Forgiven (The Trouble series) by Rachel Morgan

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Kindle Price: Free!

Official Rating: 1/5

Synopsis:

Three hundred and six days ago, Julia ran away from home. Abandoning her family, friends, boyfriend, and university plans, she fled with no explanation. She can’t hide forever, though, and now it’s time to face the mess she left behind.

My Review:

If you listen very carefully, you can hear me sighing loudly. If you’ve ever been at an amusement park at least once, and I’m sure you have, there’s always that one ride that kind of bothers you. It’s that single ride that has all of those twists and turns, but ends too quickly for the thrill to actually hit you. That’s what Forgiven felt like. Forgiven follows a girl who ran away from home. But she didn’t just run away from home to a town nearby, she ran all the way to London.

I didn’t like this very much, which is surprising since I liked a different book from her that I reviewed, and it’s one of the last few prequels/novellas that I’m probably going to read. The story deals with rape and I don’t appreciate how it presented it. The whole story was based on how a rape was handled the wrong way and it left a bad taste in my mouth. In all honesty, it seemed to me that the book was mainly “romance with a dash of rape to add character.” It would take quite an author to convince me that a story that covers a girl who is raped, can be wrapped up with a cheery ending in seventy-six pages. It wasn’t quite disrespectful (from my limited point-of-view), but it didn’t accurately cover the physical and psychological effects of rape. It just left it all out. (spoiler) One minute she left because she didn’t want to ruin all of the relationships because of what happened and the next she’s completely fine. Maybe she got therapy during her time in London, but if the reader doesn’t know that, then you can’t not include that.
There wasn’t enough time to develop Julia or any of the characters. I couldn’t relate to her, not even remotely, and she was dull. I would be shocked (and I was) to find out that she was the spice to someone’s life. Maybe that’s a bit too harsh, but it was true. I notice that in a lot of “0.5” and novellas and prequels there isn’t a lot of development. It’s never a good idea to write a novella without the intention to have development in it. Even if it’s to provide a tiny bit of background, definitely make those 76 pages worth the time you spent writing it and the time the reader spends reading it.

Homegrown Terror (Project Forge series) by Steve White

Bit of a hiccup in the normal schedule due to my kindle malfunctioning, but I will post on Friday and continue with the schedule as per usual. 

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Kindle Price: $0.99

Official Review: 1.5/5

Synopsis:

“Kendra is a soft spoken girl at school, and many of her friends would describe her independent and shy. But beneath the surface is a fierce warrior: Kendra is in fact a teen spy. Her “parents” are handlers for the National Security Agency, and she is sent on missions around the country. Her newest mission: a new homegrown terrorist organization has sprung up in the US, and she must tear the organization down. She will come up against more danger than she has ever faced before – will she save her country? Or will she die trying?”

My Review:

I feel bad about this book, it sounded interesting and I was hoping to enjoy it. In short, Homegrown Terror, is terribly boring. I don’t say that in a harsh way, allow me to explain.

Kendra doesn’t really have much to her. She is human, but acts as if she was given emotions, rather than born with them. That isn’t entirely her fault though. The story is told in limited third person, and the writing doesn’t make it work. I’ll get to that later. Throughout Homegrown Terror, Kendra doesn’t seem to feel much. I couldn’t connect with her, she did and felt everything in a matter-of-fact way. For instance, if she was kicked in the shin, her first response wouldn’t be “Ow!” it would be: I see. That hurt. I will say “Ow” now. “Ow!” She was an unrealistic character as well. I wasn’t expecting something extremely realistic, we are talking about a teenager working for the NSA here, but it was difficult to see her as a teenager. The whole book was about her being a teenaged spy, but with a few edits, I would have thought that she was a grown woman with a very small amount of human emotion. Despite all of the book following her adventures, I feel as if I didn’t even read about her. There should definitely have been more of a back-story for her, yet it was quickly glossed over. A teenager working for the NSA needs an epic back-story, especially if throughout the entire book, Kendra silently wishes she was ‘normal.’ It was a short read, yes, but there’s never an excuse for not developing your characters.

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