Brainrush by Richard Bard
My rating: 3.75 of 5 stars
This book hovers between 3.75 and 4 stars for me. Some parts I really liked. I liked Jake a lot. He was a very good guy and some awful stuff had happened to him. I liked the different acts of the book. The author kept the story moving and incorporated lots of twists and turns so that the reader would not have time to get bored. I feel that the writing was a bit amateurish at times. The author was clearly excited about this story, and that's great. However, I think the plotting suffered at times. I am a science-oriented person, and so I wanted a specific scientific explanation for why the MRI machine rewired Jake's brain in such a fundamental way. I can buy and believe in "gift from God" scenarios, but if you make something scientific in origin, I want a little more explanation. Jake's abilities were pretty darn cool. I love when someone has enhanced mental abilities and I can't read enough of that. It was well-done how Jake's powers develop with practice, and as he pulls away the layers of his abilities.
The romance didn't really hook me, if I'm honest. I felt that the connection between Jake and his love interest, whose name I can't remember right now, was a bit thin. I think that Bard wanted us to buy into a soulmate/love at first sight connection, but I didn't really feel that. I can appreciate if they had chemistry and were willing to see where that went. One thing I loved was the kiddos that Jake bonds with, especially in light of the tragedy of his past.
The terrorist angle, I have not decided about. Some parts of that were very suspenseful and Bard gives a unique twist. It was a bird's eye view into extremism and what motivates people to become terrorists, although I still don't and probably never will understand it. On the other hand, I feel that the villain Battista, was a bit too much on the melodramatic side, especially with his sadistic henchman.
I think there is a lot to like about this book, but I feel that it does also have "First Book Syndrome." But we all have to start somewhere, and I'm definitely interested in continuing this series. I like Jake a lot, and I can't help rooting for him to save the day yet again.
Now I'm a big fan of the ragtag team-up, and I loved that aspect. If we get to see more of them working together in future books, I'm all for it.
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