The ISIS Lone Wolf Trigger
By Nik Venture
Okay, so there’s a journalist who’s trying to write a feature on a controversial evangelist who in turn is messing around in DNA manipulation. There’s a Muslim terrorist trying to blow up a plane. There’s a bunch of bad guys interested in firing a powerful laser to start a war and blame everything on Iran. A group of CIA good guys trying to figure out everything. And there’s a kidnapped girl and some bits about a liquid natural gas plant.
I think I covered most of it. This started out with some intriguing stuff but after awhile, I lost the connection. It wasn’t until half way through the book that the liquid natural gas plant was introduced and then it wasn’t seen again until the end of the book for a brief scene. The side plot with the kidnapped girl sort of flattened.
Jack Kant: journalist
Angela Bow: documentary researcher, has a sister, attended Rutgers
Ziad Berry: attended MIT
Carolyn James: CIA analyst
John Banger: Married, 6’3”, married with children
David Deacons: married, balding, glasses, overweight
So, Angela’s only role was to play sidekick to Jack and be the one who helps increase the danger. There’s the evangelist, Flint, who shows up, gives Jack and Angela and ride to his house, then disappears only to show up when everybody is kidnapped by the bad guys. Banger was seen but never did anything. There’s a guy named Cranach who is the bad guy. James never leaves her office and really doesn’t do a whole lot. Ziad was a wishy-washy terrorist wannabe whose career ended embarrassingly.
Basically, these were surface characters with barely any physical descriptions.
Here is where my connection to the book was lost. I tired of reading long, long, long speeches and sermon-like dialogues and explanations from these characters.
There is a major problem with internal dialogue that kept switching to present tense. There was a lot of this and I couldn’t understand why there was so much of it. Either have the characters think something in present tense and then let the narrator show us the subsequent thoughts. But these internal sentences in present tense kept going.
Misspelled words and missed quotes. At least one capitalization error.
I think the major problems are with the jumpy abrupt side plots and the dialogue. I’ve discussed the dialogue but let me go a bit deeper into the plot. As mentioned, I didn’t understand the introduction of the LNG plant halfway into the story and then not going back to it until briefly at the end. Especially with the long explanations in that into scene. The girl being kidnapped faltered because Angela should have been more worried. Then at the end, after the girl had been in an accident was never shown rescued and it was two weeks later before Angela and Jack saw the girl. That doesn’t make sense. It was sort of left up in the air what was going on with Flint and the business with DNA manipulation didn’t work for me.
I kept trying to grab onto something solid and was left with grasping clouds that somewhat connected to another cloud. Then I was left with trying to come up with a rank. Green dropped to Camo which dropped another rank. With everything put together, I have to go with: