I haven't done one of these in a while and, for those of you who are unfamiliar with My Thoughts, these are posts that allow me to vent my frustration - or love - for something I am currently reading. As usual, I will not be sharing the author or the title - and I'll remain elusive about actual facts of the book. (I don't write these to hurt anyone's feelings of make an author look bad; I write them because it helps me get my head around things.)
To start off, this book is a Read 2 Review. I was contacted by a company which suggests a book to me and I get to decide whether I want to read it or not. If I agree, then my information is given to the author and we go from there.
My first impression of the author, in all honesty, was not a good one. He came off as very arrogant and as if he and his wife (who he mentions in the email) are looking down on all of us lowly people laughing. You see, one of the main items in his book shares the same name as something that people come in contact with every day. He spends a good portion of the email to me (which is obviously cut and pasted from several different locations) explaining this item, including links to his website where you can find two .pdf files that include pictures and scientific information on this item. He states that he and his wife realized that some people would be absolutely confused by this, assuming that his readers are all morons and can't figure out why this every day thing would be in a lab in a first place [insert guffaws here]. His attempt to make people understand (rather than insert this information in the actual book, say in an introduction or side note, which he feels would take away from the flow) came across very condescending and the questions in my head at the time were: 1) Without knowing anything about me, how can you assume that I need this clarification? 2) If you're worried that your readers won't understand, how come you didn't find a way to put in the book without messing up the flow? 3) Are you planning on sending this email to every person that buys your book because not everyone is going to go look at your website. (Note: I read an awful lot of science fiction books and I knew already what this item was.)
Now on to the actual book ...
The murder (which is a mystery) happens at the beginning of the book. I am now currently 53% into the book and they have not bothered to even begin investigating this murder. In fact, they've spent the 3% (approximately, of the part I've read so far) that deals with the murder, discussing covering it up. I actually thought they forgot about the whole thing until a few pages ago when someone was thinking about it. THINKING about it.
The rest of the, say 45%, of this book so far has been about the facility - including the layout (which was confusing, took up a lot of space and would have probably been a lot more effective if he included a well done map at the beginning of the book), the layout of the labs (including why some buildings are built the way they are and the reasoning behind the names of said buildings), how the place is run (including paperwork, security and the types of employees there - and their jobs), and a bunch of information about a bunch of people who are working in this lab (including one particular guy and all he went through in his interview process, then what he went through in the time that he was "outside" working before he received his clearance to work "inside" - and once he came "inside" you get to hear lots of information about specific duties he's doing) - and not one bit of it seems like it really matters. I mean, it probably matters to them, but to me, every paragraph leaves me thinking "What is the point?"
I just re-read the description for this book and it sounds awesome, amazing, very interesting - where is that book they're describing? Is it in the second half of the book? This is why I have such a hard time not finishing a book. It's easy for some and I understand why they do it, but I'm stuck - I want to know about the murder, parts of this are well written, but I just don't care. I find it very boring. The KGB that is mentioned in the description hasn't even come into play at this point. We're not anywhere close to finding out who the mole is. And apparently the guy who we have to hear all about his interview process becomes a main point, but really? He needs to go and read the last installment of Between the Bindings.
(It seems like I've got my review already written, huh?)