3 out of 4 stars
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I rate E M P Honeymoon by Dorothy Mae Mercer as 3 out of 4 stars. I was eager to listen to this book as it sounded like an adventure and a switch in genres to what I had been reading. Indeed, this audiobook met my expectations with quick action and a foreshadowed mystery to solve. Because this was an audiobook, it could have been easy to miss a crucial detail, but the writing was clear and simple, with a well explained plot, and strong characters.
The story generally moves back and forth between four main actions, the main couple on their tropical honeymoon, an angry dictator, the team assigned to carry out a destructive military project, and the US government sorting out the pieces. All four groups are well developed, some far more than others as the story dictates, and the action moves smoothly between these groups. Never did I feel the movement was choppy or unnecessary.
The story starts with immediate action as one half the honeymoon couple loses her mainland tour, discovers a dark secret of some sort and gives a panicked call to her brother back home in the US. There is plenty of foreshadowing to know the general plan of the dictator, but we learn piece by piece his full plan and his motivation. We end up feeling a little empathy for the military team who are in fact terrorists, but who have little to no choice in the matter. The suspense builds as the honeymooners and their team (US government) try to figure out what is being built, who is building the thing, and what the plan is. All the actions of all the characters are believable, if at times, just a little too coincidental (How many of us have a big brother who can call in a favor from the CIA and then send down a pair of bodyguards, paid by the US government, to their little sis on her honeymoon because she thinks she saw something?). Still, if you can put the low probability to the side, the characters and their actions are believable.
I did find that my attention waned around chapter nine as the action slowed, or maybe my perception is that the action slowed because my attention wavered. I do know that it seemed that the story seemed to pause and I eagerly looked forward to the return of the adventurous pace I was used to. The beginning and the end of the book met my expectations, and the change of pace in the middle wasn’t terrible.
As a reviewer, I find it more difficult to notice grammatical errors, or foul language in an audiobook. There was twice in the beginning where I felt like there were slight contradictions in the details of the characters and their motives, but nothing huge or damaging. There were no gratuitous sex scenes, just some allusions (it is a honeymoon setting). There was not graphic violence, although if the terrorism succeeds there would be extreme devastation and death resulting. As I remember all the details, I would recommend this book to a wide audience. There are no religions specifically mentioned, nor anything particularly offensive. I would allow any middle-schooler or young adult to read these scenes. I would not offer it to an upper elementary reader as I don’t think most would have the geographical, political, or scientific understanding. I would read, or listen to, another book by this author with no hesitation. I happily recommend reading the book, <i>EMP Honeymoon</i> by Dorothy May Mercer and narrated by Scott Ellis.
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