Original publish date: 23 April 2014
Game of Fire by James Moushon had a good story to it that was well paced and kept the suspense alive all the way to the very end with all the different leads the case developed. The detail that went into the history of the area in California, the struggle of the Vietnamese, and the technical aspect of the programming and bombs was thorough and very clearly researched. Jonathan Stone was rather well characterized, especially through is morning routine of running and a coffee and bagel, as well as his gambling habit.
That being said, there were quite a few issues with the copy that pulled me out from the story and reduced my overall enjoyment. The first of which was that there were many grammatical errors (namely incorrect or misspelled words) and there were sections of the text where it felt as if the story was progressing in one direction but was then edited for a different tract but the text remained, making it either redundant or confusing whilst reading.
I also found the narrative to be extremely over-explanatory, such that it didn’t really give the reader a lot of credit, basically assuming that the reader needs to be spoon-fed, which is always a turn off for me. While much of the dialog was technical in nature due to the FBI/CIA/police focus, it tended to feel rather stilted, making it seem as if it was written and not necessarily spoken. For instance, constantly having people say “it is” instead of “it’s,” which is more conversational is rather unrealistic, particularly when time is of the essence.
The story has a lot of promise and was good; however, I feel that Game of Fire could use a thorough editing, both copy and developmental.
Overall, I’d give this a 3 out of 5 stars.