Monday, February 11, 2008

Book Review

The Believer by Stephanie Black

Ian Roshek, a history professor, is taken in for police questioning because he helps a university student accused of having “treasonous” literature. Alisa Kent his interrogator finds out that he is a believer of a religious faith—the Mormon faith. Ian is sure that he will be punished as a traitor to the state, but he is surprised when Kent lets him go. Ian lives his life quietly, until he and his friends are offered by the Liberty Cadre to help them overthrow the government. Ian doesn’t believe in the method that the cadre uses, but his friends are drawn in. Ian never could have guessed what chain of events would happen next. This book tells the story of a futuristic U.S. split in two. President Tremont started his own country in order to run things the way that he thought would be best for everyone, but those that have inherited his legacy must decide if he has given them a government worth saving or destroying.

I thought that this was a well-written book. The initial conflict draws the reader right in. The characterization is good, and believable. The book has a lot of dramatic conflict and suspense. I couldn’t wait to read the ending. I was very sad that the ending disappointed me on account of the fact that I enjoyed the book so much before that. The main thing that annoyed me was the author started holding back information from the reader in order to keep them in suspense. Alas, it only backfired and made me feel bored and cheated. I guessed pretty quickly what then ending was going to be and I was right. Then there was the whole chapter of info dumps that went back and explained how everything happened. I would have preferred that the author told us the plan that the character had, so that we were actually invested in whether the plan would go through or not, especially since someone figured out the plot on their own. It would have been a lot more suspenseful to have rooting interest in the plot, then being kept in the dark until this confrontation happened and the character decided to help the plotting character instead of trash them. So, that was my main criticism. Other than that the book is very well-written and very thought provoking too. Even if I didn’t love the ending I’d still recommend this one to other readers, especially if they love suspense. There are other twists in the plot that I never suspected and really the book holds an engaging story.

The Author Website:

Black also blogs at Six LDS writer's and a Frog blog. She has a book called Fool Me Twice coming out in April. It has a spectacular cover, go check it out at her website.


Anonymous said...

Hi Gamila! Just dropping by to say that I gave your blog an award. This is a pretty cool review site. Hope it gets more hits soon!

Tristi Pinkston said...

I enjoyed this book quite a bit.