Overall rating and opinion of "Cynthia and Dan: Cyber War" by Dorothy May Mercer

Use this forum to discuss the June 2019 Book of the month, "Cynthia and Dan: Cyber War" by Dorothy May Mercer.
Post Reply
User avatar
allbooked+
Posts: 330
Joined: 08 Mar 2019, 13:07
2019 Reading Goal: 40
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 52
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 23
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-allbooked.html
Latest Review: Arsenic and Old Men by Glenn Ickler

Re: Overall rating and opinion of "Cynthia and Dan: Cyber War" by Dorothy May Mercer

Post by allbooked+ » 14 Jun 2019, 16:20

I just finished reading this book and I am having a hard time placing it in time. On one hand, the drone and computer technology place this book in current times. The language spoken by the men in the book places is in the 1950's (repeatedly calling Cynthia darling, and the boy shouting Golly!). There were other issues but those will go into my review!

User avatar
Tomah
Posts: 153
Joined: 05 Feb 2018, 02:21
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 31
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-tomah.html
Latest Review: The Fox by M. N. J. Butler

Post by Tomah » 14 Jun 2019, 17:51

The first few chapters haven't particularly engaged me. I don't mind some setup and character introductions before getting into the meat of the plot, but that's not what we get. Cynthia is still a non-character with juvenile motivations and no independent judgement or reasoning. She just goes along with whatever the plot demands. Sky is a Don Juan caricature that falls from nowhere. We know nothing about Cynthia's colleagues or how exactly it all works. Are they bodyguards, private investigators, anti-terrorist consultants? All of them at once? If so, it still doesn't explain why they were involved in a random murder case.

The novel's tone also feels like something out of an old-school cheesy romance story. Nothing wrong with that, if that's what you're into, but as people have mentioned, it's completely out of place here. Some of the sentences are legitimately cringe-inducing, and that's not a term I like throwing around. Overall, I'm not planning on continuing to read.

User avatar
Nisha Ward
Posts: 1254
Joined: 04 Feb 2019, 15:00
2019 Reading Goal: 40
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 65
Favorite Author: Garth Nix
Favorite Book: A Murder is Announced
Currently Reading: Breach
Bookshelf Size: 194
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-nisha-ward.html
Latest Review: The Ultimate Guide to Zombies by Dave Robertson
Reading Device: B0794RHPZD
fav_author_id: 4351

Post by Nisha Ward » 14 Jun 2019, 20:52

I'm only about halfway through but there's not really any other place to point this out, but I'm kind of uncomfortable with the way Glenn and Cynthia treat not only the armed forces around them but also other countries and people. Cynthia thinks of the Iraqi forces as cowards but I had to look up the Fall of Mosul to actually understand what she was referring to and the ISIL siege was brutal. Furthermore, Glenn just expects the Major to fall in line with very little information being offered in return. If the romance in the book is creepy, then the other half of the book is a slog because the politics and conflicts are handled so poorly and uncomfortably that I'm not sure what the author is trying to do here. I'll probably come back with more when I finish the book and actually have a rating for it.
Last edited by Nisha Ward on 14 Jun 2019, 20:54, edited 1 time in total.
"...while a book has got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the reader it's got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the writer as well." - Terry Pratchett on The Last Continent and his writing.

User avatar
Nisha Ward
Posts: 1254
Joined: 04 Feb 2019, 15:00
2019 Reading Goal: 40
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 65
Favorite Author: Garth Nix
Favorite Book: A Murder is Announced
Currently Reading: Breach
Bookshelf Size: 194
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-nisha-ward.html
Latest Review: The Ultimate Guide to Zombies by Dave Robertson
Reading Device: B0794RHPZD
fav_author_id: 4351

Post by Nisha Ward » 14 Jun 2019, 20:53

allbooked+ wrote:
14 Jun 2019, 16:20
I just finished reading this book and I am having a hard time placing it in time. On one hand, the drone and computer technology place this book in current times. The language spoken by the men in the book places is in the 1950's (repeatedly calling Cynthia darling, and the boy shouting Golly!). There were other issues but those will go into my review!
One of the weirdest things I've noticed is that Sky doesn't even sound American, to be honest. He sounds like the stereotype of a British gentleman via a regency romance.
"...while a book has got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the reader it's got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the writer as well." - Terry Pratchett on The Last Continent and his writing.

