L. C. Barlow
Rare Bird Books (2019)
Reviewed by Jen Oliver-Rigsby for Reader Views (6/2021)
“Pivot” by L.C. Barlow, introduces readers to Jack Harper, a young girl who becomes an apprentice for Cyrus… a leader who isn’t all what he cracks up to be. During Jack’s young life (age 7), Cyrus begins training her how to kill and brings back her “victim” every time. Like with most cult leaders, Cyrus has many secrets, many hiding spots. Jack becomes determined to learn them all… or at least what is behind Cyrus’ dark power. Jack got more than what she bargained for. Eventually evil versus evil must take place but who will survive?
“Pivot” is not going to be for everyone. There is child and animal torture and abuse throughout the book. One can forget that Jack is only 7 throughout most of the book but one can also remain focused on that point and be disgusted and upset. I was able to forget the young age mostly because of the action. Each chapter lists the age of Jack when the events are happening. The acts that Jack commits eventually lead to a reasonable ending and makes sense in an odd way. There is also a subplot of a relationship between Jack and Cyrus’ son Alex. Part of me feels like this wasn’t needed but it adds an Achilles’ heel to Cyrus. It also gives Jack a realistic enemy instead of her fighting against an adult.
“Pivot” takes an interesting internal look to what might happen in a cult where mostly children are the victims and how the leader’s charisma takes over the adults. I wish a little more was written about this aspect. It could lead to how Jack and some of the other followers continued to follow Cyrus despite them realizing that Cyrus was insane and trying to find a way out. It could create more of an internal struggle about what Jack and others might do. Unlike real life cults, “Pivot” touches on a paranormal world where hidden powers are used in many ways.
“Pivot” overall is an enjoyable read if one can get over the abuse and torture. It makes me wonder how the author came up with the idea and to put it on paper. This is book one of a trilogy and I am interested to see what happens in book two.