Book Review: Beyond Valor

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review via NetGalley.

The book starts off kind of slow, introduced to the main characters along with a few of the minor ones and the area in which they are stationed/working. However but from that point there wasn’t much to draw me in.

The characters were alright however I didn’t feel any connection to them as a reader. Generally a good character can make the different between a good book and a bad book, but in the case of this novel I didn’t really care for either of the main characters. As far as characters go the only one I even slightly liked was Sergeant Buck Payne, he was a nice character that added a small sense of humor to the book, even though I’m not sure the book required it.

Overall I found the story bland. There was far too much dialog, it seemed that Megan and Luke were constantly talking, and if it wasn’t them talking between themselves, it was Megan talking to someone else, or Luke talking to someone else, or Megan and Luke talking to several other people. The entire story was bogged down with constant dialog and there was not enough description of what was happening not just with the characters but what was going on around them, the movements, the sounds, everything. It just seemed to be lacking that.

While I have no knowledge of how life in the military works I just didn’t get the feeling that this was taking place in a military zone. My thoughts were that there would be far more action taking place, not only that but also just sounds in the background of tanks or helicopters coming in and out, solider’s moving about, orders being given, just something to make it feel like they were in the middle of an active military zone. I’m not saying there was a complete lack of action, but it was extremely minimal in the first half to three quarters of the book, and then when it did finally happen it was extremely short lived.

One thing that struck me odd was during one scene they were describing the set up of the base and how it was surrounded by a sandbag wall topped with a razor-sharp concertina. Now this stood out to me as the only concertina I’m aware of are the accordion like musical instruments, which I highly doubt the military uses to defend their bases with but all searching of what other possible meaning of the term concertina resulted in the same answer. Finally by using a google search of ‘military application of a concertina’ I was able to find out that is a concertina wire that the author was referring to which is a ‘type of barbed wire that is formed in large coils which can be expanded like a concertina’. I’m not sure how many readers would have knowledge of this but I think it would have been best for the author to more properly describe this feature. A single word missing in this case made the difference between a musical instrument and a military device.

Overall I disliked this book. It was slow, with lackluster characters and really didn’t give off the military feel. The romance was slow to built which isn’t necessarily a bad thing and actually worked and made sense in this book but even that seemed just a bit too slow to get to the point where they realized their love for each other. Would I recommend this book? Perhaps, as I’m sure there are people out there that would enjoy this book. But I will not be reading the other books in this series as I feel they would not interest me.

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