3 out of 4 stars
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Chrome Mountain by Ben Schneider is an action-packed, science-fiction meets James Bond novel that will be sure to keep readers turning the pages. This book revolves around two main characters, Sonya and Trey, who could not be anymore different but must work together to defeat a high-intelligence terrorist group, the Chrome Falcons, and keep them from gaining access to an invention Trey has created called the VV1-a powerful cloaking device that can wreak havoc in the wrong hands.
Overall, I found this book to be an enjoyable read. The plot is interesting and immersive, and the characters are relatable and have a fun team-dynamic aspect to their relationship. Sonya, the main heroine, is a jack-of-all-trades with a rebellious past who is seeking redemption by helping Trey, the main hero of our story, to defeat the Chrome Falcons. At first, I expected Sonya to be a Mary-Sue character due to certain attributes that the author repeatedly brought attention to, such as her extreme beauty and knack for being handy in just about any situation that she finds herself in. However, I was proven wrong. Throughout the story, Sonya constantly makes mistakes but becomes all the better for it. I enjoyed witnessing this character mature as I was reading. Trey, on the other hand, is a goofy, loveable nerd with a genius mind, as well as some very funny dialogue throughout the book. Like Sonya, Trey deals with obstacles from his past that he must overcome in order to move forward with his life. It was refreshing to read about how these two characters bond and help each other during their personal quests.
The one thing I disliked majorly about this book was the author’s inconsiderate writing regarding characters that came from minority groups. Unnecessary stereotypes and attention to these character’s personal looks gave me the impression that this type of writing was intentionally written from a racist point of view. For example, the author refers to a Phillipino character’s eyes as being “slanted” and “monolid” multiple times throughout the book. To add to this, I was very disappointed that the majority of characters that received regular attention in this novel were all of one ethnic background (mainly caucasian), but the other few minority characters were either portrayed as “bad guys” or simply just “angry bystanders”. Lack of accurate representation is something that future readers will be bound to notice.
The few errors found in this book consisted of a sentence being incomplete due to missing a word as well as a grammatical error where improper tense was used. However, these errors are minor and should not affect the flow of reading harshly. I would recommend that more proofreading be practiced by the author in the future.
In conclusion, Chrome Mountain took me on a journey that I would expect to find on the big screens. This book was very creative and had a lot of good things to offer, along with things that need to be worked on. I believe readers who choose to engage in this novel will be overall pleased with the journey they will be taken on. I rate this book a 3 out of 4 stars.
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