C-obi
Posts: 78
Joined: 07 Apr 2019, 08:14
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 58
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-c-obi.html
Latest Review: The Chest of Visions by Tim Ferguson

Post by C-obi » 15 Jun 2019, 11:39

The book gives a combination of battles and struggles mingled with romance. I sincerely hope it would be worth the reading time.

User avatar
Nisha Ward
Posts: 1254
Joined: 04 Feb 2019, 15:00
2019 Reading Goal: 40
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 65
Favorite Author: Garth Nix
Favorite Book: A Murder is Announced
Currently Reading: Breach
Bookshelf Size: 194
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-nisha-ward.html
Latest Review: The Ultimate Guide to Zombies by Dave Robertson
Reading Device: B0794RHPZD
fav_author_id: 4351

Post by Nisha Ward » 15 Jun 2019, 17:33

I gave this 1 star. While I was mildly interested in the cyber war aspect of it, there were too many inconsistencies for me to find any of it believable. Not to mention, the romance was tepid with very little conflict and Sky read like a more "desirable" version of Dan.
"...while a book has got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the reader it's got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the writer as well." - Terry Pratchett on The Last Continent and his writing.

User avatar
Wambui-nj
Posts: 179
Joined: 07 Apr 2019, 08:11
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 47
Favorite Book: Half of a Yellow Sun
Currently Reading: From Drift to SHIFT
Bookshelf Size: 77
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-wambui-nj.html
Latest Review: Burn Zones by Jorge P. Newbery

Post by Wambui-nj » 16 Jun 2019, 13:33

I didn't really like the book and couldn't follow the plot. I would rate it 2 out of 4.

User avatar
Tera_26
Posts: 14
Joined: 06 Jun 2019, 10:44
Favorite Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice
Currently Reading: Sigfried’s Smelly Socks!
Bookshelf Size: 26
fav_author_id: 2366

Post by Tera_26 » 16 Jun 2019, 13:54

I can consider this story not even a fairy tale, because the role of Cynthia is like a girl who is stunned by Sky's kindness and chivalry and lets herself be subjugated by his subtleties, a woman should not fall like that. Sky is a threshing character that deceives subtly. And while I was reading, I was wondering where Dan is?

User avatar
Everydayadventure15
Posts: 85
Joined: 20 May 2019, 19:07
2019 Reading Goal: 50
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 54
Currently Reading: 1984
Bookshelf Size: 130
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-everydayadventure15.html
Latest Review: Gardening With Guns by AJ Wootton

Post by Everydayadventure15 » 16 Jun 2019, 15:42

Overall, I felt like this was a quick read because the story wasn’t super complex. The cyber war portion of the book was more interesting than the romance part. The relationship between Cynthia and Sky didn’t come across as believable to me because it was a bit shallow. They fell in love way too fast and his immediate offer to marry her after a one night stand just seemed really fake and unrealistic. The computer nerds, however, were engaging characters and I enjoyed watching them conduct their cyber war. I don’t know anyone I’d recommend this book to because there were some awkward scenes, but the book itself is trying to be a romance and a thriller and I don’t think it came across strongly in either genre.

Helena91
Posts: 133
Joined: 27 Apr 2019, 15:16
Currently Reading: We are Voulhire: Someone Else's End
Bookshelf Size: 14
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-helena91.html
Latest Review: The Fox by M. N. J. Butler

Post by Helena91 » 16 Jun 2019, 16:13

Brendan Donaghy wrote:
02 Jun 2019, 03:37
I read the sample and felt no desire to read any more. For me, this felt like a book aimed at teenagers. I understand from reading other comments that the book contains content more suitable for adults in places. That being the case, it sounds as if the author hasn't really worked out the target audience for this book.
I absolutely agree with you! The book is neither here nor there, i'm not sure of which audience it's best suited for.

User avatar
Nisha Ward
Posts: 1254
Joined: 04 Feb 2019, 15:00
2019 Reading Goal: 40
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 65
Favorite Author: Garth Nix
Favorite Book: A Murder is Announced
Currently Reading: Breach
Bookshelf Size: 194
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-nisha-ward.html
Latest Review: The Ultimate Guide to Zombies by Dave Robertson
Reading Device: B0794RHPZD
fav_author_id: 4351

Post by Nisha Ward » 16 Jun 2019, 19:57

Everydayadventure15 wrote:
16 Jun 2019, 15:42
Overall, I felt like this was a quick read because the story wasn’t super complex. The cyber war portion of the book was more interesting than the romance part. The relationship between Cynthia and Sky didn’t come across as believable to me because it was a bit shallow. They fell in love way too fast and his immediate offer to marry her after a one night stand just seemed really fake and unrealistic. The computer nerds, however, were engaging characters and I enjoyed watching them conduct their cyber war. I don’t know anyone I’d recommend this book to because there were some awkward scenes, but the book itself is trying to be a romance and a thriller and I don’t think it came across strongly in either genre.
Agreed. I think the author should have chosen one genre as the main part of the book and used the other sparingly to a more lasting effect than trying to do both at the same time. It might have improved many parts of the book if she did.
"...while a book has got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the reader it's got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the writer as well." - Terry Pratchett on The Last Continent and his writing.

