2 out of 4 stars
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Chrome Mountain by Ben Schneider is an action-packed science fiction novel. Sonya is an ex biker-gang member on the run from her homicidal ex boyfriend. Trey is a nerdy inventor who is being tracked down by a murderous paramilitary group known as Chrome Falcon. When their two worlds collide, they quickly become dependant on each other, and on God, for survival.
This book certainly delivers a lot of action. The very first chapter has our heroine shooting at a potential kidnapper and barely escaping a semi truck tumbling down a hill. The incredible arsenal possessed by the Chrome Falcon group allows for this action to continue nearly non-stop. It is a pleasure to indulge in scene after scene of hand-to-hand combat, Uzis firing, and rockets exploding.
Sonya and Trey are fun, well-developed characters, and the relationship between them is endearing. Their bond provides additional suspense to the novel as the reader wonders if these two lovebirds will survive each harrowing attack.
This book does, unfortunately, have its issues. For one, the language used is entirely out of place considering the graphic subject matter. In one scene, a gang leader is in a motel room with a prostitute he has just killed, and he puts a cigarette out on her corpse. In the very same scene he calls the FBI "party-poopers". This borderline baby talk is a trait shared by all the book's antagonists. It is meant to portray inferior intelligence, but instead it comes across as silly and prevents the reader from getting lost in the story.
Another issue is the artless insertion of religion. While I applaud the effort, both Sonya's and Trey's decision to turn to religion is given minimal explaination, and references to the protagonists' beliefs are clumsily inserted throughout. They repeatedly cite their belief in God as an integral part of their being without explaining why they feel that way. It serves as another distraction from, rather than an addition to, the storyline.
I give this book a rating of 2 out of 4. I nearly gave it a 3 because the action scenes are nicely thought out and enjoyable, the main characters are likeable, and it is edited extremely well, with only a couple of small errors in the text. However, the issues mentioned above made it very difficult for me to finish the book. I was constantly thrown out of the story by unrealistic language and seemingly random references to God.
I would recommend this book to teens or young adults who are comfortable with graphic imagery but not with strong language. I would not recommend this book to anyone who is uncomfortable with violence.
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