In the Heat of the Light

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 18 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

This was an interesting book, but it really needs work.  It reads like a first draft and is clearly in need of a skilled editor.  My hat is off to the author for this ambitious undertaking, but this is a potentially fine novel struggling to emerge from unnecessary verbiage and clear plotting.
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This book was just a mess.  That is the only word to describe it.  It was not organized at all and way too much time was spent on minor details vs actually developing a realistic plotline.  Save yourself the aggravation and skip this one!
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This book had a lot of potential. A group of teens hijack a satellite and burn the famous carving on Stone Mountain in Georgia. So what happens next? They go for a bigger target? More distruction?

Not really.

This book goes nowhere. It just rambles along with no real point until it reaches an unsatisfying climax. By the end, you don't really care what happens to any of the characters. 

The plot had promise, but overall, this was a letdown.
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This book was so difficult to complete. I'm usually very accepting of any book that I have to review but this was a struggle. And there were many loopholes in the plot. For one, the 'action' mentioned in the blurb takes places nearly towards the last couple of pages of the book. A good chunk of the book,nearly 2/3rds of it is about Atlanta and the clothes the characters wear. That could have been the author's attempt of chara Ter building, but honestly, the reader is not interested to know about the garbs these young teenagers wear. What should have been character building was completely missing from the premise. Like how did these teenagers learn all those tricks of hacking. They are supposed to be hackers who were able to steal important government codes,but how did they learn all that, how did the group form, that was sadly missing. The characters were bland, and did not entice any interest in me as a reader, in fact there was nothing ordinary, let alone extraordinary, about them. This could have been a passable read if only the plot and writing could have been worked upon.
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With a lot of editing, this could work. There's a story here, but it doesn't really start until roughly 2/3 of the way through the book. The beginning mostly consists of laundry-list descriptions of different characters. (The old writer's adage "show, don't tell" definitely applies here.) 

The most obvious question that's overlooked is how on earth a bunch of teenagers learned the highly sophisticated hacking skills needed to gain control of government resources. (For example, something extraordinary would need to explain how teens were able to hijack government lasers. It's highly improbable that they learned how to do this on internet forums.) We're also not given the right information that would explain each character's motivation for acting the way they do. The FBI agents are cookie-cutter characters, and we're left to wonder why the teens attempt something so outrageous. With so much missing, the ending does not seem like a logical conclusion.

The story seems to really begin when the NSA presents the teens' profiles to the FBI agents, but the FBI agents underestimate them. To make this novel shine, I would cut nearly everything before that point and rework the remainder so that we're given more insight into the FBI agents' and the teens' motivation. I would also suggest rewriting the publisher's blurb. There are a lot of buzzwords included that are only tangentially related to what I just read.
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