I normally only review a book if it's absolutely brilliant (for me) or it tanks badly. This one is definitely very mid-stream on my rating list but afI normally only review a book if it's absolutely brilliant (for me) or it tanks badly. This one is definitely very mid-stream on my rating list but after reading some of the reviews, the lack of research by the author and after looking for a sequel, I felt I had to comment.
Yes, I looked for a sequel as I thought the story showed relative promise and I thought I'd like to get to know more...maybe the characters would be fleshed out and the native American aspect would come to the fore....especially when a major archaeological find was part of the story's premise.
However, first, let's get one thing straight.... (*cough* 'scuse the pun) although this is book one in the Van Zant Siblings series, there is NO sequel, it's a stand alone book. Any connection to the next book is only in the name of the family and as there is no introduction to the MC's featured the next 3 books in this one, I fail to see how it is even part of a series. Even the genres are completely different. There is no BDSM, this is M/M romance and it's monogamous.
The story shows promise in the beginning with some self-depreciating humour and angst on the part of Brian, who then proceeds to almost kill himself. The rescue by and introduction of Tobias is also well done. The native American aspect was introduced but just never developed.
After Brian recovers, the story then starts to fail as he's shown to be so competent later on in the story...I mean, he has all the skills which were lacking in his earlier bad judgement so his knowledge and abilities are just too convenient a plot foil for the main story.
When a stealth helicopter was introduced, I seriously started to think about tanking this story. The author did not do her homework. Yes, stealth helicopters do exist but the actual utilisation of the technology is NOT going to happen on the top of a mountain, in snow. Stealth for helicopters involves radar reduction through the use of composite materials plus non-reflective/angled surfaces which minimise the airframe's physical signature. Blade noise can also be reduced but not to the extent as stated in this story. Noise reduction also depends upon map-of-the-earth flying techniques...this jest ain't gunna happen on top of a mountain in blizzard conditions. The bad guys were so incompetent that one phrase comes to mind; all the gear but no idea. Seriously, military grade equipment in the hands of idiots does NOT a good story make. ....*sigh*....
This has promise, I did enjoy the few hours it took to read but in hindsight, disappointing for what it could have been with a little more work. My opinion is of little consequence but I would suggest the author removes its 'series' tag and considers a sequel to expand on the world building already done and th eplot lines already developed but not utilised.
My first love has always been science fiction and finding a story where the science is fully credible is reasonably rare. Mario doesn't go into deep sMy first love has always been science fiction and finding a story where the science is fully credible is reasonably rare. Mario doesn't go into deep scientific detail but what he writes is concise, logical, sound and believable as it fleshes out and supports the romance base of the story. (There were parameters to this series that authors had to fulfill and the story is well formed within the framework required. It's not an easy task to fit your imagination into constraints set by a publisher.)
Being a short story, there isn't the chance to do in-depth character development or world building but with almost anecdotal references between the characters, Mario does provide the reader with real 3 dimensional personalities with faults we are all subject to. We might not know as much as we want to about Jacob and Ivo, but we do get a good rounding of who they are.
There is one other thing I highly respect about this story and its author. Mr Lipinski is German and writes in English which, of course, is not his primary language..... this is NOT an easy thing for anyone to do. What results is a slightly quirky style which is very different to the mainstream romance story we have all read. The syntax and descriptive words are slightly different to your standard English language as text but I found this imparted a unique flavour which enhanced the world building. It's set in Germany and the culture, though 'western', 'Eurocentric' etc is not American, British or Australian. This cultural difference is there in the writing and it is an asset for the reader. This book has been well edited, well thought out and logically presented but the style is different...it presents diversity on many levels, both within the story and in its creation.
I was given a ARC of this book but I was under no obligation to write a review. I'm also one of those superficial people who will only write reviews if the book is brilliant or absolutely 'tanks'. I believe we need honest reviews which highlight both ends of the reviewing scale but they are still my own personal opinion and a reflection of what I enjoy....more