Review: In His Command
In His Command by Rie Warren
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
This is a difficult book to rate. The story blurb attracted me. I enjoy dystopian stories. In His Command is a world filled with anger. This is what made the book just a 2.5 star for me. It was a little better than okay but I can't really say I liked it.
The story is written in first person which is not my favourite. Caspar Cannon is an officer in the Corps. At first, it was disorienting to read the story because I couldn't immediately tell who was narrating the story. Once I figured out it was Caspar, it helped, but it didn't pull me into the book. The dialog in this book just rubbed me wrong. Caspar is annoying with his constant anger. Being in his shoes is exhausting. He's a rebel without a cause. It isn't until half way through the book where he finds a cause, but he's still so filled with anger. It's just unpleasant. It doesn't make me feel more sympathetic towards him. I just want to get away from him. His love interest, Nate, is a bit underdeveloped. Ms. Warren does attempt character building by providing traumatic childhood history. It's really a sob story for both men, yet it fails to gel for the reader. It feels as if she's checking down the list of things to include rather than letting the characters speak for themselves. It was a lot of talking instead of showing which usually leave me feeling disconnected, especially when I don't care for the characters.
The concept with the Company breaking up the world and getting rid of sexual deviancy which includes homosexuality is not new. What I didn't fully understand is the focus on homosexuals. The hatred towards homosexuals came across like a foghorn in a 5' by 5' cell. It was overwhelming and distracted from the overall story. Yes, it's a key element to the downfall of Caspar. However, it came across a bit clunky instead of a smoothly woven tale.
Ms. Warren definitely shows potential. She needs to find a better balance between the heavy and light. What I'm trying to say is, her book comes across as preachy instead of a subtle message for change. She draws the world as black and white and clearly yells at the reader who is evil and in the wrong. For some readers, this may be fine. For me, it's not my preference.
Reading the excerpt of her next book in this series, it gives her the chance to refine her writing for a smoother read. One of her main characters is someone who is already on the evil side which she hints could turn to be one for the good. Blurring the lines and developing a character who overcomes his flaws would help with character development. Another thing to watch out for is creating the same character but assigning them a different name and gender. Based on the excerpt, the female lead comes across almost identical to Caspar. She is not an individual, she's a female clone of Caspar. This makes a character forgettable. When characters start to all blur, it makes for a difficult read as the reader is trying to distinguish between each of them. Overall, the book is copyedited well. The plot and character development needs a bit more smoothing out.
*provided by NetGalley
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