Sunday, June 24, 2012

Book Review: Decoy (A Noel Casey Novel)

Decoy (A Noel Casey Novel)

Publication:  Self-Published
Publication Date: 12/04/2012
Source: E-book provided by author
Buy it at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Audience: Thriller; science-fiction



Lieutenant Noel Casey is taken aback by her newest military assignment. Her usual routine of vaccine development is interrupted when she's assigned to analyze Killian, a genetically engineered soldier designed for exceptional strength and intelligence. She's not accustomed to working with human subjects, especially a person created for warfare, and Killian's indifference is making it difficult to see past his robotic demeanour.

 When Noel is attacked outside Killian's containment quarters, he is forced to intervene. The altruistic act instantly transforms their relationship, though neither will admit to the shift in sentiment. The predator is now the protector in Noel's eyes, and she's thrown off by her growing captivation.

As if her infatuation with a virtual stranger isn't enough of a distraction, she begins having terrifying nightmares. Her cryptic dreams appear to harbour an elusive warning as she watches them materialize into existence, proving the nightly visions foretelling. She begins to suspect the military base is concealing far more than an experimental soldier, and she can't shake the feeling Killian is the axis of the chaos. Noel must decide whether she'll accept the unconvincing explanations offered by her peers, or reject her comfortable environment for an unimaginable truth. With her premonitions pointing towards a violent outcome and her irrational draw to Killian becoming impossible to ignore, she realizes the choice has already been made for her. Noel's understanding of science is about to be shattered

My Review

Hmmn.. where to start with this one… I am a little conflicted because, while I admire the perseverance and determination of anyone who writes a novel and tries to get it to market, for me this novel was the book equivalent of the good, the bad and the ugly (although not necessarily in equal parts).
Let’s get the bad bits out of the way first. For me it was mostly to do with unmet expectations. Firstly, the author bills herself as a writer of paranormal romance incorporating Sci-fi and thriller elements. I have done nothing but read paranormal romance (PNR) for the last 3 years (and I read A LOT) and this novel does not read like a PNR. There are no paranormal beings (that I could see) although the ‘tickers’ in the woods may ultimately turn out to be freakish werewolves or something, which might justify this genre grouping. I think this book is better billed as Sci-fi thriller with a touch of romance. And that leads us onto the other niggly thing- there was only a little romance (of a chaste and obliquely referred-to type) and no descriptive sex. These are hardcore elements (please pardon the really bad double entendre) of any PNR worth its’ salt and there was an obvious absence of both. However, as a sci-fi thriller, this story worked very well!
And now (briefly) for the ugly, with a heartfelt plea to Ms Debelius: please, please get yourself a decent editor or someone with sharp copy-editing skills to look over the sequel before you publish it. I counted 27 errors on a first read, ranging from clunky grammar to the misuse of homonyms. I am a stickler for good spelling and grammatically correct prose so these errors were jarring and really detracted the smooth flow of my reading, and my overall enjoyment of this story.

Ah, the story. Now this is the ‘good’ -the very good! Ms Debelius has created a fascinating world of an alien people housed on an experimental army base, along with experiments that have gone wrong. The pacing of the plot was tight and I enjoyed learning more about the Eneathers (great name!) and their skills. I am intrigued enough, despite my reservations above, to come back to find out what happened next, especially if we get more fleshing out of the Killian/Noel/Taylor dynamic in terms of character exposition.

Blysse’s Hot:Plot Ratio

Not applicable

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