2 out of 4 stars
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In Chrome Mountain by Ben Schneider, Trey Radisson is a nerdy genius who creates a cloaking device. A technologically advanced terrorist group named Chrome Falcon learns of his invention and sets out to bring Trey to their side by any means necessary. Sonya McCall is a tough chick on a motorcycle, running from her crazy gang leader ex. She happens upon Trey as he is being pursued by the evil radicals. Believing God has given her a sign to help Trey, Sonya assists in his flight. Soon the police are also after the duo and Sonya and Trey learn that they can only trust each other. Can they outmaneuver the law and Chrome Falcon?
The pace in this book was an issue for me. You would think with such a plot it would be fast-paced with a ton of action. There was some of that, but there was also a lot of inactivity. Schneider develops the main characters separate at first. When the two stories finally converge, the excitement is full throttle. Then, another extended lull happens where Trey and Sonya get to know each other. My attention waned about this time into the story. Thankfully, the pace picked up again. Until Christmas came and then there was another intermission. I just wished the action was more consistent throughout.
The terrorist group, Chrome Falcon, was maniacal, but not overly smart. In fact, they bungled so much of their missions I wondered how they even rose to power. There was a mention of the group being newly formed and it is plausible that could be the cause for some disorganization. Colonel Epperson seemed to be the exception and showed competency. He could be one of those bad guys you would love to hate with his suaveness and a British accent. At one point, Sonya and Trey find themselves in Chrome‘s lair, which was the most exciting part of the story for me. It was suspenseful in seeing these two trying to get out without being caught.
There are religious themes throughout the narrative which I appreciated. The author presents redemption, the purpose of life, and saving oneself for marriage. Sonya and Trey display a reliance on faith in overcoming Chrome Falcon. However, the characters’ actions and words negate these themes. “Trey watched elatedly as the ‘cop’ convulsed and groaned in agony.” It is true this person attacked Trey, but seeing him enjoying his pain doesn‘t jive well with a man following God. Schneider also refers to overweight people extensively and has the characters poke fun at a few. This takes away from the values he wishes to promote.
The dialogue appeared juvenile at times with Sonya exclaiming “Jiminy Christmas!” and a Chrome Falcon member talking about the “many virgins who became single moms after they met” him. There was repetitiveness in mentioning Trey’s “shock” of hair and that he had a “Jewfro”. The angle of Sonya’s ex-boyfriend added nothing to the story, except more words and a reason why Sonya was so physically fit. She could have dealt with him at the beginning and the story would have been fine. On a good note though, there were no grammatical errors, but only one extra space between a word.
Overall, this book was a mixed bag for me. I liked the plot and the wholesome values that were presented, but the execution of it needs work. I give Chrome Mountain 2 out of 4 stars. For those against religious connotations, they would want to steer away from this one. This book would be for anyone who likes action-thrillers and a light romance.
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