3 3/4 Stars from "Red Adept Reviews",
This review is from: Catch an Honest Thief (A Haven Mystery) (Kindle Edition)Plot/Storyline: 2 1/2 Stars
I had two very major problems with the plot in this book:
First Problem: The entire novel is centered around some crystals and, further in, the instructions for using them. The crystals somehow provide power to Haven, a town full of scientists. The author never fully explains what the crystals are or how they are used. It's as if the author had a great idea, but couldn't think of a way to explain the details.
Second Problem: Throughout the novel, I was trying to figure out what, where, or even when Haven was, but the reader was given very few hints. I did find out where: New Mexico. However, no deeper description was given for Haven other than that it was an environmental experiment. As for the when, well, it is sometime in the future, but not very far. I only guess that because there were quite a few gadgets, such as a wristwatch computer, but most of them seemed pretty realistic and not too many years away.
We also never found out much about the world outside of Haven. I assumed that Haven was built because things had declined, but about the only thing the reader hears about is there are gangs in the town closest to Haven.
Weird: Alexia gets kissed by a co-worker when she is feeling faint. Afterward, she doesn't even think about it all, not even to ponder why he did it, until she sees him again. Then, it's never mentioned again throughout the entire novel. This was just a little oddity that didn't seem to have any purpose. I wondered why it was in the book at all.
If you can ignore not really knowing anything about the location or time period or details about the central item to the story, the rest of the plot was very well done. I did enjoy the storyline. All scenes flowed together very well.
There was a secondary thread of a romance. However, the author did a very good job of keeping it understated so that it never really interfered with the plot.
Character Development: 3 1/2 Stars
The character development for Alexia, the main character was very well done. It was refreshing to read from the viewpoint of a strong female character who was intelligent, yet vulnerable. She was deep and interesting.
The other characters were not so well done. They really could have used some more fleshing out. With the main character being a psychiatrist, it would have been easy to get the other characters more detailed if only with her observations.
Writing Style: 4 Stars
The writing style was very good. The entire story flowed well with sparse, but vivid scenery descriptions.
A couple of times, the action seemed to `jump' a little. For instance, a character might `reach for a coat', then in the next sentence they are already out the door wearing the coat. This wasn't prevalent, though, and the other action sequences were well done.
Editing/Formatting: 5 Stars
This novel is of commercially published quality.
Rating: PG for light violence