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Color Me Grey Paperback – January 1, 2008
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The main character resembled an comic book action hero more than a real person. She's good at everything, she is beautiful, in excellent physical condition, an expert computer hacker and such a good fighter that she could go to a gym and defeat anyone that challenges her. She gets a job with a covert agency that recruits new employees by a vague newspaper ad. In her new job, she was the only person to hike to the cabin in one day, was the best scuba student and no one could fill out paperwork faster than her. She has had extensive martial arts training and yet has only been hit once before. All this and she doesn't know what her father does for a living.
Other things in the book were equally absurd. She blindly does whatever is requested of her, with very little warning from her employer. She spends a month at a remote cabin in the wood, but isn't told before hand that she will be doing this. The remote cabin is reached either by a dawn to dusk hike or a helicopter ride and yet it has hot and cold running water and a kitchen with a refrigerator and presumably electricity. She is given hiking boots and a pack filled with rocks at the start of the hike. She is told on the hike not to drink too much water or it'll make her sick (?). Even though no provisions were brought to the cabin, it is stocked with enough food and clean clothes for the month stay. After her return from being away for a month, she only visits her father because she has some questions about her job (totally misses seeing her mother) and then goes and plays computer games; no checking in with friends or paying bills like anyone else would do.
The book reads a little better than a child making up an exciting story and not worrying too much about what is plausible and what isn't.
Alex is a bit convenient for the author. She has all the background needed (as she repetitiously tells us herself) . A spoiled rich girl testing everything as a youth so that she would be perfect as Ms. Grey. Black belt in karate, military combat trained (no less), sign language, superior intellect, archer, skydiving, rock climber, etc. She apparently has no flaws. She is an expert (by her definition) hacker, can hack military database - has hacked her father's computer (who is familiar with covert ops) - yet does not even know his rank? Bit far fetched that. She can take on everyone at Mr. Black's club and win - cuz she is lightening fast. She has hiked farther and faster than any others brought to cabin for training. She bags the biggest buck of all the guys AND can carry it on her shoulders back to cabin. She can stitch her own wounds and walk without assistance after a leg shot. Gotta say...she is just "too good to be true."
There IS a place for an accomplished and strong female spy/agent/detective - but she should also be human and somewhat believable. A flaw or something that allows us to root for her. She hates spiders and freaks or something. There needs to be something that hampers her or stalls her sometime so that her events do not constantly seem contrived. Overactive hormones over boss don't cut it either.
The storyline was weak related to the event surrounding her father being due to her. The explanation did not ring true to this reader. Her father could have been cause in his own right. The hints from the mom were a bit contrived and her father's dialogue was not believable in most conversations with Alex.
I am on the fence about future works as I really enjoy mystery and suspense novels. This tale (while interesting) was really neat and too tidy while being quite predictible. I am going to put some of the issues down to it being a rather early work in the author's career. Still, character development really needs work. As do development of more believable plot devices. There are some errors in grammar and punctuation that need a fix.
Recommended for those looking for female leads that are unbelievable in the real world aspect, but okay for a bit of fluff to read about. Suspense, thriller enthusiasts may enjoy for mindless read - but won't find depth of tale here.