Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig

Lieutenant Danielle Roark is a demolitions expert with the Corps of Engineers. Her team was sent to a village in Bolivia to blow a bridge believed to be the main route used by local rebels to transport drugs and kidnapped villagers, selling them as sex slaves.
The team had almost accomplished the task when rebels attacked. Many in Roark's team were killed and the rest taken captive. Being the only female, she was separated from the others and taken to a facility where she was sexually abused by officers from Bruzon's army and then by Bruzon himself.
Beaten, bruised, violated, Danielle managed to escape. She was found by a couple on a pleasure boat, hanging to a makeshift raft. The Coast Guard flew her to Florida and safety.
She has evidence of what Bruzon is attempting but a senate subcommittee does not believe her. The evidence does not match up with what others have found. Several senators think she may be lying and, in fact, be a spy for Bruzon. The only way she can prove her story is to go back and show others what she has found. Can she do it? Does she have the strength to go back to where it all happened?
Enter Nighshade.

I've read all of the Nightshade books and this was my least favorite. The Nighshade action does not start until a third of the way into the book. The Nightshade team did not seem to be as effective as in the past novels. There is less action in this book and more dwelling on emotions, it seems to me. Canyon over and over and over and over struggles with his love for Dani. It got a bit tiresome. The book drips with romance (This is definitely a woman's book. I don't think a man would like this going over the emotions again and again – even if it was a man doing it.)
The language! I got tired of Thwack! and Snap! and Crack! And then there was “smirked,” used way too many times. (Canyon smirks three times while in the hospital room with Dani.) 
Kendig's terse writing style is sometimes confusing. For example: “'That's not going to happen.' Max glared at the Kid.” Then a paragraph of an individual thinking follows. To me, normal reading would seem to indicate Max made the statement and therefore Max does the thinking that follows. Not so. Canyon does the thinking. So who made the statement?
Another example is from chapter 11. “Silence dropped like an anchor in the room.” There is a one sentence paragraph and then, “Conversations died. Movement ceased as all eyes pinned on the confrontation.” But an anchor of silence had dropped! I think this example shows that Kendig writes for effect. Such as, “Darkness draped over them like a blanket.”
Sometimes I was confused, having a hard time following Kendig's story line (this has happened to me with all of the Nighshade books). For example, in chapter 12, Canyon and Dani are in a Hummer that slides into the river. “...Hummers didn't float, but their sealed interior would keep them buoyant.” But wait a minute. There had been shooting as they previously got in the Hummer and escaped. In fact, Dani brushed glass off the seat as she jumped in the Hummer and cut her hand. So a window was shot out and yet the Hummer was “sealed” and buoyant?
And, it was noted as the team approached Bruzon's facility that they were two clicks away from it. Then the Hummer slides into the river an they float and then float some more and then got out and walked, etc., for some time, then came across a village, etc. But wait a minute. When Dani previously escaped from this facility, she ran to the cliff and jumped into the ocean. So the Hummer goes into the river two clicks from the ocean (next to the facility) yet the river must go miles and miles and miles. Not only that, but Canyon turns on the headlights of the Hummer as it is sliding into the river. They are two clicks from the facility and he turns on the vehicle's headlights?
I know that each of the members of the Nighshade team have their troubles. I respected the way previous characters struggled with their issues and overcame them. Canyon is different. He was not a character I respected. He seemed to make wrong choices way too long.  One of them was having sex with Dani after the Hummer incident.  (I also find it hard to believe a woman used as a sex slave would, in a couple months, be ready to have sex with a man - even if she did love him.)
I like this genre so I will probably read the next in the series. I do hope Kendig cleans up these troublesome writing characteristics.

Barbour Publishing, 352 pages.

I received an egalley of this book from Barbour Publishing for the purpose of this review.
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