Very first Pamela Clare book. I liked the captured/hostages on the run premise of the story, the adventure and suspense was fun and the isolated desert landscape and violent atmosphere in Mexico PC describes was point on. Their trek through the desert at night to cross the border was very realistic and nicely done. Zach and Natalie made quite a team, I thought the PTSD that both characters deal with was very well handled and very realistic. I do think Clare over did it with Natalie's tragic past. It was a little bit much and unrealistic for me. Six years ago Natalie lost her parents and
her fiance in a car crash while rushing to get to the hospital after she was captured by a sociopathic hospital intern who drugged her and put her in a morgue locker because she witnessed his evil murdering plan. This all happened on the same day. Oh and this all took place during Hurricane Katrina. Too much. I understood what PC was trying to do by creating a back story for the heroine to come across as tormented yet strong and resilient but I don't think all of that was necessary. It painted her too much as a victim instead of a survivor. And it was never explained why she was at the hospital to begin with and an intern who decides to kill off dying old people?...Really??
As for the writing, there's some cute playful banter and wisecracks which was fun. I do think it shaded into the cheesey area for me a few times. I guess you can say I didn't find the writing very original as far as the sexy talk and flirting moments. But the thing I wasn't so crazy about was the excessive internal dialogue that runs through every other line or paragraph with exclamation marks no less i.e. Get a grip girl!
, Oh Zach!
and G-ddamn you Cardenas!
It became very repetitive and at times too cheesy because it's used endlessly. Everyone internalizes but do we all do it so enthusiastically? And constantly? lol
I thought the epilogue in this was really sweet, touching and cute. I really liked Zach and Natalie made a wonderful heroine to his hero. They call each other their 'hero' and I think that was very fitting and so accurate. I'm not sure what to make of the I-Team men. Gabe and Julian almost tempted me to read their stories. Their ribbing and teasing of each other and Zach was fun but at times I thought the macho talk to be too much. It's a pet peeve of mine when authors try excessively hard to portray the male players as big alphas with all the swagger, macho talk and chest thumping, it just comes across as painful stereotypes rather than genuine. Less is more in some cases. And Gabe being able to scale walls like Spider man and jump down from a helicopter onto a slick roof with a prosthetic bionic leg?? LOL Yeah right. Too much. That helicopter scene was fun and hilarious but completely unrealistic.
All in all it was a good read. I wasn't amazed by it given all the hype that follows this series. Naturally I was expecting something....more. That extra juj
wasn't there for me.