Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Plantation (Jonathon Payne & David Jones, #1) by Chris Kuzneski

This review was written by: B
Received: GoodReads Giveaway
Publication Date of Book: April 2002
Pages: 391
Stars: (5/5)

Pain is something everyone must deal with, and those that deal with it the best will succeed the most.

People are mysteriously disappearing, being abducted by the same unknown force.  These taken individuals were specially selected for a reason, and this reason centers on revenge.  The kidnappings are going on right under everyone's radar until one particular woman is taken, Ariane.  Ariane is a bright, beautiful young woman who is dating one very important man, Jonathan Payne.  An ex-MANIAC, or a participant of an elite branch of the U.S. military, and the head of a huge company, Payne can easily get around.  To make things better, his former comrade and best friend, David Jones is now a detective.  Together, these two men must find Ariane before something horrible happens to her.  Quickly getting a glimpse of what must be going on, they are determined to stop it before matters get worse.

Taking a look at the security footage from her apartment, the area of her abduction, they find that the culprits are all dressed in black from head to toe, and underneath the black clothing  is dark skin as well.  The two clues that they have to go on right now are one tattoo and a single license plate number.  From here, Jones and Payne go on the thriller of the century.  With the authorities having their hands tied in this case, the two take it upon themselves to find out that a group is on a secluded piece of land in the middle of a watery nowhere that absolutely no one would ever look on.  The horrors that go on here behind the veil of law is stunningly gruesome.

Ariane wakes up to find herself in an unexpected and frightening situation.  She's on a plantation that was used years ago when slavery was still a major part of the United States's history.  Here, all of the people are put to work, going through the same horrors that the slaves went through before the conclusion of the Civil War.  Forced to look over the fields, tending to them and working the ground, the civilians live a life of horror.  Cruel men look over them, never raising a helpful hand except when an overseer wants one of them beaten.  Everyday is a game of chance, wondering who will be tortured next.  Ariane is holding out hope that Payne will find her and deliver everyone from the depths of despair.  However, she is still determined to remain strong.  This woman goes and tries to lend a helping hand to those who need it and lessen the pain of everyone around her.  In the face of death, she is still an amazing person.

Why were these people selected to be put on the plantation?

Will Payne and Jones save everyone before it's too late or will things turn south?

Sometimes you gotta betray one trust to gain another.
-Levon Greene

I was extremely shocked when I was reading the forward to this book.  Kuzneski described how no one wanted to publish his book at first, and I thought to myself how crazy they must have been.  The Plantation was brilliant!  The story was so original and thought provoking.  Who would have ever thought of the white man working under those of African descent instead of the other way around on a plantation?  It was a total turn around.  Learning about slavery throughout the entirety of my schooling, I can easily see how horrible it must have been for those poor people.  I, like countless others, despise the thought of one man, no matter their color, ruling and beating another.  The Antebellum lifestyle surrounding the injustice of slavery was a horrible thing, a definite dark spot on American history.  While some individuals may think that this book is racist, I have to strongly disagree.  It was a brilliant outlook on what could and may have been.

Many reviewers mention that the book was graphic and too hard for them to read.  I can definitely understand this.  There were some parts that included extensive blood shed and disturbing scenes, but, while they might be part of the story, they don't engulf it.  I have to respect the author in this way.  He wrote at the end how he wanted to accurately portray how life on the plantation for a slave was no walk in the park.  There were horrible instances every single day that they had to endure.  I feel as though he gave this fact utmost justice.  I also believe that he did an amazing job describing how some overseers may have felt.  Some enjoyed the pain and torture that they were able to inflict on others.  I was extremely glad that Kuzneski's writing rang true to history in so many ways that it may seem unbelievable when reading it.

I absolutely loved Payne and Jones together.  They were hilarious.  Even in the darkest of times, they would make the funniest comments as a way of stress release.  They both were strong characters that you wanted to know more about, especially Payne. The drive and passion that this man had for the safety of one woman was amazing.  Also, this book had an fantastic pace to it.  The adventure, thrill, and suspense never let up.  There was plot twist after plot twist, deception after deception.  I really didn't want to put it down even though I had to carry on with my life.  To be honest, I never expected to love this book so much, but I did.  It has an excellent writer behind it who can easily get into the human mind and write like a true expert.  It almost felt like I was watching a movie instead of reading a book!  I definitely would love to continue this series.  There's no doubt about it, The Plantation was a fabulous creation that countless people enjoyed and hopefully will continue to enjoy and read for years to come.  Kuzneski definitely deserves five starts for this breathtaking creation!          

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