Omorphi is a tough act to follow, but Cody Kennedy delivers with Tharros. A well-written, well-crafted story that delves deeper into darker territory and explores the long-term effects the physical, psychological, and sexual abuse has on Christy; so it is naturally a darker story and often leaves the reader with a sense of helplessness and hopelessness for Christy’s recovery and future. The kidnapping and subsequent torture has reversed much of Christy’s progress, reinforcing in him the feeling that the world will never be safe for him and the ever-present sense that he has somehow brought on everything that has happened to him. The kidnapping also brings with it a dark secret that Christy carries with a sense of dread as he knows it will be revealed with the impending trial of Yosef. The secret hangs as a pall over the story, an impending shoe ready to drop and bring Christy’s fragile world tumbling down around him. Also more of Christy’s past experience is brought to light with the introduction of Thimi, a young boy from Greece who suffered at the same hands as Christy.
Tharros takes up in the aftermath and recovery from Yosef’s horrendous attack on Michael, Jake, and Sophia and the subsequent kidnapping and torture of Christy. The four struggle to cope with Christy’s demons and recover from their injuries as they prepare for prom and graduation and are faced with the frightening challenge of Yosef’s trial and all the revelations it brings.
For those who may have thought Michael too perfect in Omorphi, you get to see a darker side of him in Tharros: the barely controlled rage at what Christy has had to endure, the murderous fury he feels for Yosef and the suffering he has caused, and the crippling self-doubt that threatens as Michael grapples with his perceived failures to protect Christy and his struggle to recover from his injuries to compete in the USATF trials.
For those who fell in love with Jacob in Omorphi, Jake is back as the steady and constant presence in Michael’s life, just as steadfast in his support and in his devotion to “keeping it real” for Michael. He serves as a touchstone for Michael when Michael seems to lose his way, often bringing Michael back from the brink with a much-needed reality check. Everyone should have a best friend like Jake.
Also back are the varied and richly developed cast of secondary characters that really brings this story to life and infuses it with what this book is all about… Hope. As much as the author takes us to the depths of despair, he never leaves us there, always bringing us back to a place of hope and we are left with a deep and abiding admiration for Christy's perseverance and determination to not only survive, but thrive.