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Posted January 12, 2012
Keep your eyes on this one...
After rehashing some history for her audience, Samantha Ruiz continues her story in Chameleon, telling us about her trip to France and what she discovers there. As she and her friends learn more about her ability to ripple, their situation becomes increasingly dangerous. A confrontation leads to disaster and the friends are forced to decide upon the best course of action to keep everyone safe...and alive. Their decision, however, will lead into trying times, and abandon them all to harrowing uncertainty. It was exciting to follow Sam and her friends through this part of her story and to uncover more about the history of her condition. Midway through the narrative, I was introduced to one of my favorite types of characters, who played a significant role in helping Sam escape the clutches of the wretched Dr. Gottlieb. (He was promptly snuffed out, but somehow, I'm sure he'll be back.) Even in the final chapters of the book, new characters were still joining the cast, which helped turn the end into a cliffhanger. I loved all the neologisms that were threaded into the dialogue. The writing was rich and imaginative and really brought the scenes of the story to life. One hangup for me, however, was the blatant overuse of the words "guffaw" and "chortle" (which actually continues from the first book). I'm not sure any of the characters ever laughed! There were a few hints that made me worry the series might turn into one of those science VS religion disasters, but up to now, the story has (wisely) avoided delving too deeply into either subject. I'm hoping that won't change. Provided it doesn't, I'll be eagerly following the series to its conclusion. And, hey. Paranormal romance without all the cheese. That's a good thing, right?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 23, 2011
A faster-paced follow-up to Rippler
(From my Wordpress blog, Word Vagabond: Supporting Independent and Small Press Authors.)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Things are heating up for Samantha Ruiz, a high school student with a bad habit of disappearing- literally. Her best friend is giving her the cold shoulder, the boy she likes is sending mixed signals, and oh yeah- evil scientists are hunting her down to experiment on her.
The second book in Cidney Swanson¿s Ripple series gets off to a running start. There are a few stumbling blocks of exposition as Swanson deals with the always problematic recapping of the last book, but after that it¿s smooth going. The pace of this sequel is much faster than the first book. The action starts immediately, and the plot moves quickly enough that it¿s difficult to put down. There¿s clearly a lot of thought behind it as well- I had a sort of tip-of-the-iceberg feeling more than once.
This is particularly the case with the villains. The notes between the chapters (in this case, from Helga¿s biography of her father) continue to provide insight into the bad guys even when they¿re not actually present. The one we do spend the most time with, Ivanovich/Deuxiémè, is one of the most fascinating. I was quite attached to him by the end. Helmann himself remains hidden apart from what we learn of him from other sources.
Of the good guys, my favorite is Sir Walter. His presence is reassuring, but he¿s not portrayed as all-powerful, and he has a sort of old-fashioned, grandfatherly air about him. Gwyn, on the other hand, I wanted to slap. She gave Sam the cold shoulder for a year because she mistakenly thought Will was beating her, and she gets off the hook with a simple apology? It might be believable that Sam is just happy to have her friend back, but Gywn appears to feel no guilt for abandoning her friend and talking about her behind her back. I¿d kick her to curb. Then again, when I¿m emotionally invested enough it a character to be yelling at the page, it¿s usually a sign that the author¿s doing a good job!
Posted January 4, 2012
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