Storm Rising

It was fast paced from start to finish. And the ending couldn’t come soon enough.
There are two possible reasons for me to finish a book I have been given for review.
The first is enthusiasm. I want to get everything I can from the volume, whether it is entertainment or knowledge.
Other times though I plod on to the end, long after I have lost interest, in the hope that something will happen that will redeem the experience for me.
I found no redemption in Storm Rising. I kept hoping that author Ronie Kendig was going to pull things together brilliantly in the final chapter to allow me to make sense of this thriller. She’s not a rookie author, 20 books to her credit, though I must admit I have never read any of her previous material.
The whole idea of a thriller is to keep the action going to the point the reader never questions whether what is happening is actually possible. Kendig manages the action, but I kept getting bogged down with questions. The scenarios just seemed so improbable.
I understand her super-soldier hero and his team being able to fight off the bad guys against all odds. That is what heroes do. But the bad guys are caricatures without character or motive, they don’t seem real. Neither do the good guys for that matter.

Is an Afghan commando likely to speak Arabic? I suppose it is possible, but given that only about one per cent of Afghanis speak that language, it isn’t likely. His colleagues seemed to think of him as an Arab, he describes himself as an Arab – but Afghanis aren’t Arabs. I suppose you can have an Arab Afghani – but an explanation would be necessary. That just struck me as sloppy.

In the same way, the good guys are airlifted by helicopter from Egypt to a ship in the Atlantic Ocean. Is that possible? Definitely. As long as you stop four times to refuel. I just don’t see a military operation, which apparently has money to burn given the depth of their resources, not using a more efficient method in a crucial situation where time is of the essence.
It is little things like that that annoyed me throughout Storm Rising. Directions, such as left and right were changed to three and nine. At least I think that is left and right. There are times to use jargon for authenticity. This book wasn’t one of them.

Confusion abounds, in my mind anyway, as to how a race to find a valuable ancient manuscript somehow becomes a semi-apocalyptic confrontation between the forces of good and evil, with the bad guys able to control the weather. Apparently two different story plots somehow wandered into each other and decided to cohabit uneasily.

As someone who has read a bit about ancient manuscripts, I can’t believe the cavalier treatment given to the prized document people in this novel are fighting for. A three thousand year old scroll subjected to the stresses described would become a pile of scraps. And don’t get me started on how easily the text gets translated (or how long it has taken to translate the Dead Sea Scrolls).

So is there anything in Storm Rising that I found redeemable? Well, it was fast paced. And the good guys win. And if you are looking for escapism it certainly fits the bill, as long as you don’t care about accuracy or believability.

Storm Rising is the first book in a series featuring the same heroes. Nothing in it has me waiting for the next installment.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”

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