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Shelter (Book One): A Mickey Bolitar Novel Paperback – August 21, 2012
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The writing is good, the wry humor that Coben is noted for is fully present and actually sounds realistic coming from a teenage boy. The plotting is also good; the action moves right along. I think this will be a successful series for Coben and will bring new young readers to the mystery genre. Mystery lovers of all ages should enjoy!
Mickey Bolitar is, funnily enough, a teenage version of his Uncle Myron. He knows how to fight, how to play ball, how to "win" the ladies over with dry humour. It's enough to get you through the pages, but it was Mickey being thrust in very tough, adult situations which really put me off this book. Whilst I think Coben did a good job creating the character (and a few clichéd supporting characters), his plot got ahead of himself and he created the most ridiculous scenarios imaginable. I don't think I would have put up with it had it been Myron and Win, let alone the teenage Mickey. In fact, it made things worse: having dangerous and seedy adult characters taking a teenager as a serious threat and trying to beat him within an inch of his life.
Harlan Coben is a great writer, and there was a lot of potential in this Mickey Bolitar series. I felt he was trying to recreate Myron's heyday through Mickey and just lost the plot. It didn't need to be so complicated (in fact, it should have been considerably LESS complicated, considering it is designed for young adults) and it was so far-fetched it was ridiculous. Even though Coben's writing is just good enough to get you through to the end, he really disappoints by setting up a far-fetched and not-at-all gripping cliffhanger that leaves you losing all respect you might have managed to gain for this series.
The book opens with some new-kid-in-school clichés, with a few characters of similar stripe, but skillfully sets the stage with suspense. At this point, the plot flirts with improbability, but this is a work of fiction. If it had maintained that course, all would've turned out well. Unfortunately, the only line followed was wallowing in the banal stereotyping, while the plot veers off the road into a ditch of the inane.
Mickey's worldly upbringing might explain some of his reasoning. But the rest is much more like a 41 year old instead of 14. As for his cohorts, you have two callow social outcasts, one embittered with the world, and a rich queen bee. Their concerns are going to extend beyond iPods and American Eagle to reach risking life and limb for a girl they hardly know? Not bloody likely. They're chomping at the bit to bust into a strip bar in the heart of Newark to take on a gang of professional thugs? I grew up in the area and ran with a reckless crew. And yet, extrapolating forward in time, we wouldn't have even driven through Newark at 90 mph in an armored Hummer with close air support to get backstage passes to a Lady Gaga concert. But these weenies are going to go commando against armed professional criminals to rescue a cypher. Right.
The man in the black car, county law enforcement officer, etc. act with the same dearth of logic. Logistics don't even fit. As example, Mickey leaves Rachel's house for Newark with Myron in hot pursuit and aided by a tracker. And yet, Myron doesn't arrive until well after the action has concluded.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Coben is one of my most fav authors. But "SHELTER" is the first I have read from him that was a ho-hum
read. Read more
This is a great book. I am a big fan of this author and it is a great addition to my collectionPublished 2 months ago by James H
This was a different Harlen Coben book-but enjoyed the new character, but still like Myron.Published 2 months ago by Patricia Foster
Never has a book made cry, but this one did. Every page was filled with mystery . It made you hold your breath as you turned the page. Read morePublished 2 months ago by becky
It was an enthralling book to read. Like Coben's other books it was a great combination of humor, suspense, and action. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Larry Myers
I am a reading teacher of high school kids. I think this is an excellent book for teenage boys. It has action sports and cute girls. Starting the next book now.Published 3 months ago by jodib