Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review: Operation Endgame by Christi Snow

Title: Operation Endgame
Author: Christi Snow
Series: When The Mission Ends #1
Pages: 302
Publisher: CreateSpace
Date Published:June 20, 2012
Format: eBook
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Bewitching Book Tours


It’s been six months. Six months since Jake Madsen let Chris Robertson die. Six months since the passion between Jake and Cassie, Chris’ sister, stepped over the line. But now Cassie’s being stalked and it’s time for Jake to swallow his guilt, grief, and lust so he can save her life, even if it’s a life without him. He owes it to his dead friend and he owes it to Cassie. He’s fallen in love with her, but she doesn’t have to know that for him to keep her safe.

My Review:
One of the best things about this book was the very beginning. The prologue gives you a glimpse into the childhood of both our love interests, as well as the huge bond between them and their families. From the few pages the prologue entails you gain a real bond for Cassie, Chris, and Jake, and immediately identify with the tom-boy with the riot of red hair as she kicks her future loves ass at war games. Then when the book flashes forward and begins with Chris's death you actually feel it in your gut. Cassie and Jake aren't the only ones who want to cry when they get the news. Then the problems really begin when Jake and Cassie comfort one another and Jake heads for the hills, supposedly for Cassie's own good. 

*sigh* When will boys learn? When they do something that they think is for "our own good" they tend to make a huge mess of things and end up hurting us way more than they would have if they would have just freaking TALKED to us about what was going on in their crazy heads? So basically Jake screws everything up and makes things HELLA awkward between him and Cassie. The only thing that stops them from completely destroying their friendship is that Cassie needs help. She has begun to be stalked by someone envious of her military tactical skills. This brings Jake running even though he and Cassie both have yet to recover from Chris's death and their amazing night together. Now Cassie, Jake, and Cassie's friends and collegues are all in danger as the stalker continues to become more and more violent, leading to a conclusion that no one saw coming. 

Cassie was a pretty good character. She was strong and bright, and I really loved how passionate she was about her job. It was cool to see a woman in such a high-powered career like a military tactics professor. Especially because of how complex her job was and involved things that are traditionally seen as "male" jobs. It made her come off even smarter than she herself proved to be. She also wasn't quite the ball buster you would think would come from a tom boy whose entire family is in the Armed Forces. Instead, Cassie was sweet and caring with just the slightest edge to her. She also had a kind of feisty streak that made you love her even more. The one thing that got to me about her wasn't really her fault. It was more of a dialogue problem between all of the characters. Dialogue is tricky. When there isn't enough thought put into it, the conversation can come off as choppy and insincere. But then when it seems like too much thought is put into it, words sound fake and entirely contrived and you feel like your're choking on the conversation. So that was my real flaw with dear Cassie as well as most of the other characters.  

Jake was....difficult. Aside from my initial dislike because he left without a word in the middle of the night ( I HATE when guys do stupid pigheaded things like that!) I did like his character. He was a little too angsty for my personal tastes. He had a war wound, survivors guilt about Chris's death, a misguided determination to keep an irrational childhood promise. All in all...dude's got issues! But he was a very nice alpha male :) Which are of course my specialties :) I enjoyed how much he cared for Cassie...just not his issues with handling it. If he would have just come out and been like " I love you, but I feel guilty because I'm banging my dead best friend's sister" There would never have had to been all the angst and kidnapping and crying and bruises and all that. But then again, there would be no I guess I will have to love Jake in all his melodramatic glory. Plus he's a Military Hottie. In my book, they ALWAYS get at least one or two free passes. 

For the most part, the mystery of the novel was great. The stalker keeps upping the ante with his messages and then attacks against Cassie and her friends. There's a constant thrum of tension and suspicion throughout the book that leaves you tense and excited to see where the story goes next.  I was kept guessing almost the entire time and even though I had my suspicions about multiple suspects for the attacker,  it was almost impossible to tell who the villain was until the big reveal. That being said, after the villain was unmasked everything good about the story fell apart. It went from an at least half-way different story with tension and uniqueness to being something campy and idiotic. It wasn't even as if Chrisi had lost steam or was just that things went from being a good adult novel to being as childish and corny as if it was a Saturday morning cartoon. The villain made no sense. He kept talking about ruling the world and taking Cassie as his tactical mistress and blah blah blah. So unrealistic. So cheesy. Cassie, Jake and the gang deserve a better ending than that and it totally threw me off and made me like the book a lot less than I had up until that point. 
I give Operation Endgame Three out of Five Keys. It was a good read. It probably would have rated at least a Four if not higher. There was just such an abrupt change from a great story into a sub-par one that I got comepletely thrown off. It was almost as if a different author wrote the first 3/4 of the novel and then their assitant picked up the last half. I will say that I felt compelled to finish it despite my misgivings so it did that that going for it. Overall I will say that it was an average to decent Suspenseful Romance. If you like that kind of thing this one might just tickle your fancy, but to be honest it probably won't stick in your mind as one of your top ten or anything like that. 

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