- Paperback: 434 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 29, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1452820600
- ISBN-13: 978-1452820606
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 55 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,361,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Fourth Law Paperback – November 29, 2010
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
About the Author
Paul Stein received a degree in biology from the University of San Francisco. He is the developer of a rainbow trout hatchery and became the Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Fish & Game. Paul served two terms as County Supervisor and maintains strong ties in the California political landscape. Paul lives and writes from his ranch along the Mokelumne River in Calaveras County, a region in the gold country made famous by Mark Twain's story: The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.
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The actions of every law enforcement officer are frankly unbelievable (can you say fired or even brought up on charges?), the family drama contrived, and the seemingly simple resolution of decades-long BIG issues too darn easy.
I can only give a few small points for creativity on the whole science/technology part.
I should have stopped reading about 2 chapters in, but curiosity got the better of me. By the time I was halfway through, sheer stubbornness drove me to just finish it. I can usually read an average length novel in a day or two, but this one took me about two weeks to slog through.
If it hadn't been free, I'd want my money back.
While on the subject of characters I might also note that the author seems to hold a great deal of resentment and rage against all mothers, wives and girlfriends that show up in the story. It is not a stretch to say that but for these terrible women none of the men, good and bad alike, would have any of the few flaws that he allows them! When the main hero is first described in greater detail, he makes it clear that his father's inability to stand up to his domineering wife [the hero's mother] cast him for all time as a failure in the eyes of his son, because the role of the man was to always be more powerful than the female. In the hero's estimation, and despite being a success in the business world, the father's inability to stand up to his wife in domestic matters nearly ruined the son's life! Of course with all the old school Catholic beliefs also thrown in for good measure, I really shouldn't be so surprised. (So 1950's ... and I thought the old TV series "Father Knows Best" wasn't even in reruns any longer.)
Not recommended ... unless you like Marvel comic characters.
Further, many ideas and thoughts are over explained, and in the most egregious cases are explained more than once. Did we really need to hear about what the "cleaners" do a fourth time? Overuse of adjectives was noticeable, and it seemed as if every other paragraph contained a forced simile.
If you are an engineer or highly technical person you'll probably need to wear industrial suspenders of disbelief to make it through not just the antigravity device details, but more mundane issues - such as the suggestion that a person on the run could easily remove the battery from an iPhone and put it back in on demand to avoid being tracked. A person exiting a vehicle going 100mph is going to suffer more than two broken bones and a few months of physical therapy. There are many, many minor issues that are simply illogical.
The central idea and plot were interesting, and I have hopes that the author quickly passes through this write-by-the-numbers phase as I believe there is something unique here, but this book as written is not worth the time it takes to read it.
Along the way there are a few hitches in the method and technique. Some small plot or dialog inconsistencies and a few very minor errors of vocabulary and self-editing. The suspension of disbelief needed to stay in the plot and believe in the characters is major.
If one can ignore the small errors and hang in there with the storyline, it is a very enjoyable read.
Good folks vs. bad folks. Good hearts overcoming human fallacies. Many reviewers have commented that it is a good first effort. That is probably a sincere evaluation and accurate. Seems to me though, that the primary goal of popular fiction is entertainment. Secondary routes of morality tales and trusting in one's faith, can be considered a condiment. Tasty and nice - but of secondary focus.
This story was quite entertaining and, while flawed, bodes well for the author's future development. A solid 3 stars. -NECguy
Depending on the genre you usually read you may find a few spots where alternative plot devices would have added to the story, but when you consider all of the different elements brought together in this one work so well, the little things are easy to ignore.
Part of me wanted to give 3 stars, for the little weaknesses, and part of me wanted to give 5 stars for bringing all the elements together, and executing difficult scenes so well, so four stars it is.