The Path of Jen: Bloodborne, by Sidney Wood
Publisher: Sidney A. Wood; 3 edition; February 26, 2016
Jena Ahmadi is a 16-year-old Texas girl born to parents of Iranian heritage. Despite her mother’s apprehension, Jena’s father takes Jena to Iran to visit his family and learn more about the culture of Iran. Very quickly in this novel there is a sort of black cloud looming over, as everyone repeatedly warns Jena to stay by their side and not get separated from her family. When Jena visits a shopping bazaar in the city with her aunt, however, she stops to look at something and gets lost. Thus begins Jena’s nightmare of being kidnapped and sold into slavery. Sidney Wood’s new novel, The Path of Jen: Bloodborne, is a roller-coaster ride of suspense mixed with hope as Jena tries to adapt to her new life of slavery and stay alive. This gripping novel addresses issues relevant to our time not only with human trafficking and slavery, but with ongoing issues in the Middle East and involving ISIS.
Early in the novel, the reader learns that although raised in a Muslim home, Jena is a Christian, that had been sneaking to church with her friend’s family back in Texas. Frequently throughout the novel (sometimes too frequently) Jena prays and makes references to God saving her and keeping her alive. Once she meets an American Marine, the theme of Christianity and prayer seems to get even more prominent, at times making me wonder if this was a novel that would be classified as Religious/Inspirational Fiction. Anyhow, there is a long cast of characters in this novel all playing significant roles in the story. The reader meets kidnappers, terrorists, slaves, military personnel, physicians, and a Senator – all of them either working to get Jena home or to keep her enslaved and use her as a symbol of terrorism. Jena’s character undergoes an incredible transformation throughout the novel, beginning as a typical 16-year-old girl, but becoming incredibly strong in survival skills and unusually brave.
This is not the typical type of novel that I would pick up to read, but I am very glad that I did. Wood is a fabulous storyteller and knows how to pull the reader in with suspense and twists and turns. I did not notice the “book 1” on the cover before reading, however, so when I reached the end I was so disappointed! I am crossing my fingers that the sequel to this exciting novel will be coming very soon and look forward to reading more from Sidney Wood.
*I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.