Friday, 7 February 2014

Nukes: Case 1 - Julie Eco Cop Series

click on cover

Author: L & C LoPinto
Genre: Action/Suspense/Romance
Book Rating: 7.5
Personal Rating: 7.5

This was a brilliantly crafted novel.  A fast paced exciting crime caper that was worth every page.  Characters where well developed.  The plot moved at a fast pace as it should.  Didn't allow your adrenaline to stop pumping for a second which worked very well.  If mysteries, love interests, extreme danger and a sense of humor are things you like in a book this one doesn't fail to deliver.

Regardless of what the cover may allude to I found that sean was more or less the main character.  The reluctant hero thrown into a case he doesn't want that turns out to be more than what he bargained for.  His character was very well written and fit the perfect type of male role usually found in such action capers.  He was rather funny, entertaining, and good at his job.  Didn't miss a beat and was always on alert as good as any FBI/CIA operative should be.  Very well written.  My only problem with this was it was rather cliche.  The demoted drunken agent.  Taken out of the field, issues with women on the job.   Doesn't like his lot in life.  Refuses to stop drinking.  I felt like I had been here before.  I guess I was expecting him not to fit the perfect role he fell into so perfectly.  Having him be Irish was definitely a nice touch though.

Julie.  A woman on a mission.  How can you not love someone with that kind of drive.  Beautiful and determined.  And she speaks spanish.  Bonus points.  Needless to say I loved her too.   A woman who shows obvious disdain to the arrogant agent she must work with who clearly doesn't want to work with her.  Goes through a learning curve finds out maybe he's not so bad after all, and defeats the bad guys in the end.  What's not to love about this kind of woman.  She, just like sean was very well written.  Again, as before, maybe too well.  She sorta came of like Velma but ended up being Daphne in the end.  For someone with so much fight I guess I was a bit disappointed she did the stereotypical I've never done this before but I'm going to venture out on my own, get caught and now the man has to come in and save the day.  The only thing that saved it from being to cliché was that her rescuer got caught too.  

The suspense, great.  Perfect even.  All the clues where laid out at the right points.  The air of mystery never fell flat.  The sense of wanting to turn the page to find out what the great mystery is, who is behind it, and would the heroes come out on top in this book or would I have to wait for the sequel, was held up to the last page.  In this area the book was very good and did exactly what I expect action novels to do.  Be page turners and keep me wanting to read it.  I was invested in the plot of this story, but then I have a thing for water, ice and snow so maybe I'm a bit partial to this book being set in Alaska.  Still the situations the characters found themselves in made for a very good read.

If you like action packed stories, with impossible circumstances, and a race against time and uncertain death, this series is definitely worth the read.  I would recommend it to anyone who likes a good action novel.  And as a bonus this one is eco friendly.  Who says being an eco cop isn't cool.  I've read this book and I know for a fact that they are cool.  And so is this novel.

Side notes

I already mentioned I thought the characters where good if not cliched.  Beyond that the love interest seemed a little bit too non-prevalent for the cover to say romance.  It was way too subtle and it didn't pay off.  

The story seems to live in the eyes of Sean infinitely more than Julie.  I was expecting the book to be mostly from her perspective, but from a narrative standpoint Sean definitely takes the lead by leaps and bounds.  Julie's character doesn't seem to really take of until they hit the cruise line and by then I was already too invested in Sean to see it as her book.  Especially after Sean got such a big intro and even after he met her the book still went through his eyes for a bit.  It did switch over to Julie's perspective sporadically but not long enough to bring me out of Sean's head.  It made me wonder why the blurb was so focused on her and the cover.  I could just be seeing it wrong but in my opinion the narrative was leaning more to Sean's side than Julie's. 

With Julie being the smart woman that she is, and after learning so much from Sean, (warning this is a teeny bit of a plot spoiler), I can't fathom how she had no idea who ransacked her room.  Only the desk clerk, the guy who drove her, and the bellman knew her room number.  They were there when she checked in.  It had to be one of them.  Yet there was no dialogue about her considering who did it.  I don't think she ever questioned it once (in detail at least).  I just found it odd.  I guess I was expecting some sort of internal monologue about who could've done it and her nipping at the suspects with the efficiency I had learned to love about her.   I just couldn't buy it after all the setup of her being such an efficient thinker that she wouldn't consider this at all.  Just moved to a knew room and that was that. 

So even though this book hits every major plot point, and is stylized quite perfectly for it's genre, it was ultimately the teeny bit of cliche, the romance that skirted light flirting, and that I just couldn't believe the character would be stupid enough to fall for what she did fall for, that bought my rating down a bit.  Otherwise it would've probably been a ten across the board.

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