Review: Insight (The Community #1) by Santino Hassell

March 16, 2017 Review 5

Review: Insight (The Community #1) by Santino Hassell

Growing up the outcast in an infamous family of psychics, Nate Black never learned how to control his empath abilities. Then after five years without contact, his estranged twin turns up dead in New York City. The claim of suicide doesn’t ring true, especially when a mysterious vision tells Nate it was murder. Now his long-hated gift is his only tool to investigate.

Hitching from his tiny Texas town, Nate is picked up by Trent, a gorgeous engineer who thrives on sarcasm and skepticism. The heat that sparks between them is instant and intense, and Nate ends up trusting Trent with his secrets—something he’s never done before. But once they arrive in the city, the secrets multiply when Nate discovers an underground supernatural community, more missing psychics, and frightening information about his own talent.

Nate is left questioning his connection with Trent. Are their feelings real, or are they being propelled by abilities Nate didn’t realize he had? His fear of his power grows, but Nate must overcome it to find his brother’s killer and trust himself with Trent’s heart.

Title: Insight
Author: Santino Hassell
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Strong Signal, Illegal Contact
Series: The Community #1
Published by Riptide Publishing
Source: Publisher
Published: March 13, 2017
Genres: Male Male Romance, New Adult, Paranormal
Pages: 331
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website
Visit the Goodreads Series Page

Stars: three-stars
Flames: three-flames
I received this book for free from the Publisher or Author in exchange for an honest review, or I purchased it with my own funds. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
300 Review
I finished reading Insight a few days ago and it’s taken me a while to figure out what I really thought of it. Normally, I’m one who knows right away but this time around, I find myself unsure. Let me see if I can work it out.
The main character is Nate Black who is an empath but he never learned how to control his abilities. He lives in a small town in Texas where he is an outcast of his family of psychics. He has a twin, Theo, who he is estranged from for several years. Theo turns up dead in New York, drowned, and it was reported to be a suicide. Nate starts having these visions of Nate dying but it wasn’t a suicide, more like murder. Nate decided he needs to find out how his brother really died so he heads out, hitchhiking to New York to uncover the truth. There’s a lot more to the story besides that but you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out.
The first half of the book is basically Nate’s story. How unhappy he is and his leaving everything behind to find out what happened to Theo. How when he hitchhikes, he meets Trent, and they end up being somewhat of an item. It’s all nice and very New Adult-ish reading, real easy to keep up with what was going on. And then they get to New York and the nice pace of the story goes into high gear. Between the Community, all the new characters, and trying to sort it all out, I I felt a bit overwhelmed. There is quite a bit of world-building that needs to happen and a mystery to be solved, I just felt the changing of the gears required me to have a notepad just to sort it all out.
In general, I’d call this an okay book. I liked the premise of the story. It had a lot of potential and some interesting characters. However, I think the flow of the story, meandering to high speed, peppered with (almost) too many characters and their secrets/stories, was more than what I was looking for. I’m still undecided if I’m going to continue with the series. There is a nice HEA/HFN for Nate and Trent with a curious cliffy to go with it. I don’t know…maybe if I re-read Insight in a few months I’ll have a better time the second time around.



Now available at Riptide.



About Santino Hassell


Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twentysomething, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.


Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of LGBT fiction that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.


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5 Responses to “Review: Insight (The Community #1) by Santino Hassell”

  1. Purple Reader

    Congrats and thanks for the post. The book sounds great, and I love gay mysteries and paranormal romances. Like Nate, I’m a transplanted Texan and root for the outcast/underdog as well. The only problem, more often than not, the underdog loses, but when he wins, yay! –
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  2. Nihcki

    Thanks for your honest review. I’m thinking that many folks are expecting this book to be primarily a M/M romance (which Santino is known for) as opposed to a romantic suspense novel. I’m not one for understanding the specifics of genre classifications, and I feel that they are limiting to the author, and to the reader.

    LBased on the blurb, I see this trilogy as being more of a paranormal thriller with a romance thrown in, as opposed to a romance with a paranormal thriller thrown in, if that makes any sense? And as a trilogy, I’m expecting loose ends and unanswered questions at the end of books 1 and 2, with a conclusion in book 3.

    It’s all about expectations going in, and I for one am the first to call foul if let’s say the heroine dies at the end of a PNR book. That’s NOT the advertised-per-genre-classification of PNR, for which every definition I’ve seen includes a HEA or at least a HFN. A dead heroine isn’t conducive to a HEA nor a HFN.

    I’m approaching Insight as it’s being promoted (at least in my eyes); a paranormal suspense novel with a secondary romance, sort of a UF type of book. For CR I’ll look to Santino’s 5 Boroughs series or the co-written Cyberlove series.