Every month, I will do my best to read and review one book (non-fiction, fiction, poetry, etc.) from an up-and-coming author. These authors are often times my friends and fellow bloggers. If you would like for me to feature your book, please see my original post on the matter here: Now Offering: Book Reviews.
Book of May: His Personal Reich
Author: L. Salt
Andrea Zissman is a simple woman alone in the world. After her mother’s death, Andrea is given instructions to empty a safety deposit box. There she discovers a marriage license (proving that her mother did indeed marry her father although her grandmother told her differently) and half a picture containing not only her father but a brother she has never known. What begins as a journey to find her family turns into an adventure that dates back to World War II and Hitler’s reign of terror. Teaming up with Leon Callais, an eccentric journalist who is also searching for Andrea’s father, the two travel to Iceland.
There the dream of family turns into a nightmare filled with Neo-Nazis and the construction of a machine called “Nothung” which can prove detrimental to the fate of the world as we know it.
Review & Star Rating
I was so very conflicted on how to rate this novella. As an action/thriller it does not disappoint. There is non-stop action from the very beginning as the first page pulls readers in with mystery and intrigue. Between the threats of Nazis and an erupting volcano, there is a feeling that Andrea and Leon may be killed at any minute. The plot line is there with its exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. The story itself, or I should say the idea of the story, is fantastic!
Where it falls short is within its brevity. At 22,000 words and a little over 50 pages, there is simply not enough. The story reads more like a movie script in which relationships must be formed quickly and epiphanies must be made within 120 minutes. The relationships and conflicts between characters are filled with potential that demand at least double the page length. Due to the brevity, some moments feel forced, especially Andrea’s forgiveness at the end of the story. Additionally, while all the “key” elements are there, I wish Salt had included the in-between stuff, the sub-plots that really develop characters (showing not telling).
As far as criticism goes however, it is not the worst to hear that your readers were disappointed by the brevity and wanted more of the story.
I will also note that there is sexually mature content in this book that is not suitable for all readers.
I do recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a fun, quick read. It took me only a couple of hours to finish the book from start to finish. The plot line was intriguing, but perhaps you, like me, will wish that there had been more downtime to allow the characters to breathe.
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