Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Sci-Fi Thriller I Could Have Done Without

I recently finished Gray Apocalypse by James Murdoch. I have not been a habitual reader of thriller novels for several years now. I read them often in middle school, a bit less in high school, and now, very rarely read them. I thought I would give this read a chance, but you need to read this review from the perspective that I am not the hugest thriller fan, anymore.

Part of the reason may be that I think I now am more interested in identifying with the characters than with plot. Thrillers are about suspense, and a lot of times, you kind of take it for granted that you should be rooting for the good guy, and throwing popcorn at the bad guy. In this book, that certainly feels like the case.

It's not that I wasn't rooting for the good guys - in this book, the fate of the world kind of depends on them. Well, not kind of. It does depend on them. I guess I just didn't care about them much otherwise. The love story lines in this book kind of felt like they came out of nowhere and were ridiculous. Don't get me wrong - if I thought it very plausible the world might end, I would definitely want a good screw. I don't think it would cause me to fall in love with someone, though. And you definitely cannot fall in love with someone because you see their picture.

Love is magical and inexplicable, but part of it comes from knowing a person. Understanding what makes them tick, and sharing jokes, and...not from a picture.

Anyway, overall the plot is interesting. There's definitely suspense, although the story might be a little slow in the beginning. Basically, the idea is that there really was alien interaction in the fifties, and the American government entered into a secret contract with these aliens, who claimed they wanted to help humans, but are now about to crash an asteroid into the earth and kill all of us.

The biggest flaw in this book is the ending. But, I don't want to give that away in case you want to read it.

It definitely isn't a horrible book, it's just not the book that I'm going to gush about and say is a "must read." It is a debut novel, however, and as far as first novels go, it's nothing to be ashamed of.

If you're interested in reading it, or in at least checking it out, here's the Amazon page.

Happy reading!


rosepddle said...

I haven't read that book, but I can TOTALLY relate to what you are saying is the flaw with it. I'm all about character in the books I read. Yes, I want plot and if it's a thriller, I want to thrilled and on the edge of my seat, but what puts me there is if I care about the character.

It's one of the main reasons why I tend to stay away from those type of block buster thrillers (movies are fine but with books I need to connect).

When I first started querying agents and they would say they wanted character driven stories, I'd think...well aren't they all? Then, the more I started reading books my mother would give me, I realized that is SO not always the case.

She reads a lot of Catherine Coultier, James Patterson, Stuart Woods and those types. They sell a lot of books and have some good stories, but I haven't read one where I care one bit about their characters. Now, I just politly decline her offer of books...unless it's a J.D. Robb-lol.

Shelly Quade said...

Hi, rosepddle. Thanks for commenting.

I was a BIG James Patterson fan when I was younger. I don't know if I would like re-reading those books, though.

And I will be honest, I have yet to read a J.D. Robb book - though I've heard she's great. Since you like her, I'll have to check out some of her work.