User avatar
Dic45ta
Posts: 43
Joined: 05 May 2018, 03:56
2019 Reading Goal: 30
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 40
Favorite Book: Burn Zones
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 23
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-dic45ta.html
Latest Review: The Lost Identity Casualties by Kim Ekemar

Post by Dic45ta » 17 Jun 2019, 06:51

I grabbed the book with high expectations but five chapters into the story and I don't want to continue. I can't say I like her character neither do I dislike it, she's just okay in my opinion.
Remember to love yourself every day. I Love You.
💜💜💜💜.

User avatar
VernaVi
Posts: 299
Joined: 30 Sep 2018, 00:36
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 71
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-vernavi.html
Latest Review: The Chest of Visions by Tim Ferguson

Post by VernaVi » 18 Jun 2019, 00:54

I wasn't happy with the romantic areas of this book's plot either. I felt that, since it's called "Cynthia and Dan", the Cynthia and Sky plot overshadowed everything too much. There was a lot I didn't like about this book.
I did like the parts that dealt with cyberwar however, I wished the author had put more of that into the book. In the end, I rated it 3 out of 4 stars.

User avatar
esp1975
Posts: 582
Joined: 21 May 2019, 17:00
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 56
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-esp1975.html
Latest Review: Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream by Dr Frank L Douglas

Post by esp1975 » 18 Jun 2019, 16:39

Sadly, I think I have to give this book 0 stars, in that I just could not bring myself to finish reading it. Cynthia was not believable as a character. And because I found her so unbelievable, I noticed every single other point where the author did not do her research, and found myself nitpicking every little thing. For example, if you are planning on attending graduate school in the fall, you know in January or February if you have been accepted to programs, and throughout the US, students attending graduate school are required to let programs know if they have accepted their offer or not by April 15. This is standard. So you will never have a student on a summer internship not knowing where they are going to school in the fall. This is something incredibly easy to research (heck, simply google "graduate school decision deadline" to get the April 15 date), and the fact that the author did not research it is just mind boggling to me.
Basically. I lost all ability to suspend disbelief. I kept trying to convince myself that I would come back to the book, but in the end, had to admit I was not going to.

User avatar
Nisha Ward
Posts: 1254
Joined: 04 Feb 2019, 15:00
2019 Reading Goal: 40
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 65
Favorite Author: Garth Nix
Favorite Book: A Murder is Announced
Currently Reading: Breach
Bookshelf Size: 194
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-nisha-ward.html
Latest Review: The Ultimate Guide to Zombies by Dave Robertson
Reading Device: B0794RHPZD
fav_author_id: 4351

Post by Nisha Ward » 18 Jun 2019, 20:47

esp1975 wrote:
18 Jun 2019, 16:39
Sadly, I think I have to give this book 0 stars, in that I just could not bring myself to finish reading it. Cynthia was not believable as a character. And because I found her so unbelievable, I noticed every single other point where the author did not do her research, and found myself nitpicking every little thing. For example, if you are planning on attending graduate school in the fall, you know in January or February if you have been accepted to programs, and throughout the US, students attending graduate school are required to let programs know if they have accepted their offer or not by April 15. This is standard. So you will never have a student on a summer internship not knowing where they are going to school in the fall. This is something incredibly easy to research (heck, simply google "graduate school decision deadline" to get the April 15 date), and the fact that the author did not research it is just mind boggling to me.
Basically. I lost all ability to suspend disbelief. I kept trying to convince myself that I would come back to the book, but in the end, had to admit I was not going to.
I finished the book but I do have to agree with you. Once you start to notice the flawed research in the book, you can't stop. This was why a lot of the technological aspects of the book irked me a lot.
"...while a book has got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the reader it's got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the writer as well." - Terry Pratchett on The Last Continent and his writing.

Post Reply

Return to “Discuss "Cynthia and Dan: Cyber War" by Dorothy May Mercer”