Nose Graze

The Speed of Darkness

The Speed of Darkness - Sarah Baethge Thanks to the author, Sarah Baethge, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.I really like the overall story of this book. A werewolf who works as a computer teacher and an evil masked/illegal corporation that hunts down werewolves for experiments. Sounds cool! Unfortunately the execution wasn’t great.A few of the obvious problems were just due to a lack of editing. I noticed some spelling and grammatical errors, and the book had too much formatting (a lot of italicized sentences and words, but I had no idea why they were italicized).Besides that, I felt that the story moved too quickly. Not enough time was spent in action or developing the characters. I never felt like the characters actually changed, grew, or developed. Most of the novel were bits like this:“In the days that followed…”“For the next few days…”We didn’t get involved in the passing days. Instead, we were just given brief overviews of discussions that took place. That meant that there was little action, and just a bunch of recapping. It led to me being disconnected from the characters and just being told that their relationships and events progressed, rather than me ‘seeing’ it for myself.I felt like there were some pretty big problems with the characters and the organisation known as “The Eclipse.” Hillary was one character that particularly annoyed me. She is supposed to be an incredible computer genius. She wrote some impressive viruses and other software. Computer geniuses are usually incredibly smart, logical, and great with problem solving, because those are skills that you need in order to think like a programmer and write code. I’ve done a bit of programming myself and you really do need a unique way of thinking. You have to be able to look outside the box and be innovative and logical. You have to be able to see past the obvious.While Hillary was clearly an accomplished programmer, other than that, she was a bit of a moron. As another reviewer put it, she basically got brainwashed by “the enemy.” She took their lies without question and bought into everything they said, when they were so obviously deceiving her. Maybe I’m generalising, but I don’t think an accomplished programmer would be so.. gullible.Now, about The Eclipse. They were supposed to be this huge, mighty, powerful, illegal organisation. A good story would have made me afraid of The Eclipse.. but I wasn’t. It never felt scary or intense. The members of The Eclipse talked about killing and walking around with guns, but they always knocked on the door (rather than bursting in, guns blazing or something). And the members never seized an opportunity to capture the main characters. They had multiple opportunities, but they always let them go.Furthermore, at one point the head of security of The Eclipse travelled Eric Omlup’s town to check up on the situation. He travelled to the town with no car (he walked), no hotel reservations, and clearly didn’t even research the town well enough to know that there was no hotel there at all (he planned to stay in one and realized there wasn’t one when he got there). Normally someone part of a “mighty organisation” would be very wealthy and ensure that all kinds of opulent arrangements are made.When I think of a “mighty organisation,” I think of “The Company” in Prison Break. The Company has inside people everywhere: in the police force, in the government, in the hospitals, and in every major corporation. These people don’t hesitate to kill, capture, and frame people for crimes. But the ‘villains’ in The Speed of Darkness were incredibly amateurish. They never seemed lethal, they didn’t appear organised, and they didn’t seem to have a foot in every door. I wasn’t afraid of them; I didn’t get a sense of overwhelming power and control.Finally, I would have liked to see more of the programming and hacking side of things. I think that was a really interesting element of the story but it only actually appeared in short bursts. I think it would have been great to use technology to take down The Eclipse. In a way they did, but it wasn’t really advanced technology and it wasn’t particularly epic. There were a few hacking elements, but those weren’t really the methods they used to fight The Eclipse.With some reworking and expanding, I think this book does have the potential to be a good read. There is a really intriguing story here, it just needs to be executed better. Here are a few simple, list-style suggestions from me:* At least another 100 pages added to the story.* Less summaries that start with “Over the next few days.”* More significant events and intense/action-packed chapters. This includes side plots, ideally ones that eventually tie into a bigger goal.* Character development. I don’t see the characters ever changing. There needs to be some kind of resolution, development, or improvement in the characters.* Better character interaction and relationships. Most of the conversations were bickering or telling stories. There needs to be more significant dialogue.* More suspense, twists, and drama.* More realistic and interesting characters. I did not like Hillary. She should be changed into a stronger, smarter, and less gullible character. Roscoe and Bart need to be stronger characters as well. They need to actually feel evil and threatening.* Give the hacking and programming a larger role in the story.* I would like to see some sort of romance, but that’s honestly just my own preference. I love a little side romance in every book.* A good editor, better text formatting, and a proper book cover.With these suggestions, I do think this could be a good book. There are some interesting ideas and I loved reading about the science bits and Nigel’s experiments. I hope the author will take these considerations to heart. I know there is a lot of negative criticism, but it’s an opportunity for her to improve this book and turn it into something that more readers will enjoy.

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