Top critical review
on May 13, 2014
I have been wanting to read Rollins for quite a while now but have never gotten around to it. I have always been intriqued with his subject matter and book titles. When I found this short story when waltzing through Amazon, I thought it would be a perfect introduction. In the end, though, I came away disappointed.
I don't want to begrudge Mr. Rollins his success, because he obviously is a successful novelist, but I found the writing itself to be distractingly poor. Poor grammar, poor punctuation, illogical paragraph breaks... The characters were flat and 2 dimensional, despite a couple of brief references to the protagonist's Iowa farm boyhood. Absolutely no character development (granted, this was a short story and there isn't a lot of time for character development). It was like I was reading the writer's unedited notes for a longer story, or for an action movie screenplay. It is really sad because I really wanted to like Rollins' work.
That being said, I found the story engaging. I liked the thematic elements, the juxtaposition of the logical and supernatural, and the mystery behind the plot. The pacing was good and it was definitely a page turner. At no time was I tempted to stop reading it and move on to something else, so it held my interest. It was reminiscent of a Clive Cussler Dirk Pitt story, of which I have read a couple.
I realize that I need to take this for what it is, as short introduction to the characters and marketing tool for the series. But I would think that for what it is, it would contain some of the author's best writing. I would hate to think that is the case with this story.