Dearth Of A Nation
By Garman Lord
There are three candidates running for president. When one of them is assassinated in a most unusual way, a group with the title of Commandos, undertake the investigation.
Okay, that’s the plot. The plot as mentioned in the blurb I received made it seem as if there was going to be more political satire from the politicians themselves. This book has caricatures of real people, but the blurb doesn’t even mention the Commandos. It mentions the President so that’s where I thought this book would be going. It didn’t. In fact it focuses on only one of the candidates and that’s not how I perceived the story line to go.
Usually, I would make a list of some of the main characters with a bit of description and maybe some background, depending on the amount of information given. In this case, the author decided to list the individuals in the Commando groups with extensive descriptions at the beginning of the book. Basically, the original five were supernatural in origin and being this is book five of this series, their origin is just mentioned without being heavily delved into. There are a few others that have joined the group throughout the series.
The big problem here is that all of the characters sound and act alike, even those who aren’t part of the group. There isn’t one mature adult in the whole bunch. This may be fine for a YA book, but there are adults, supposedly serious minded adults in this one, but nobody acts like one. With the blend, I couldn’t get into any of them.
As mentioned in the plot section I thought the President was going to have a bigger role but he shows up only in one or two minor sections.
There is a some humor in the characters, but it’s overdone and becomes tedious as the book moves along.
This book is 90-95% dialogue. There is very little action. It’s all somebody talking. For the most part all of the conversations are done after the action and the investigative parts have completed. I can’t count the number of debriefing sessions the commando group had after they had gone out and found the evidence.
Every character and I mean EVERY character who has any prominence in this book has loooooooooong monologues. And each one takes a looooooong time getting to the point. Seriously, a character will speak for pages. And every character does this.
So, every character sounds like every other character. From the teenagers to the Secret Service Agent to the presidential candidate.
Because of this, reading this was exhausting. Constantly I was yelling at these characters to “Get on with it!”
Every character speaks with several quips of attempted humor. There are numerous quotes and phrases from other well known books. That became old hat, too, after awhile.
There is a ‘prologue’, but it is not a proper prologue. It’s a longer blurb.
There were some places in this book, I simply could not comprehend. Chapter 14 was one such place.
It became very difficult to find the actual mystery and keep up with the latest ‘clue’. The climax was not dramatic or tension filled. The question as to the reason behind the method of the murder was asked several times but if there were any clues to throughout pointing to that reason, I missed them. During the climax one of the commandos just explains the reasoning and I had to go back and read it twice because I missed it the first time.
I was also a bit uncomfortable with the ease or the acceptance level from the adults (who should have been more serious-minded) with the constant teen talk about sex.
No action because of the dialogue dump.
I know, I know, this is satire, this is humor, this is apart from reality, this is a skewed and unrealistic story. I understand and maybe I’m not understanding the concept behind it. Maybe it’s me but I didn’t get it and I glad to finish it feeling very tired after it was over.
The only reason this isn’t getting the lowest rank is because there were no misspelling/grammar/punctuation errors.