14 December 2012

Review of Hard Time by K.J. Blaine

Hard Time (Book 2 of the Phoenix Chronicles)Hard Time by K.J. Blaine

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The sequel to Telepaths and Traitors and even more confusing.

The plot made very little sense to me. It seems that the author must have read somewhere that she should throw as much crap at her characters as possible in order to keep the reader's interest. It's just too much. I was overwhelmed and then I became numb and disinterested. So many times, hope is held out that they'll get out of the situation they're in, then that hope is snatched away.

The ending of the first half is anticlimactic; it seemed too easy to me after all the lead up and false hope. It's almost a deus ex machina.

The second half of the book is a completely separate story that reads like it should have been a whole other book. However, the story here is much stronger. Finally, the characters have some control over their own destinies; they are acting instead of being acted upon.

The writing is much better throughout than it was in Telepaths and Traitors. While I rolled my eyes at the time travel and the over-the-top torture scenes, it was still much more realistic. And the spelling and grammar was cleaner.

However, I couldn't feel for the characters as well as I did in the first book. There's just so much going on, and it's so overdone that I lost empathy for them. This is sad, as I loved the characters while I was reading the first book.

When I got this book, it was a free download on amazon.com. If it's still free, it's worth picking up if you like sci-fi.

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  1. You have some very nice reviews. I am now your newest follower.

  2. One of the mantras that was pounded into my head in my screenwriting program was "simple plot, complex characters." That doesn't mean it can't have plot twists, as a matter of fact, those are important as are reversals. But you shouldn't need a map to find your way through a plot.

    I think dues ex machina is definitely one of the most disappointing plot devices!