns. And that Ben and Laura's relationship was something meant to be... I am sorry but I cannot let that pass. The word Fate was repeated so many times that I could not help rolling my eyes. It could be because I do not believe in fate, and because I do not see how it fits in a serious sci-fi novel. One of the characters could see the future, and he said that he knew some things were going to happen, but about other things could or could not, depending on people's decisions. This felt ambiguous and it was as if the author was trying to explain something very profound without succeeding at it. Due to these aspects I did not care much for the characters or what happened to them.

At some point I felt I was reading a new version of the Beauty and the Beast, where all things ugly should be bad by popular opinion. And the Beauty is all good, innocence and kindness. It was just too black and white.

There are several explicit sex scenes in the book, that apart from not adding anything to the story, seemed repetitive and unrealistic. A man and a girl, her with little experience, and him with experience just with prostitutes, meet and shortly after have the best sex of their lives climaxing at the same time. Where does this happen? Just in romantic novels, believe me. I like when sex scenes add some value to the book, or they are described in an original way, but none of these two things happen in this book.

Chase Bradley narration was not bad, but also not great. It felt like he was more reading than really interpreting, and all voices sounded the same. His voice is very clear though, and despite feeling the speed a bit slower than average, this is not a real problem since the Audible App allows for speed shift.

It was an okay book but I will not continue the series since I prefer a different kind of science-fiction.

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- Lomeraniel

A human element breaking the inhumane upbringing

What did you love best about A Human Element?

Donna wrote a captivating story that combines a great story and well-painted surrounding. I liked the detailed descriptions of the landscape and well-developed characters. The romance was a little too much for my liking but is most likely endorsed by female readers, as it gives a lot of depth to the characters but does little for the plot itself. Well, that is only me though 😉.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mr. B, because he reminded me of myself

What about Chase Bradley’s performance did you like?

In the audiobook version the broad American accent of the narrator rounds up the setting but requires a little time to get accustomed to for us on the other side of the pond. However, he is well capable of capturing and transmitting the atmosphere, the mood, the setting, and all the wonderful facets of Donna’s piece of art.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Every time when Laura, the protagonist, shows her loving and caring nature, even in the worst situations and to the most undeserving creatures.

Any additional comments?

The lives of a boy and a man change as something falls from the sky and destroys a hamlet in a remote mountain area.
The US government strives to collect all evidence and purchases all cabins in the area bar one that belongs to a recluse.
Months later a government agent ensures that the child of a runaway is born without reliable witnesses. The mother dies during delivery, but the paid for doctor has a change of heart and as he realises that the runaway delivers twins he hands over only the deformed firstborn boy and secures the second born girl can stay with the people who looked after the runaway girl.
The girl grows up with their foster parents on a farm in a nearby village and eventually becomes friend with the hermit and a boy that witnessed the incident before her birth and became an orphan by it.
Also the state agent has no proof of it he suspects that the government was betrayed and in his spear time follows the development of the two orphans, especially as he has a personal relationship to the girl and the deformed boy he brought to the government agency.
The twins and the agent have, or develop, some mystical and esoteric characteristics and depending on the upbringing the girl becomes the love part and the twin brother the hate part in a distant relationship that ends in a battle between good and evil.
but is it evil or only a mirror of the upbringing?
Is the light dark in one or only hidden under a bowl?
Can regular people help when higher powers are battling?
Is the future fixed or can it be changed?

If you are looking for a great read and like to get lost in a fantastic story you will love this book. It is a true page turner.

I am looking forward to the second part in the trilogy as an audiobook and wait patiently on the release of the third book, and I am convinced you will do so as well!

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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-10-2017
  • Publisher: Auspicious Apparatus Press