It’s a bad, bad world out there, and it’s made even worse when you don’t stick to the plan. People tend to freak out. Simple abductions suddenly becomIt’s a bad, bad world out there, and it’s made even worse when you don’t stick to the plan. People tend to freak out. Simple abductions suddenly become much more complicated, and true intentions end up masked by pain and strain and suffering. True trauma hits worse than a woman named Elle wielding a 5-iron. And no matter how well you play the game you have to ensure you follow the rules.
THE GOOD GIRL shows the heart of human nature, and I think it’s safe to say: We’re pretty fucked up. It’s true there’s good in all of us…and bad too, but when push comes to shove we’re going to do whatever it takes to save our own ass. Sure, there’re a few out there who are heroes and heroines, but the vast majority of us just aren’t built that way. We mean well, and we have good intentions, but buses and automobiles and bicycles get in the way. And if we can nudge someone else off the curb instead, then more elbows will be thrown than in a UFC match.
The novel’s structure tossed linear completely out of the equation. Instead, you may need a roadmap to follow along if you’re not paying close attention. Mia and Colin didn’t always fall at the higher end of the likeability curve, but this tale clipped along at a rather frenzied pace even without their moral support. (view spoiler)[The Stockholm Syndrome angle proved a bit much for my taste, but maybe I’m just not a believer. (hide spoiler)]
And everyone has secrets. It’s hard not to live your life without a few extra shirts hanging in the closet. And while THE GOOD GIRL proved rather intriguing and entertaining, it may have been just a tad bit overhyped. I’m just sayin’.
If you want to read a high octane novel, and discover where the bodies are buried, and the long dead secrets on a familial history with more quirks anIf you want to read a high octane novel, and discover where the bodies are buried, and the long dead secrets on a familial history with more quirks and twists and turns than your typical thriller, then BLUE LABYRINTH is for you. If you want an agent that’s at the top of his game, and you want a cast of secondary characters that will stretch the limits of your imagination, then this novel is for you. But if you want to read a great Pendergast novel, where the dialogue flows crisp and clean and this is your first turn on the merry-go-round with Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, I would start at an earlier point in the series.
This dynamic co-author duo didn’t phone it in from afar, but it didn’t feel like they brought their A game. Sure, their B+ game is better than many an up and coming and already established author, but I’ve seen the top of the mountain, and I’m not settling for a spot on the second tier.
The secrets and history were great, and I did feel as though I was in the middle of a maze, and I had no idea what sort of friend or foe would end up in my path next. But I didn’t feel the mad rush to the finish line that I like to experience with a typical Preston & Child novel. Maybe it was because I was in a dark place when I attempted to read this particular tale, and the harsh reality experienced between these pages only added to my melancholy state, but I’d still like to believe that a great novel can take me anywhere. With this tale, I didn’t get that.
The plot moved as quickly as a 1 ½ mile race, but the dialogue felt static and forced at times, and I began to wonder if I had been left on the wrong dock in the wrong town staring up at a boat pointed in the opposite direction. With that being said, you could do a whole lot worse than BLUE LABYRINTH, but I feel like you could do better as well.
If this hadn’t been my sixth J. Kenner book, I’d probably be loving life a little more than I am right now. What started out as a fun fantasy has turnIf this hadn’t been my sixth J. Kenner book, I’d probably be loving life a little more than I am right now. What started out as a fun fantasy has turned more than a little crazy. Sure, I’ll freely admit I have a problem and thy name is book smut (aka book porn). When I discovered this little bastard about the time people were talking up Fifty Shades Of Grey like it was the second coming of Playboy, I became more than a little curious. So I dipped my hand in Release Me, and the next thing I knew I had a pair of handcuffs slapped around my wrist. And shit was I hooked. I moved on to Fifty Shades and discovered the writing may not be so hot, but the sex scenes certainly were, and Anastasia Steele may be a twenty-one year old virgin, but she sure as shit didn’t act like any virgin I’d ever met. And then I started actively seeking this shit out, and I discovered (rather happily) that there was plenty of book smut to be had.
And then I got a little carried away…What J. Kenner does rather well is add a layer of depth to her book smut, and she proves she can turn a phrase about as well as her heroines drop their pink underwear. I mean, damn, this might literally heat you up faster than an oil tanker in Alaska. If you want to cozy up next to a fire and be filled with desire and have characters who might be more than just a teenage fantasy, honey have I got an author for you. Men, do yourselves a favor and grab an armful of erotica and run to the nearest available cash register. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
So what went wrong? The life of a con just filled me with all sorts of wrong, and my fantasy bubble was burst. It exploded, and then shattered around me, even as I found myself continuing to turn the pages. Cole and Cat didn’t hit me like that, and I found myself more than a tad disappointed. So one might say, you could blame it on my own expectations. Because I was looking for a peak (a wonderful send-off if you will), and I was left with a valley instead. But what I will say before I go is that I rather enjoyed the way this trilogy focused on a trio of heroes and heroines, instead of ruining a perfectly adequate tale by spreading it over three novels (Fifty Shades I’m talking to you). But then J. Kenner has plenty of talent, along with a wicked imagination. And she’d probably make one hell of a librarian.