Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Forged in Fire

Summary: A reasonably-priced, decent read in the sexy action/romance genre.  The author doesn't so anything particularly new, but if you're in the mood for love at first site, Navy SEALs, and a dash of paranormal, this is a good choice.  Contains violence, sex, and explicit references to rape.

Forged in Fire is, I believe, Trish McCallan's first published book, and it's a solid launch.

The premise is a blend of two familiar tropes here.  One is the close knit SEAL team (honorable, deadly, and built) who are trying to stop some really bad guys.  The other is a hero with psychic powers who's been seeking his mystical soul mate.  Anyway, no new ground, but if it's your thing, then it's two great tastes that taste great together.

The world is basically the real world, and I get the idea that although the hero has some psychic traits in the family, it's not like there are monsters running around or any sort of paranormal sub-culture.

 If this were a fantasy book, I would describe it as very low magic.  It's the first in a planned series, so she may develop the paranormal aspects of the world in future series.   My guess is that she's going to have each book feature the romance of one of the secondary characters from a previous book and have some defined mission/danger/enemy to defeat, while developing a long-range story arc over multiple books that involves a secret organization trying to take over the world, with some mild building of the supernatural aspects of the world.  We'll see.  In any case, there are some pretty obvious story hooks left hanging at the end of the book.  I would have preferred this book be a little more self-contained, but it's not egregiously cliff-hangery.

The author did some things really well.  Her villains are despicable-yet-smart, the actions and emotions of her characters are believable and likeable, the flow of action is good, the sex scenes are sexy, and I didn't see any obvious plot holes or mistakes in the military/government (of course, I'm not an expert, so take that last opinion for what it's worth).  And people got hurt in dangerous situations.

She didn't have any terrible weaknesses, but one thing bugged me - her characters were too generic.  For example, there are four SEALs that comprise the male side of the primary and secondary characters.  Besides their names, the only thing that differentiates them that I can think of is that the commanding officer distrusts woman, the protagonist is mildly psychic and doesn't sleep around much, another one has a southern accent (although you only know that because the author mentions - the dialog isn't written differently) and has medical training, and the last has a cold personality and a warm mother.  Other than that, they're interchangeable.  I couldn't discern any differences in body type, opinions, tics, habits, skills, etc.   Don't get me wrong, it's a good character type (who doesn't like a generi-SEAL?).  But I want to be able to read a piece of dialog and be able to tell who said it without having to see the name, at least some of the time.

Hmmm.  That seems a bad way to end a post for a not-bad book. So, okay.  Read it if you like this sort of thing, and we'll see how the author develops in her sophomore effort soon.

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