3 out of 4 stars
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Chrome Mountain by Ben Schneider revolves around Sonya McCall and Trey Radisson as they get involved with biker gangs, terrorists, and advanced technology in this action-packed thriller novel. The story starts with Sonya leaving her boyfriend, the gang leader of Screamon Demons. It then introduces Trey who invents a cloaking device then destroys it the night before he was supposed to present it to his superiors. A paramilitary terrorist group called Chrome Falcon hunts Trey down three years later to force him to remake VV1. Their paths converge when Sonya decides to lend Trey a hand. Together, they strive to bring Chrome Falcon down.
I loved Sonya's character to bits. Sonya doesn't act like a doormat. She had enough of being Levi's punching bag and convenient warm body so she decides to gets out of dodge quickly. She kicks ass and takes names. She even brings her ex-boyfriend's personalized plate number with her as a trophy, along with a boatload of cash. She's not afraid to shoot people. She also rides a Harley-Davidson like she was born for it. That's not all there is to her. Sonya knows when she makes mistakes and she tries her best to improve upon them. I think Sonya and Trey are well-developed and realistic fictional people with fully developed backgrounds and motivations. Both of them are fitting lead characters, but I liked Sonya better.
There are so many delightful twists and turns packed into this story. They get through obstacles through a mix of ingenuity and luck. I don't want to spoil it, but Trey might as well be renamed MacGyver. Meanwhile, Chrome Falcon is everywhere. Trey and Sonya can never forget that they're being hunted like prey. On one highway chase, Chrome Falcon contributes by sending a black jumbo jet reminiscent of a Boeing 747 flying over the cop cars and eventually landing on the highway. This particular terrorist group can afford anything, including an instant teleportation device, and they want more. Specifically, they want Trey's invention, the cloaking device that he named VV1. Of course, the FBI wants to apprehend the terrorists as well. They initially declare that Trey is a member of Chrome Falcon on the news before Trey convinces them that he's not a terrorist. Both Sonya and Trey's past lovers are also in the picture for an added level of complication.
Something stuck out to me while reading this book. Trey's past girlfriend, Zuri Navarro, is supposedly Filipino. Filipino is an adjective, but it isn't adequate for conveying how someone looks like. The author uses this for describing Zuri most of the time. By the time I got to the end, it felt like the word Filipino had a very negative connotation to the author. There are better adjectives to use when you want to explain what someone looks like. I know I'd appreciate it if the author showed some cultural sensitivity.
This book was edited professionally. It has excellent action scenes. This book might even get a movie adaptation in the future. People who love sci-fi and action thrillers would love this book as well. It's fast-paced at the start, though it starts to slow down a little in the middle. There's very little romance. There are several instances where Trey and Sonya pray/consult/contemplate God. A few slurs are also thrown around, mostly by Sonya's ex-boyfriend Levi. Overall, I enjoyed reading this. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars.
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