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Not the best Shannon McKenna I've read
on 29 September 2011
I do love Shannon McKenna; she's an auto-buy for me. And maybe I was expecting too much here, but for me this book just isn't what the others in the series have been. When I started Behind Closed Doors, I knew right away I'd be pulling an all-nighter with that book. I didn't put that book down until my tired, crossed eyes made me, and most of the other books in this series were also like that for me, in different degrees. With this new book, that didn't happen.
For me, this book was not unputdownable. I actually had to make myself keep reading it, and I never thought that would be the case. This story just didn't grab me and pull me in. The first few chapters seemed to need tightening up and made more concise. It almost read more like rambling. I have a friend who is reading her copy at the same time, and she told me to hang in there and keep going. So I did, and the story did pick up, around p. 254 or so, about halfway through. That's when I felt it was hitting its stride.
I do think this book is maybe too similar to the last book, with the medical science slant of mind control and the mad, narcissistic scientist out to rule the world with his army of brainwashed drones. This zombie master stuff, as Bruno called it, I really felt like had been done before with Kev. Also, this part of the story, the bad guys, seemed too easy; the bad guys always seemed just too on top of things. And for me, King just wasn't scary or sinister or even interesting enough. By the time I got to p. 400, I was very ready for this to wrap up, yet it just kept going on. I feel this book could have been at least 100 pages shorter.
As for Bruno and Lily, I didn't feel a deep connection there. Unlike the other books in the series, most especially my favorite Seth, I did not feel the same sort of intensity here with these two characters. With the other books, I felt as if I could reach right into the story and touch and feel what those characters were feeling for each other. The others had a palpable chemistry and connection, but I didn't get that vibe with Bruno and Lily.
Yes, Bruno is sweet and sexy, Lily is ballsy and tough in her way, but I never really got beyond that. I didn't see more than that. When they did interact together, it was almost as if I were viewing that from a distance. It wasn't visceral like with Seth and Raine, Connor and Erin, etc. While I liked Bruno and Lily, I just didn't feel completely invested in what happened to them. I was more or less reading the story to see a glimpse of some of my favorite characters again and to be ready for the next book in the series.
I got this dtb for my keeper shelf, to put with all the others in the series, but I can honestly say that I won't be reading it again. I'm actually disappointed with it. There are elements of SM that do come through but just not enough. It's almost as if it's a toned down version of SM. If you've never read SM and this series, you'll probably be pleased with this book, as it is not a bad book, but if you're an SM fan and love and have read this whole series, you may be let down by this latest. Maybe not though. Might just be me who feels this story is just a little off and not quite what it could have been.
To end on some positives:
** possible spoilers **
If you were disappointed in Kev's reunion with his brothers in the last book, you will enjoy seeing that happen in this book. That was glossed over some before, and we readers didn't really get to see those feelings of opening up to his brothers, or at least it felt that way to me. But here Kev and Bruno and the boys finally have a heart to heart and let the jealousy out.
I also loved seeing Sveti again. I have long been intrigued with that girl and her story and her character, and I really feel SM should write a story for Sveti. I always thought she might reconnect with her crush Josh, but now I'm very curious about Det. Petrie. That man was way interesting and way hot. He seemed to be preoccupied with Sveti too.
And Alex Aaro. This next book should be really good, I hope. More Russian/Ukrainian bad guys and not mind control freaks. Alex has his own demons, and I really liked what I saw of him in this book, kind of dark and deep, surly but also vulnerable. I'm hopeful for the next book, that Alex will grab me and pull me right into that book with him.