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Dead Reckoning Kindle Edition
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In this book we are introduced to an elite team of men from various military forces who are "problem solvers" for situations where regular forces cannot go.
Also we meet a girl who is a estranged from her "spy" father. This father has always seemed too invested in his work to spend time with his daughter, even after his wife dies in a car wreck and the daughter is left on her own. She is not only out of touch with her father, she also doesn't trust God.
She becomes a deep sea diver and as the book opens she is in India with her good friend and colleague searching out a possible treasure.
They become involved with terrorist types, and the elite team I mentioned earlier.
There is lot of action and suspense, and romance also configures into th his novel.
I have thoroughly enjoyed every book by Ronie Kendig, and look forward to reading many more!
The character development with both Reece and Shiloh was great -- very crisp, sharp, and realistic. Both come from hard backgrounds, so any reader should be able to relate in some way to the struggles they face during Dead Reckoning.
There's a bit of violence. The book deals with special ops guys who have missions, so they have to take down a lot of enemies. A girl is mentioned to have been raped, but no details given. And there is also a torture scene, which was pretty intense, though not too much for me, personally.
From start to finish, this book was awesome! I've said this before, but I can say it again...Ronie Kendig is an author that I can trust. Whenever I see she has a new book out, I don't even need to read what it's about -- I know I'm going to love it!
1) The beginning of the book starts out really strong, and I LOVED that part of the book. A lot happens very quickly, and it sucks you in; an underwater dive, finding a mysterious artifact, competition, shooting, death, a chase, near death, and (for those who like love stories) what you think is going to be a really great love between two characters who have been there for each other since they were young (Khalid and Shiloh). You can see that the author put a lot of thought into how this was all going to work out.
2) I personally like books that shift views, and you get to see the same plot from someone else's perspective, so I'm giving the author a thumbs up in this area as well. The chapters/sections from Reece's viewpoint did add to the story, it wasn't the same voice telling the same story, this gave the book a bit of variety
3) The story line had potential, the characters seemed like they would go through some hardships but ultimately make a drastic realization or turn-around, and I was truly looking forward to how things were going to end. Would we ever meet Shiloh's father? Would they ever reconcile? What was in that canister?! Who was really on her side? Who else was just an innocent victim in all this? What was the back story to this Terrorist group that was supposed to be peaceful and friendly? Was Shiloh going to end up with Khalid, her oldest and dearest friend who loved her and has cared for her for most of their lives, or would she take a gamble and go for the militant wild-card who bulldozed his way into her life?
CONS: While the beginning chapters started out strong, the middle and ending fell far short of the bar that had been set.
1) First, I want to comment on some aesthetic aspects of the book.
1a) As someone who has been to India quite a number of times, and has spent significant time in Mumbai, the author clearly did not do her research on India/Mumbai - or if she did, it was from a source who had never been there either. The sensory overload that hits you when you walk off the plane for the first time is astronomical for someone who comes from the west. The colors, the sounds, the constant overbearing heat, and the SMELLS that assault your sense are unforgettable. The people from India are also so unlike anyone else you will ever meet. They have a system that is foreign to many westerners who simply do not understand the ever present Caste system that is in place. They approach you, speak to you, and relate to you depending upon WHERE in the caste system they fall, and where they believe you fall.
1b) I have never been scuba diving in the ocean, but I am certified, and there were SO many inconsistencies with how she described the diving scenes in her book. The most obvious being the issue of decompression - and how none of the dives that took place in the book dealt with this issue.
1c) While I have never been diving in the ocean, I have been snorkeling, and I have done my fair share of research on what you experience at larger depths. The ocean has so much more to offer than just a school of fish that swim by; the quiet that you experience underwater is felt with almost every sense, and is literally pushing into you as you go further down. The coral and water life you see in shallower waters is numerous, and the barren emptiness in deeper waters is unnerving (from what I hear)
2) There is too much zipping around from one country to another, and one drastic location to the other to make it totally believable. First their in Mumbai, then they drive to a remote location to spend time with Green Berets, and then there is London, and then it is through some unidentified Arabic country, and THEN back to India, and so on and so on. Also, the speed with which stuff happens is also confusing and was the one loose end from the very beginning. The author wasn't too clear on the timeline of events. Sometimes I'd be reading and think that everything that was being explained had happened in the course of a week, and come to find out, no that was just 1 day, and the the polar opposite happened, where not enough seemed to happen,and suddenly two weeks went by. It was inconsistent.
3) I know other people have said it before, but the main characters had no development. Let's start with Khalid because he's gone pretty quick, but his sole purpose was to be shot, make a decent/quick recovery, propose to Shiloh, push her into agreeing to a marriage she didn't really want but only agreed to because she was afraid of losing her best friend (kind of a jerk move on his part), and then die. There was no growth on his part, he was a significant character, only to be thrown away. Next comes Shiloh, whose only real growth is to realize she was just mad at her father, but never really hated him, and who came to re-find god. Then there is Reece who just realizes that what he thought was love before, wasn't, and now he loves Shiloh. These are shallow protagonists who had potential, but took a sharp left turn somewhere.
4) There are MANY unanswered questions and holes in the overall story. What experiments were done to create Shiloh's seizures? How is it that 15 years later is is able to remember ALL the training her father gave her when she was younger? Why can't she have kids (she's less than 30 and has never really had a significant other, how did she find this out?)? Where was her father for 15 years? Even if she was 30 (which I didn't gleam from the story), she would have only been 15. Where did she go? How did she live? She doesn't mention any other family, only Khalid and his family who seem to live in the Middle East somewhere. What exactly was Khalid doing? When did he join a terrorist group? What was his purpose in that role? What connections did he have and was he making that made him an asset to the group? What happened to his mother and sister afterwards? As for Reece, what is this pact that he has with his sister? How does he have so much clout/power among multiple and highly different militant groups? How was he able to leave the CIA and come back so quickly?
These are just SOME unanswered questions and holes
5) The final issue I had. I want to note that A) I am agnostic, B) I have read christian, and other religious, fiction before and loved it, C) I have no problem with Christianity or ANY other religion, and D) I KNEW going into this book that it was Christian Fiction. With all that said, I have to agree with some people that the Christian aspect didn't really flow with the story line, did not fit the characters, and almost seemed to be added in as an afterthought. It was really forced and seemed to be dropped in, often taking away from the flow of a conversation between characters. I did not think the book was preachy, in fact, I thought that for Christian Fiction it was very light on faith. However, the ill-fitting faith dialogue or inner monologue content was enough to take away from the story line.
Since I liked the beginning of this book and have no problem with Christian Fiction, I will give this author one more shot. She had the makings of an AMAZING story, and I want to see if she took the time to put a bit more thought and effort to keep that high standard she started out with with another one of her books.
An excellent debut novel. This author had me glued to the pages from start to finish. I basically read it in two sittings because I couldn't put it down! She gives you such rich details that you feel like you're there with the characters. I loved Shiloh and Reese. Shiloh is feisty and independent but wants so much to be loved. She knows God exists but has no faith in Him. Reese had a the strong, tough guy shell but inside ticks a tender heart. His reliance on God is what get's him through his missions. I thoroughly enjoyed the interplay between them. They were so well matched. I felt the story line and the characters were developed to their fullest. If you are looking for a story with lots of action, suspense and romance then this is the book for you. I HIGHLY recommend Dead Reckoning. Be sure your chair has a seat belt, it's one wild ride!!!