Friday, May 19, 2017

G864 Book Review of seeing double by Nancy j Alexander

Name of Book: Seeing Double

Author: Nancy J. Alexander

ISBN: 9781512160291

Publisher: NJA Productions

Type of book: Jewish main characters, Israel, modern times, secrecy, missions, spying, terrorist cult, charisma, family, siblings, relationships, Lebanon

Year it was published: 2015

Summary:

"A chill ran up her spine, triggering an alarm that spread through her system. Her eyes studied him as his eyes studied her. In the recesses of her mind, a fragment of a memory tingled...a tiny blip from long ago. An image spiraled, then vanished. There was something about this young man, this Ari Ben Aviv. There was something about him she couldn't pinpoint."

On the heels of her last mystery, Elisabeth's new patient is more than meets the eye, and unraveling his secrets will throw her team into a desert storm of double agents and religious extremists. All that stands between love and ware are two families, two brothers, and two conflicting versions of the truth.

Characters:

The characters will be a bit difficult for me: one of the characters is Elisabeth, a woman who is a psychologist, but at the same has dealings with some covert groups. There is also Ari who has secrets of his own, a young man Rafi who is trying to connect to a local terrorist cult leader to bring him down, Hadara, Ari's and Samira's mother who also has her own mission, then her Lebanese husband and in-laws who have their own issues with a girl being kidnapped, let's also not forget the other side as well. The characters are given only small backgrounds which are not complex nor drawn out, thus it made it difficult for me to connect with the characters.

Theme:

I've read the book from cover to cover and am not certain what I should have learned from the story; that too many things happen all at once?

Plot:

The story is written in third person narrative from what seems to be everyone's point of view. Besides the idea of having Jewish main characters who are in control of their destinies and the intrigue and how high stakes the job is, I'm honestly uncertain what the strengths of the book are: when it comes to characters, they are given only perfunctory backgrounds and I wasn't able to connect with any of them. With the plot, way too much is going on all at once, and its not one or two story-line strands, but way too many in fact. There is the story of Ari's mission, Hadara's mission, a kidnapped child, a young man trying to ingratiate himself into the cult, attempt to trace nuclear weapons and find the informant, dealing with kidnapping, and so forth., Previously I've read quite a few books where authors can pull off multiple story strands with no issues, but this is one where I feel that the author cannot do it.

Author Information:
(From iRead Book Tours)

Nancy J Alexander
Meet the author:

​Love of the mystery/thriller genre combines with psychotherapy training and experience to produce an emotionally supercharged dramatic novel. Nancy Alexander has devoted much of her professional life to helping survivors of childhood trauma; their distress has been ingrained and works to create characters who give voice to their plight. To analyze the evil minds that prey on others and the intricacies of law enforcers who pursue them seemed a natural interlacing of professional, literary and creative interests.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook
Opinion:

I feel horrible for giving the book 2 stars, but then I didn't enjoy the story and found it confusing as well as frustrating. There are things I liked about the story, namely that this is a book that has Jewish main characters that are drawn not as victims but as men and women who are in control of their destinies, which is a very rare find in literature of any kind. I also liked the mystery and intrigue that were built into the narrative as well as the fact that the story does not take place in WWII nor does it focus on Holocaust. (Holocaust is important and I'm not disparaging it, but I want for Judaism to be seen in all the sides, not just be tied with WWII and Holocaust) Unfortunately what I did not enjoy about the story is that I couldn't connect to the characters in any sort of way, not even a cursory one. I understand that not all good novels are character-driven, and sometimes novels that are plot-driven are also written well, but usually the plot has to be written well in order for me to overlook the lack of characters. In this case, I'm afraid, the plot of the story isn't written well in my view, and neither are the characters.

This is for iRead Book Tours

BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

May 8 -   Working Mommy Journal - review / giveaway
May 8 -   Over the hills and far away - book spotlight / giveaway
May 9 -   Library of Clean Reads - book spotlight / giveaway
May 9 -   Leels Loves Books - review
May 10 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review / guest post / giveaway
May 11 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review / giveaway
May 12 - NorthernMSW - review 
May 16 - Olio by Marilyn - review / author interview
May 17 - Celticlady's Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway
May 17 - The World As I See It - review / giveaway
May 18 - Rainy Day Reviews - review / author interview
May 19 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review
May 23 - Bound 4 Escape - review / giveaway
May 24 - Bookaholic Banter - review / author interview / giveaway
May 24 - JBronder Book Reviews - review / guest post / giveaway
May 25 - Books for Books - review
May 26 - Jessica Cassidy - review / author interview / giveaway

2 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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