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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-07-22 22:02
The Shatter Point by Jon O'Bergh
The Shatter Point - Jon O'Bergh

The Shatter Point by Jon O'Bergh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Asher wants nothing more than to impress his girlfriend, whilst she wants nothing more than to gain esteem through social media. Then there's Donna and Phil, new to Acacia Lane and eager to embrace their love of Halloween and all it represents, much to their neighbour's displeasure. Unknown to them all, something will inevitably bring them together, and possibly even bring chaos to their uneventful lives.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I thank Jon O'Bergh for giving me the opportunity.

It was quite apparent that this one was going to differ from my usual fright-fest reads, but I wasn’t aware of just how much until I delved right in. Whilst there were subtle elements of the paranormal, which related to some very brief ghostly activity, it certainly didn’t try to induce discomfort or fear. Instead, it used the haunting aspects as a tool to express loss and perhaps even as an attempt to foreshadow what was to come. The story focused entirely on the characters and how their lives, in one way or the other, became inexplicably connected due to one very interesting establishment; Horror Place. The concept of Horror Place became of interest to me, as I recall seeing something quite like it on the internet - extreme experiences people actually sign up for, that can include very authentic forms of abuse. At first, I was under the assumption that Horror Place and the spirit would have been interconnected, but that was not the case; in actuality, only a small portion took place within the confines of Horror Place itself, despite it being of utmost importance overall. I found myself a little disappointed at this, as I wanted to read more of the creative yet harsh encounters that spurred its popularity, but I understand it wasn't that sort of book.

Each person that O'Bergh introduced differed largely in personality and intentions - some were likeable, whilst others resided upon the other end of the spectrum. I liked that, throughout the plot, every single one of them were forced to overcome obstacles, and even though the book itself was rather short, I believe I was able to get to know them sufficiently well. What made them relatable were their many flaws that took centre stage; the obsession with social media where likes equal happiness, family troubles relating to money, and the secrets a neighbourhood can hold. My favourite had to be Asher, followed by Donna, as they both were legitimately nice people that were ultimately ruined by others. There's no mystery behind my least favourites, as the way in which they were written portrayed them to be the most problematic individuals.

Despite getting to know the array of characters, I couldn’t help my interest dwindling just after the fifty percent mark. I suppose I just expected a bit more to happen, other than the mundane of everyday life. I was aware it was all leading somewhere, possibly to something going severely wrong, but it felt like an impossibly long time before it came about. It’s what I would call a slow burn, and I can’t say it kept a tight grip on my attention.

The ending certainly did surprise me, I'll give it that. I really didn't see it coming and I'm usually quite perceptive of hints and suggestions along the way. Despite the initial shock, I can't say it made much sense to me, as after much contemplation I found myself questioning the likelihood of such crimes going unsolved. I won't go into specifics, and maybe it's just my tendency to overthink, but I feel it could have been better.

In conclusion: A story that spotlights the pushing of limits and the consequences related to such. It did have its charm, but it fell a little short in some regards. Perhaps not what I'd normally read, but I thought I'd give it a chance.

Notable Quote:

Hands could create achingly beautiful melodies that stretched the rules of harmony, but they could also enact savage vengeance. Asher chortled at the paradox.

© Red Lace 2018


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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/07/22/the-shatter-point-by-jon-obergh
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review 2015-02-02 15:11
Shatter Point - Jeff Altabef

Jeff Altabef takes the reader to the future where new drugs are being developed, the city is more of a caste system and there is always someone who wants to rule it all:

Normally I would write a premise here about how I think the book should be portrayed and sometimes it is similar to the author's but other times it is not. With this book I do not know how to write a premise for this book and I guess that would start the beginning of the issues I had with this book...

I think that Altabef tried to put too much into this book, struggled to connect everything together and for me keep me entertained throughout. I personally got bored about half way through, I just kept waiting for something more to happen but it felt like it never was going to, almost like the book and plot had already hit its peak. Altabef could have separated this into two separate books that could have had some commonalities, but had different focuses, on for the government/fourteenth colony and the other one on Cooper. I say this as while the premise sounded interesting (it is what drew me to this book), I almost feel cheated in some instances. I wanted more time with Cooper and his sadistic nature which is what the premise is about but very little about this in the book. I found it was more about EFB-22 and fourteenth colony than it was about Cooper and Maggie.

I'm not sure why the author felt he had to place this plot in the future could have taken place today with very few changes and often I forgot that they were in the future, as there was not much different from today. I personally just read it as taking place today as I do not think that Altabef was very innovative about his world building about the future.
 

I thought that when Jack was given EFB-22 he would gain some sort of super human powers and while his hearing appears to have improved and he becomes sensative to light (maybe some night vision is kicking in, but we never really get that far), he really is more of a hindrance than help in most of the situations. Really his brother Tom who is a black belt in jiu jitsu is more useful than Jack ever is in the story and I really question introducing EFB-22 into the story as that storyline never really adding anything to the story other that Altebef's attempt to bring the two intersecting storylines together.

I think my main problem with this book is I never felt any type of connection with the characters either good or bad. They were just there and maybe Altabef tried to have too many points of view or too many characters but it has been awhile where I have felt nothing for even one character in the book.

I found out after reading this book that there is one before it called The Fourteenth Colony, maybe if I would have read that one it would have had some of the threads already figured out. However, I read some other reviews who said this one could be read as a stand alone, so I'm not really sure what to think. All I know is that Altabef has some good ideas in this book, but I think that he had too many and it became a challenge to put everything together that I as the reader got bored with what was occurring. I was hoping there would be more about Cooper and his sadistic serial killer ways, as that is how I read the premise. This book was just not for me.

Cheers!!

Instead Of This,
Check These Books Out:
http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2011/04/layton-green-summoner.html  http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2014/05/patrick-lee-runner.html  http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2014/04/andy-mcdermott-shadow-protocol.html
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