Top critical review
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Not feeling it
on May 9, 2014
I love M.L. Buchman, I've loved every one of his books thus far. This one, not so much. It has nothing to do with the fact that the setting is different; it has more to do with the characters, and how I never felt like I got to know them like the folks in the Bagram Ops or SOAR series. The interactions between main and supporting characters was non-existent. There is not a single supporting character that I'm looking forward to reading about next. We do get to see the Majors in their new careers, and Kee Stevenson makes an appearance, which was nice.
Carly, the h, is all over the map, and very hard to like - one minute she's a b!tch on wheels to anyone who looks at her, the next she's all sweet, the next she's letting Steve kiss her, then she's pushing him away...we're not really told why, and throughout the entire book I never got a good read on Carly. I understand that she's felt loss, but other than that I got absolutely nothing from her. She was very one-dimensional to me.
Steve, on the other hand, was very well written. I completely "got" his emotions, his actions, his reasoning. He was dead-set on Carly from the minute he saw her, and never waivered from that. He had a lot to overcome, and watching him work his way through his issues was great. Steve was easy to understand, empathize with, and like.
The story got bogged down by too many technical details, in my opinion. While we're used to lots and lots of descriptive narrative with this author - and that's usually one of the highlights of his writing - this time the details were just boring to me. I ended up skipping page after page of explanations of how fire retardant works, or how the nozzle fits onto the bucket of water, or how much weight the Firehawk can carry, or how a drone is assembled, etc. I just didn't care about any of this; it actually dragged me out of the story, instead of drawing me in more.
All in all, I still love this author and will look for more books in this series. I'm hoping the next will offer something more like what we're used to seeing.