Matt Kelland's Reviews > That Girl Started Her Own Country

That Girl Started Her Own Country by Holy Ghost Writer
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Sep 11, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: crime

It's slightly odd to find myself reading the sixth sequel in a series of ten, especially when sequels two to five haven't been written yet, and when it's so different to the book it's apparently following. I normally like to start at the beginning of a series and read them in order, so it did feel like being thrown into the middle of something with no warning. It's been a long, long time since I read The Count of Monte Cristo, so I'm sure there's a lot I was missing that I would have picked up if I'd re-read that and then read the first sequel before this. I'll also confess that I haven't read the whole of Stieg Larsson's Millenium Trilogy either. (Or even seen the movies, come to that.) As a result, I suspect there are even more allusions I'm missing. No matter, it's still perfectly readable. Do be aware, though, that the story doesn't finish neatly. As you might expect from a series, it ends on something of a cliff-hanger.

What grabbed me with this book - which I read in a single sitting - was the immense variety of ideas being thrown out. There are legal issues (how many books will quote extensively from the Sovereign Immunity Act, for example?), a look at how to found your own country and the legal position of Sealand, and questions of prison reform and justice for abused women, then there's a lot of stuff about the ethics of hacking, technology for altering fingerprints, and so on. Meanwhile there are secret societies, conspiracies, and all sorts of shenanigans. It's not a simple, predictable book that fits into a defined genre. The main character is also unusual - who exactly is she? And how did she get to be in the position she is? She's not a believable character, in that she's definitely larger than life, but she's interesting and fun.

My only real quibble with the book is that although there's a great story and engaging characters, the writing often lacks depth and finesse. Too many one-sentence paragraphs make it feel choppy and break up the flow, and there's not enough emotional detail. The pseudonymous author too often tells us bluntly how someone is feeling or what they're thinking, when it would be better to give us a scene which lets us deduce what's going on beneath the surface: "show, don't tell," as most editors will tell you. Some of the dialogue also feels contrived and worthy of a B-movie, particularly in scenes featuring Latina characters, and the courtroom scenes come across as far too simplistic, lacking the intricacy of a John Grisham.

On balance, though, it's a fun, easy read which has a lot of potential to develop into an interesting series.
1 like · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read That Girl Started Her Own Country.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.