Hello there and welcome to The Turndog Review: the books I read, reviewed.
I aren’t a professional critic, instead all I offer is my honest opinion into everything I read. However, I do this with a difference, as I don’t only offer my personal views on the Writing, Plot, and Story, but also the Book Cover, Book Marketing, and Author Website.
We live in a modern world where being a writer is different to years gone by, and I feel the whole experience of the book matters. This covers everything from the initial find, the actual read, and everything that follows. Therefore I hope this review not only offers a great insight into the book and author, but also into my own mind and what makes me tick.
So without further ado let’s begin, and today I focus on Wired Kingdom by Rick Chesler
Read: December 2011
Discovered: Via Rick appearing as a Guest Blogger
Wired Kingdom was published in May 2010 by Deviation, but I didn’t read this until the last few days of 2011. It’s a Thriller that focuses on the lead lady, Tara Shores, and showcases the FBI agent as a somewhat fearless action girl.
The plot surrounds the murder of a mystery woman caught on camera during a documentary at sea. It’s a tech fan’s dream with details about cameras and new technologies, and throws our heroine into a very compelling case.
There are plenty of ‘who done it’ moments, and on more than a few occasions I swayed between different characters being the villain. As a story with so many twists I feel I need to tread carefully, but what I will say is how expertly executed they were, and how you are constantly kept on your toes.
Overall I liked this book, and it certainly became a tough read to put down. If someone asked me if I was a fan of Thrillers I’d say no, but the honest truth is I find them easy to get into and finish quickly. This from time to time is vital, because sometimes we just want to relax at the end of the night and have an easy going literary session. In my opinion books like Wired Kingdom are perfect for this.
The research done by Rick was fantastic. He portrays himself as a marine enthusiast and it certainly shows in this book. All the technology and different scenarios are explained well, without going into too much depth. It could easily have become too technical and boring, but he mixes the facts in perfectly.
I’m also a fan of the swift plot, and the overall pace is perfect for such a Thriller. With so many twists and turns the entire read is nail biting, and before you know the final pages are upon you, which if you ask me is a good sign of a good book.
My main gripe in this book is Tara Shores, and her somewhat annoying persona. She comes across very placid and annoying, and overall I found myself rooting against her. If we were to compare this to a Dan Brown novel for instance (it isn’t too dissimilar to Digital Fortress after all), Robert Langdon is a guy I like. To have these feelings for the lead character is a tad worrying.
I also found the writing at times a little redundant and simplistic, but like I said earlier, this is great for an easy going read. Therefore it’s only a half negative, because overall I feel Rick got the pace, plot, and writing style spot on
Rick has a fairly nice cover without producing a wow. The name of the book is large, which is good from an Ebook perspective, but the text does have a glow to it, which from a distance makes it blur slightly.
I like the dark colours used though, and when you delve a little closer you see a whale appear in the top corner. This isn’t an immediate focus point, which could be considered both good and bad, and overall fits in well with the overall setting of the book.
The marketing within the book is rather strange I feel. Rick does a really good job at providing links to related information, and articles his readers may like. However, there is little in terms of sending people to his website, Twitter Page, and various other online communication.
Also, during reading Wired Kingdom the release of the second Tara Shores book was only a few weeks away. Although it would have been a pain to update all the Ebook versions, surly a description of kiDNApped (the second book) and sneak peak of the cover would provide some potential sales and awareness.
I feel Rick and his team missed a trick here, and overall his marketing within the book could be improved.
Author Website & Engagement:
Rick is a very good communicator online, with consistent messages via several outlets (Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads to name a few). Although his tactics can be a little ‘sell’ at times, he does provide links to marine related material, which shows he is engaged with his core audience.
He also does a great job at reaching out to his fans, and when I approached him to provide a Guest Post on my site he was happy to oblige. I always see him popping up on new sites (this is how I discovered him in the first place), so he does a great job at communicating.
As for his website, well, it’s disappointing I’m afraid. In my opinion this is the biggest downside to Rick Chesler and Wired Kingdom in general. As you can see for yourself the home page is basically one big advert and offers very little about the book and the author.
He does have a Blog, but it’s a simple Blogger platform that only focuses on his interviews and books. It offers me no reason to follow him online, which is a shame because he has some great insight and someone who could create great content if he wanted to.
Overall I liked Wired Kingdom. It’s good points certainly outshine the bad, and I think Rick as an individual is great. If you like Thrillers this is certainly worth a read, but what about my final score?
It’s a tough one, as I feel the book itself is a worthy four, and Rick overall does a good job communicating with his readers. The marketing within the book is poor though, and Rick’s site is a big let down. It is for this the final score is…
3 Turndogs out of 5
Thanks for reading this version of The Turndog Review. Look out for more reviews soon, and please leave your own comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this particular book.
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million