Mindscape by Tal Valante
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Ever feel as if you walked into the wrong movie theater? Or you missed the first part of the play and you've come in during act III? The blurb of this story does not do the book any justice. It took me at least a chapter to figure out what the hell is going on. This is frustrating for many readers and could stop them from continuing on with the book. The book doesn't really hook a reader into it with in the first few pages. This is a problem when the writing style is unfamiliar. Since I read all my review books, I pushed through. I am glad I did.
Ms. Valante needs to work on how she brings the story all together. This is probably a 2.5 star book, but I ended up with a 3 star because I enjoyed the twists. This is a very short book which means it needs to be concisely written with all the threads tying together. Unfortunately, there are many left out pieces. Pieces that require to make a story more rich. For someone who isn't into sci-fi, this would be a difficult book to get into. There are a lot of missing pieces which my mind supplied because of the books I've read or the movies I've seen. For example, I didn't need much explanation on Resonance because I just watched Pacific Rim. My pure enjoyment of that movie carried over and gave this book a positive spin because I transferred how resonance worked from that movie into the book here.
Another example of where my mind supplied it's only back story is regarding Mark's situation. Since I've read many different sci-fi books where people are in the military to help keep a family member out of the mines, it was easy to fill in the blanks here too. In fact, I read another Riptide book which had a similar theme.
Yet why did I still rate this a 3? I liked how Shane figured out how to bring Mark out of his situation. The constant trying to heal Mark speaks to me. It would have been better if we could have bonded better with Shane and Mark. This was difficult to do because there was little character development for us get to know them.
Lastly, the jarring flash backs doesn't work well in books. Or at least, Ms. Valante needs to work on her transitions because they are choppy. The flashbacks reminds me of Nicholas Spark's The Notebook. So once again, I supplied my own understanding through a different story.
Overall, I think Ms. Valante does possess something special. I can see her potential. She's writing out of the box and looking at things from a different perspective. She needs to work on how this translates into written words in a smooth manner. Recommended for diehard sci-fi m/m lovers.
*provided by NetGalley
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