Jul 26, 2017

Review--Vicarious by Paula Stokes

Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, work as high-tech stunt girls for Rose’s ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs. Whether it’s bungee jumping, shark diving, or grinding up against celebrities at the city’s hottest dance clubs, Gideon can make it happen for you—for a price.

When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter is devastated. She won’t rest until she finds her sister’s killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the digital recordings her sister made, Winter isn’t sure what to believe. To find out what happened to Rose, she’ll have to untangle what’s real from what only seems real, risking her life in the process.

Vicarious is the first book in an action-packed duology by Paula Stokes, better yet, this first installment takes place in St. Louis! I don’t think a book I’ve ever read has ever happened in my dull little city. Maybe there was a mention of it or a very brief stay, but that’s it! The fact that this book is pretty intense coupled with a mystery to boot, it had me itching to read it stat. Yet, I restrained myself to wait until I could binge the duology, for sanity purposes of course!

Winter and Rose have both had a troubled life. When they were young and living in Korea, their mother gave them up for adoption, they were later brought to the US but into a human trafficking ring. It’s sickening what humans will do to another, especially ones who are vulnerable. The two sisters were saved by Gideon some years back and have been living in St. Louis ever since. Gideon developed a new technology that allows people to virtually experience intense situations such as skydiving, scuba diving with sharks, you name it! Winter is one of the people who actually does the intense activities and records them with the technology and then users can experience all the things they always dreamed of doing.

Then one day, tragedy strikes and Winter learns her sister Rose was murdered. The murderers even recorded in using the tech which had been stolen the same night. Now Winter with the help of her friend and partner in the business, Jesse, work to solve the mystery behind Rose’s murder. But it’s a case that keeps leading them in circles and into dead ends. Rose apparently was living another life that Winter was unaware of, doing things she never expected her sister to do.

This read was seriously awesome and a bit twisted, which is why it was so awesome! I love a twisted read! There were so many angles to this story that I truly never saw anything coming! Ironically, it never bothers me when I am wrong in my own theories when reading! I just get so swept away with the story that I basically become the main character as they struggle to solve the mysteries! That to me always speaks of great writing! When a story can pull you in so deep you forget you’re the reader! That’s pretty much what happened with me and Winter!

I also really enjoyed the subtle romance between Winter and Jesse! It was one of those situations where you know Jesse is in love with Winter, but Winter’s not quite there yet! And can I comment on his name first? Jesse Ramirez! It was kind of hard not to picture Adam Rodriguez from the old show Roswell as that was his exact name as well! Weird, right? But I totally dug it! Jesse has his own troubled past as well, he and Winter are both kind of broken in some parts, but I loved that they had this incredible friendship. Granted, Winter does try to keep him at a distance emotionally, but you can see she even struggles to maintain those walls.

The mystery was one of the most exciting mysteries I’ve read in a while! I truly, truly didn’t see it coming! It was pretty shocking! I like to think I play detective pretty well with my other mystery reads, but this one totally blew me away! The reveal was so incredibly shocking! And then to top it off there’s even more added shock and reveals at the very end! I am sooo glad I have Ferocious ready at the helm! I don’t think I could handle that cliffhanger after that series of revelations! As always, I highly recommend binge reading duologies! Though I am still known to break that rule, lol! But I can already tell that binge reading this particular duology will be the best way to go about things!

Vicarious was an incredible thrilling mystery filled with so many twists and turns that it will have your mind reeling with all the possibilities! I think I may have found a new favorite author with Paula Stokes!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars



  1. Yayyy so happy you loved this one! Paula's an incredible writer :D

  2. Super cool! I visited Saint Louis for the first time this summer!! I'll definitely need to check this one out!

  3. This sounds fabulous! Lovely review! :)

    - El @ El's Book Reviews

  4. Paula Stokes has quickly made it onto my instant-read list! I'm excited for this one, and I loved your review. So many great things to look forward to for this one, hope you enjoy the second book too!

    Cass @ Words on Paper


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