Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.
Former Navy SEAL Leif Metcalfe and his team have the dangerous task of getting a hold of the once-lost Book of the Wars, an ancient book of prophecy mentioned in the Old Testament. But Iskra “Viorica” Todorova, a deadly Bulgarian operative, gets to the book first in Storm Rising by author Ronie Kendig.
Though she’s been on my radar for a few years, this is my first time reading this author. Her writing style is the kind I appreciate in a suspense read: sharp and up-tempo, without corny undercurrents trying too hard to make everything hip and cool. The edge and quickness in this novel aren’t forced, and the cast of characters is diverse.
However, the cast is a pretty sizable one to juggle, and it’s almost as if the story took for granted that I’d already know and care about a few of its members. I believe some of them are returning faces from earlier novels I haven’t read, which isn’t a bad thing. But I had trouble connecting with the characters, as well as some difficulty getting a firm grasp on the ins and outs and whys to the storyline.
While I expect violence in suspense and usually have a high tolerance for it, I’ll admit my tolerance is lower when it comes to violence against the vulnerable. (Not violence in the sense of combat or fighting crime, but in cases like when women are routinely beaten and/or sexually assaulted by men they know. Although rape in this novel is off-page, the effects and desperation of it are there, and I just wasn’t prepared for it, nor for the on-page physical abuse.) Though I also like finding good romantic/flirtatious chemistry in a story, it’s hard for me to get into it when one of the characters is still in or fresh from that kind of abusive nightmare. I can’t help wishing the character would have some time to heal first.
I pressed through nearly half this novel before I decided not to continue. Still, I plan on going back and trying something else by this author sometime.