Monday, June 12, 2017

Saving Paradise by Mike Bond

I don't know if I've ever mentioned this about myself, but I'm a bit obsessive about finishing things. If I start a book, I have to finish it. It may take me awhile and I may set it aside for a bit, but I always come back to it and finish. It's like a nagging voice in my head, calling me to finish the darn book! Sometimes it's just a matter of not really being what I want to read at the time, or it's just not the book for me, or sometimes, I just can't find anything to like enough to want to finish. Such has been the case with Mike Bond's Saving Paradise. I've been reading, off and on, for about three days now and finally pushed through and finished tonight. (Remember when I said "no punches pulled"? Well, this is a perfect example of that!

My Rating: 2 out 5 stars
The book is written in first person POV and is told entirely from the perspective of the main character, Pono. I received the book through NetGalley and the email listed it as a Crime Thriller, which is a fitting genre for this tale. There is mention of sex throughout the story, but no details, but there is some subject matter that may be inappropriate for teens. I do have to say that the book has a beautiful cover, wouldn't you agree?

The blurb for this book looked so very promising. Unfortunately, the story didn't live up to that promise. There were numerous grammatical errors throughout the book that were distracting enough, but as long as the story makes sense and holds my interest, I can push past that. I'll still note it in a review, but I can get past it.

Grammar aside, the story starts with Pono out for a surf when he finds a body. Thus begins the search for the dead girl's killer. What follows is a convoluted tale of people, conversations, and lists. Seriously, lists! Every so often the reader gets a list of what Pono knows at that point. Okay, yes, I did say the story is convoluted, but I can keep up. I don't need a list to tell me what I've already read.

Pono runs around, all over Hawaii, talking to people, and sleeping with women. The story is a rather fast-pace and Pono covers a lot of the same ground, so I'm really not sure how he fit in the sleeping and falling in love with more than one woman, but he did. On the mention of the same ground, it felt like things were being rehashed over and over at times, which became tedious.

The dialogue throughout the book was a bit confusing to me. I've never had the privilege of visiting Hawaii, so maybe it's part of the dialect. I can't say for sure, but I find it hard to believe that no one in Hawaii ever speaks in full sentences. It drove me crazy!

One other thing that I felt took away from the story was that I felt like the author was using the book as a political soapbox. I've never met this author and this is the first book that I've read by him, but I'd bet dollars to donuts that I can tell you exactly what he thinks of certain politicians and government acts. Whether I agree with those views or not, when I read fiction, I want to be entertained. A political diatribe is not entertaining. We get enough of that every day in real life. And just so you know, I would feel that way no matter who or what the political views being expressed.

On a positive note, I will say that the author's descriptions of various places were quite vivid, making me feel like the character truly loved the state and all it has to offer. This is also the reason for my 2-star rating.

As I said, I did keep reading, hoping for something, other than the vivid locations, that I liked about the book. Since it is a crime thriller, I wanted to know who killed the girl. On that note, there was some continuity - the end was as convoluted as the rest.

Overall, with some proper editing, a bit of clean-up on the story and plot, and a whole lot less of the political views and this could've been a good story. As it is, I'm left scratching my head and feeling like I've lost several hours that I can't get back.

I've never read any other books by Mike Bond, so I don't know if this is the norm for him, but this isn't one that I can recommend. But that's just my 2 cents worth, so if you want to check it out, Saving Paradise is available at Amazon, here, and Barnes & Noble, here,

Thanks for joining me!


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