Review: Sightlines by Santino Hassell (The Community #3)
Note: This ARC was provided by Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Chase put his hands on Elijah’s shoulders and yanked him in for a soft kiss. “Believe me, Elijah. I have a ton of fucking regrets about my life, and a lot of them revolve around not being real with you. I wasted a lot of time, and it might be too late.”Elijah caught Chase’s chin before he could pull away, and flashed a tenuous smile. “It’s not too late. We’re getting out of here.”
The end to a series--especially a well-loved and much-touted one--is oftentimes bittersweet, and such is the case for The Community. Santino Hassell's paranormal romance trilogy at its most basic, is fantastical fiction--an escape, if you would--but if you look closer...deeper...there are parallels between what the motley group of misfits experience and rebel against and certain events and situations in today's life and times. For whatever reason you have for perusing the title, the bottom line remains clear: this series is, hands down, three times an amazing read.
This isn't Hassell's first venture into this particular romance sub-genre either--it is also very loosely connected to Stygian, his standalone released by Dreamspinner Press in 2015--and it feels like he's quite comfortable with it. The combination of a paranormal romance and urban fantasy feel and the contrast between the nitty, gritty urban landscape which actually feels safer than the seemingly serene yet shockingly sinister rural one that houses The Farm are part and parcel of what make Insight, Oversight, and now, Sightlines must-read contemporary literature.
Sightlines picks up right after the events of the second novel. There are two sides--The Community and the Ex-Comm--and Chase Payne doesn't trust either one. He's both revered and reviled by his own father who sees him as more of a pawn to be exploited than a son to be cared for. What Chase is sure about are his feelings for Elijah Estrella, but he isn't all that confident that Elijah's own affections are focused solely on him. Chase is used to being alone, but in the war against The Community, he's going to have to learn to trust if he hopes to win the final battle.
Chase is an enigma of sorts--not so much an unlikely hero but an extremely hesitant one. You feel for the guy because of everything he's been forced to endure as part of The Community and for being Richard Payne's spawn. He's extremely closed off but that makes his evolution as a main character even more enthralling. We get glimpses of that caring side of him with those who are closest to him, particularly his twin brothers, Nate and Theo Black, and Elijah. Chase slowly but surely comes to his own here and doesn't just live up to his potential but surpasses it.
Elijah, however, is more of the unexpected kind of hero. He's younger than Chase and he's always come off as more of a follower in the first two novels, but he takes a stand, especially when it comes to Chase. The guy comes into his own here, and he's such a great revelation, proving that one should never be underestimated based on perceived past behavior or how they look on the outside. He's like the key that unlocks that hidden part of Chase, and it's his presence in Chase's life that proves to be the ultimate catalyst in Chase's decision regarding the revolt.
This is the kind of book series that should be appreciated as a whole. In short, I'm seriously recommending that you read the ENTIRE series in order. Each novel reveals bits and pieces of the not-so-secret Community which engages in diabolical practices which they've kept out of sight for far too long. The ending here is more hopeful than it is an absolute one, which I think is more than befitting. Chase, Elijah, and the rest of the Ex-Comm members are works in progress but they relish in the possibilities of a life of freedom. I'm giving five-plus stars to Sightlines. ♥
Read my reviews for The Community series:
Insight (book one) - five-plus stars - My Review
Oversight (book two) - five-plus stars - My Review
Sightlines (book three) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)
Release Date: 09 October 2017
Date Read: 06 October 2017
Learn more about Santino Hassell.