Review: “Moscow Bound” by Adrian Churchward

“Moscow Bound” (The Puppet Meisters Trilogy, Book 1) by Adrian Churchward

Available from: Amazon
Released on: 28 April 2014
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Description: Ekaterina Romanova, the estranged wife of Russia’s wealthiest oligarch Konstantin Gravchenko, asks Scott Mitchell, an idealistic young English human rights lawyer who is being intimidated by the authorities, to find the father she’s never met. She believes he’s been languishing for decades without trial in the Gulag system. Meanwhile, General Pravda of military intelligence, though an advocate of transparency, is determined to protect a covert operation that he’s been running for years.

General Pravda hinders Ekaterina and Scott at every turn and lawyer and client are forced to go on the run for a murder they didn’t commit. As they descend into the Hades that is the world of international realpolitik Scott is compelled to reconsider his own values, and Pravda’s life’s work disintegrates, when Scott uncovers a 50 year-old Cold War secret, which both the Russian and US governments are still trying to hide from the public domain.

‘Moscow Bound’ is the first book in The Puppet Meisters trilogy, dealing with state abuse of power.

Review: I’ve been struggling to try to write this review and try to properly express my views on the book, because my opinion is rather conflicted.

This was not a bad book. The writing is competent, and there was a fairly steady feeling of suspense through out. Our author did well with the history and the setting, to really give you that picture and keep both your interest and your intrigue. So, this story hit the marks of plot, setting, and intrigue.

What fell apart for me was in the character development. One aspect of reading is, to me, getting into the characters and caring about them. I never really felt like I felt enough for the main characters in this book, particularly the one who was our main figure: Scott. But I didn’t hook much into Ekaterina, or Pravda. (Although I did more for Pravda than the other two.)

I never really felt like I got to know Scott that well, and I didn’t feel his motivations as strongly as I felt like I needed to in order to understand why he did the things he did. Ekaterina was too enigmatic for me to hook entirely into her, and in being so, Scott’s reactions to her just didn’t make as much sense to me. And sometimes characters that were supposed to be worldly felt rather…naive and foolish.

There was one point where I just wanted to shout at each and every one of them about how no one even conceived of a particular fact. I don’t want to give it away here, but I came up with the theory almost instantly because I know that people can make things up. No one in the book even conceived of it, and their “but it’s all” explanations in not doing so felt thin.

Otherwise, there were some things that felt like there weren’t properly explained, and did make some sections a bit confusing. If I’d been better connected to the characters, however, this probably wouldn’t have been as much of an issue.

So, this is why this review has been so hard to write. A lack of character connection is a big issue for me, but I felt much of the rest, so… 3.5 Fireballs on this one. I also now see that this is the first book in a trilogy, and I’m curious enough that I may check out the rest.

3.5 Fireballs

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One Response
  1. Mia

    Thank you very much for your constructive and instructive review of my book, Moscow Bound. It is my first novel and I am on a learning curve; every thoughtful comment helps. I hope you will review the second book in the trilogy, due for publication late next year.

    Adrian

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