Author is a retired attorney having practiced for 35 years in Illinois who now lives in Texas and started writing stories about a year and a half ago.
Book Review: The Rising
This is a rather harsh review of a book that has been endorsed by a lot of contemporary best selling authors a evidenced by their praises on the back cover. The book is The Rising by Heather Graham and Jon Land both best selling authors in their own right. Evidently their first joint venture together. Perhaps all these writers have taken a secret oath, made a secret pact of the society of best selling authors to praise each other’s works, but it gets little praise from me as I didn’t care all that much for this book, though I kind of liked it. So being wishy washy maybe this is not such a harsh review after all but a mixed one.
The protagonist is Alex Chin a blonde Caucasian teenager football star, who was adopted by a Chinese American couple. He is accompanied on his adventures by Samantha Dixon, Sam, his kind of girlfriend, a genius like fellow teenager well versed in quantum physics. She is portrayed as even smarter than a scientist in the book who later helps her and Alex and therefore is not a believable character to me. Well anyway due to a football injury, the story starts to unfold. Cat scans reveal that Alex is a unique individual. Some good and some bad people find out about Alex’s uniqueness and come looking for him. Some people die in the process and the fate of the world itself depends upon whoever finds him first. Thus he and Sam go on the run. All the while Alex has no clue why he is wanted and why some people want to kill him as he tries to find out what is going on. All he knows is that within himself he holds some secret stemming from his parents finding him.
At the beginning the book grabs and holds your attention and is a page turner for a hundred and some pages. Then it implodes as far as I’m concerned when Alex is suddenly attacked by humanoid robotic drones. Up to then everything seemed believable, possible, plausible but when this hit me unexpectedly out of the blue I refused to read any further and actually put the book aside and read another one. I read a short novel by Donis Casey entitled The Return of the Raven Maker about a matriarch of an Oklahoma family during the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic and how she helps her generations of family and her friends during such times of crisis and solves a murder mystery along the way as if she didn't have enough to do. It was quite entertaining, heartwarming and enjoyable. That book I would recommend for light hearted reading.
Anyway despite my boycotting The Rising, it was only temporary and after I finished the Casey book I returned to the adventures of Alex and Sam. The book is heavy into black holes, wormholes, time travel, space travel, alien life forms and forms of scientific quantum physics whatever that is. It was beyond my limited brain power to understand all that but if one is into that kind of thing, one would find this book fascinating as Dr.Spock would say. Despite the scientific data overload, TMI, the story did regain my interest and I couldn’t put it down hoping that at the end all this would come together and everything would be resolved, Alex’s secret revealed.
But no. Some is revealed. Some is not. The world is saved of course, by Alex of course, but the bad guys get away so you know that a sequel has already been written and the authors are waiting for this book to run it’s course before they bring it out. This is quite blatant at the end as they make a point of dangling in front of you all the unanswered questions. You don’t have to be Nostradamus to see the sequel coming.
One final thing I noticed in this book is that before starting a new phase of the story the authors would print a short quote, just a few words, by some famous classical author, Marcel Proust and Walt Whitman being two of them, that are suppose to mean something deeply profound. I could never figure out how those words of wisdom applied to the chapters that followed. Looking back to the quotes after I finished reading that section, they seemed to me almost comical. Quotes from Yogi Berra would have been just as good, maybe better. On the other hand maybe it’s me since I don’t read those classical types and therefore am ignorant as to what they were getting at. To each their own.
Anyway so if you’re into this kind of thing, sci-fi thrillers for lack of a better term, this book is for you. And as to the praises of the best selling authors about the book, they were right on target. Even though I normally don’t care for this kind of novel, I read this one, all three hundred and ninety seven pages. But I won’t read the sequel.