2 out of 4 stars
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Marty, an employee at Kressigg’s Technical Expertise, finds himself on the run when the company is compromised and the invention he was working on becomes a must-have item for those with less-than-stellar intentions. The company’s project had aimed to improve the lives of wounded warriors. However, the device’s intended function shifted when Marty tampered with it during the testing phase. Having had the device on when it malfunctioned, Marty discovered the device had somewhat altered his brain, leaving him with an interesting but disturbing ability—an ability that left those close to him questioning his sanity for a time while complicating his love life. On the other side, Yakeisha, the woman who had tried warning Marty of the imminent danger lurking around him, finds herself mixed up in the battle for the device and being used as a pawn. Will Yakeisha make it out in one piece and be able to resume her normal life after all this? What will become of the device and Marty?
Have you ever read a book with a promising storyline and a great concept only to be disappointed by the execution? The first book in a trilogy, So Into Her by D. L. Yoder, is presented as a romance novel but reads more like a thriller with attempted romance.
I enjoy reading thrillers, and this book was no different—it had a number of moments where the story got exciting, intense, and fast-paced. A good portion of the story was weighed down by the author’s writing style and what seemed like the consistent need to tell the story at every turn. For example, the author would repeatedly use descriptive dialogue tags to tell characters emotions/ reactions such as “‘he says in a hopeful voice,’ ‘in a sympathetic note,’ or ‘the blonde man says incredulously,’” etc. This didn’t work for me and took me out of the story. Additionally, the characters would often state in the dialogues what they intended on doing, which was often followed by a description of the same. On top of that, the dialogues between the female protagonist and the criminals felt unnatural where conversations with those characters often seemed to go off on a tangent.
One of the elements I really liked was the effortless sense of humor injected into parts of the narrative. I particularly found Marty’s self-talk and anxieties about ending up with Carol from accounting hilarious. In addition, the speedy car chase had me on my edge of sit and quickly turning pages. I also appreciated the vivid descriptions of the characters. I especially liked that the backstories added depth not only to the characters including the criminals but also the company and device, which, at some points, seemed like characters in their own right. Lastly, the plot twist towards the end added an interesting element to the story. I also liked the shock factor of the unexpected twist and turns.
Though the story is mainly written in third person, the story shifts to first person (alternating viewpoints between that of Yakeisha and Marty) early in the narrative. This stylistic choice didn’t seem necessary or well-executed because all it did was reiterate the same events from the two characters perspectives, which made the narrative feel repetitive and slow. This also helped kill the suspense due to the repeated versions of the same event.
Another downside of this novel is that the romance wasn’t really believable nor was I ever moved or felt a connection with the characters’ interactions enough to care whether they ended up together or not. The fact that they did get together in the first place was not heartwarming, as it felt rigid and devoid of genuine feeling. There also seemed to be unrealistically quick resolutions to issues the couples faced.
Some characters unnecessarily prolonged the story, especially towards the end of the book. For example, Emily’s story ended up fitting in with the narrative, however, it seemed over the top to elaborate her encounter, when a brief mention of what happened to her would have worked just fine.
When it comes to grammar and punctuation, the book was littered with so many errors that it was rather distracting to read. From missing words and punctuation marks to repeated words and misspelled words, the book would greatly benefit from an additional round of editing. What’s worse is the misspelling of character names, .e.g., Mary instead of Marty.
Worst of all was the instances in which the author consistently switched the character’s name Melvin for Marvin as though it was supposed to be funny that other characters called Melvin Marvin. At first, it just seemed like an error, but when I realized later it was intentionally done, I wasn’t impressed. Another issue was the change in tense usage whereby sentences would go for from past to present tense. Everything considered, I cannot rate this book as it is anything more than 2 out of 4 stars.
The narrative does contain some graphic descriptions of violence. For those interested in thrillers, you might want to look into this once a revised version is available.
So Into Her
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