4 out of 4 stars
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Chrome Mountain by Ben Schneider is an action-packed fictional novel, starting off northeast along I-80 of present-day California, and picking up action towards the neighboring states. The two main characters, Sonya and Trey, are both running from different personal circumstances in their lives, and got entangled in a common imbroglio when their paths crossed somewhere along the highway leading to Colorado Springs.
Sonya McCall is a Harley-Davidson-riding type of gal, who ganged up with a group of bikers, the Screamon Demons, engaged in neighborhood hooliganism, back in Sacramento. But as the gang’s activities became too much for her to bear, and her relationship with the gang’s leader turning sour, she ran away bringing with her the group’s stash, and leaving behind about half-a-dozen enraged men who had sworn to make pursuit.
Trey Radisson is a techie kind of guy, an inventor actually. But in Almighty IT where he works, nobody knows about a gadget he had invented, the VV1, which could give a cloak of invisibility to objects and persons. However, he had misgivings for his safety, and for that of his family, which made him destroy the only working prototype he ever made, lest it falls into the wrong hands. And that also destroyed all hopes of his fiancée, Zuri Navarro, who fantasized of them two hitting it rich with his invention. But Zuri divulged Trey’s invention to a high-tech, terroristic organization known as the Chrome Falcon which is now bent to get hold of Trey, by all means.
With the Screamon Demons at the heels of Sonya, and the Chrome Falcon hovering above, in pursuit of Trey, the highway leading to Colorado is surely in for peculiar traffic. Add to this the screaming police cars, and the news helicopters joining in the fray. How will the riding-in-tandem duo fare in this milieu?
I have the impression that the highway scenes would be graphic enough to make this novel suited for a sizzling motion picture, what with the incessant chase, entangling cars, trucks, tractors and trailers, and helicopter gunships, all pursuing the vulnerable pair astride a motorcycle. In another chase sequence, there are even more daring stunts done by helicopter gunships and a euro copter.
And yet, I could not say, I could hardly put the book down after I started reading. That would be untruthful. If I had been reading from hard copies, then that might be the case. But since I read from a monitor screen set on the table, I simply had to press the keys to flip the page, without holding the book. What I would rather say is that I could not stop flipping the pages.
I could not help recalling a simulacrum of the plot to James Bond movies, where the object of the arch villain is world domination. And once captured, the leading character is shown the facilities of the main headquarters, as though saying: Mr. Bond I will give you a guided tour of our premises before you destroy the complex and escape with your girlfriend. It is somewhat like that with Trey’s evasiveness and ingenuity. And one thing more, James Bond movies stay within the bounds of Physics, no matter how stupendous the gadgetry. Here, there are incursions to the paranormal, such as the invisibility gadget and the teleportation gates.
There’s no doubt, aficionados of fictional works would love this and, therefore, I recommend this to them. The fast-paced action is guaranteed never to hit the doldrums in their reading. And although I skidded into some few errors, my pleasure did not turn turtle. So, yes! The rating of 4 out of 4 stars is forthcoming.
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