Top critical review
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An ok read, has potential, but definitely needs work
on March 21, 2013
Overall, the storyline in this book is good. It has tons of potential, but needs tons of polishing in order to rate a 4 or 5-star rating. I like the concept of the storyline; it's not your typical retired-military-fighting-the-establishment that you tend to find in sci-fi.
But why does this book only rate as a 3-star for me? Well, for starters, there's little to no character development or backstory. The characters are entirely two-dimensional. The main character, the leader of this motly group of former military folks, is crafted like a whiny, petulant, and always irritated teenager. For that matter, pretty much everyone is this way--always getting mad, always irritated and, bluntly, bitchy. This leader, always getting mad at his "friends" is not a leader. A true leader realizes that mistakes happen, people won't always agree or do what he or she believes they should do. Real leaders acknowledge this and plan and/or adapt and overcome these issues. This leader in this story? Nope. At one point in the story, the leader, as the author tells it, realizes he has to learn to follow orders whether or not he likes it. Um hello? He's former military, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, who's ever served in the military, be they the lowliest private or a 4-star (in rare instances 5-star) generals, have been subordinate to someone higher in rank themselves and have followed orders. It's as if, according to the author, this is an entirely new concept to this leader.
As for the military style tactics, the author obviously doesn't know one iota about tactics nor has he done any research on them. When the characters invade the home of a rival crime lord, the first guy in clears the room and then anchors the end of the rope so the others can rope into the room. Not bad so far. But the next person in, the second-in-command, gets in the room and clears the room again according to the author "...she raised the infrared scope of her rifle and began scanning the room. Russel would have already done this, but it couldn't hurt to do it again." Let's think about this...if the room had been occupied, Russel would have had to taken them out, causing at least SOME noise and then he'd have reported the contact immediately. Not only that, but after he'd cleared the room, he'd have reported the room as "clear" over their tacnet radios. And even in the instance where someone caught him unaware as he was holding the rope, would he sit there and NOT report that or give some indication, such as releasing the rope or whatnot, to inform his fellows, all the while letting the guards keep their guns on him? No. Any believable scenario would have him alerting his friends, firing on the guards or the guards raising an alarm. The book is rife with tactical inaccuracies.
As far as the abilities of this group goes, the leader, Aaron, is originally told his ability is being an empath. The author does not know what an empath is because nowhere in the story does he use any ability associated with being empathetic. Instead, the author adds in that he has the entire human knowledge base downloaded into his head. THAT'S his ability, and that's not being an empath.
Like virtually all self-published books, this one had it's share of grammatical and spelling errors. Not too bad, but definitely noticeable. This series has definite potential if the author spends some time fine-tuning the storyline and working on character development. Will I buy the next book in the series? Maybe. Would I recommend it? Probably not, unless the person doesn't mind a perpetually bitchy cast of characters and terrible military description and tactics.