3 out of 4 stars
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Chrome Mountain by Ben Schneider is a riveting sci-fi novel that follows the adventures of Sonya McCall and Trey Radisson. Sonya is a rebel child who finds herself running from an abusive and toxic relationship in California, meanwhile, Trey is a tech nerd bored with the monotony of his office job. Almost by fate, the two meet and are instantly caught up in an arms race between a terrorist group and the United States government. Though the two characters couldn’t be more different, they begin to form a deep friendship while trying to survive. This novel is sure to keep you entertained and turning the pages!
One of the first things that I really enjoyed about this novel was how relatable the characters are. The author isn’t afraid of exposing the flaws and the wrongdoings of his characters. In fact, this creates a great mental image and personality to relate with both Sonya and Trey. Some readers may be able to relate with Sonya’s need to find herself again and get back to her roots; some other readers may be able to relate to Trey’s need to prove himself and break out of the “funk” he’s in. Another thing that stuck out with these characters is the author's choice to reverse the stereotypical gender roles between the characters. Sonya is often the rough and tough in the scenes while Trey is more calculated and timid. Schneider does a great job of demonstrating each character's strengths and weaknesses.
There is no shortage of action in this novel. If you love a plot-driven novel with tons of excitement, this is for you. Schneider does an amazing job of creating vivid mental images of every scene while keeping the wording short and simple. There were times in the novel that I just couldn’t read fast enough!
The only downside of this novel was I found the dialogue was a bit lacking. Though, this didn’t draw much away from the overall enjoyment of the novel since it is so packed full of action. I also felt like there could have been more added to the descriptions of the technical and combative/weaponry scenes. I found there were times where I drew from my own experience with these subjects to be able to relate to what was being described in the novel. Some people don’t have these experiences to draw from, so it would have been nice to see a bit more detail in some of that.
Overall, I would give this novel a 3 out of 4 stars rating. This novel was such a pleasure to read, it kept me turning the pages, always waiting to see what would happen next. It didn’t seem to be professionally edited, but the writing was coherent and was well put together. I would recommend this for anyone who likes fiction and a lot of action in plot lines.
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