Today I'm pleased to be part of the Reading Addiction Blog Tour for Gone at Zero Hundred Hours by C.R. Hiatt. For my stop, I will be featuring a book review in this post. Be sure to check out C.R. Hiatt's guest post by clicking this link.
Before I get into my review, here's some information about the author:
CR HIATT is a writer of screenplays and an author of YA action-mystery novels. The daughter of a military veteran, CR grew up in a small town where she became an All-American athlete. CR knew early on that she wasn't cut out for the nine to five type of job - her tendency to day dream about adventures often got in the way. But, being the daughter of a Navy Veteran she also knew one had to do what was necessary to be secure, so she disciplined herself to push those dreams aside and settled on working in the entertainment legal field. When those dreams invaded her world once again, CR finally gave in and set out to write her own adventures. What the heck, right. If you can't live 'em, you might as well write about them. The McSwain & Beck series are works of fiction, only based on real life events. Gone at Zero Hundred 00:00 is the first in the series, and available now. Fireworks on the 4th will be released in late June, just before the 4th of July holiday season.
C.R. Hiatt can be reached at her website, at her blog, through her author Facebook page, through her book facebook page, or through her twitter account.
And now before I get into my review, here's a synopsis of CR Hiatt's book:
Sydney Marie McSwain and her pal, Cody Beck, team up to take on a secret club called The Devil's Door where members are branded with the tattoo of a devil and call themselves The Privileged Ones.
Sydney Marie McSwain - a tomboy who yearned for a father.
Cody Beck - a wannabe filmmaker, wisenheimer and flirt.
Jaden White - the star who led the high school hockey team to two championships, and was now on the A-list for NHL scouts.
Sydney Marie McSwain loves her mom, Anna - a private investigator in the coastal city where they live - but they had a major issue between them. Anna refused to give Sydney the identity of her father. On the day of her high school graduation, they were battling it out, once again. An hour later, Sydney, Cody and Jaden were at the local café, and watched as Anna was gunned down, and it was broadcasted on live TV.
Faced with immediate responsibility, Sydney and Cody agreed to take over the agency, only they changed the name to McSwain & Beck. At the same time, Sydney convinced Sutter Beach Detective, Ace Carter, to help her track down her father.
Out of the blue, a model walked in and hired them to follow her step-brother. While Cody was busy editing a trailer to solicit new clients, Sydney settled into her lemon-yellow pickup to do surveillance, and wound up staking out a secret club called The Devil’s Door whose suspicious members wore the tattoo of a devil.
That same night, Sydney received a call from one of her mom’s former clients, only the client was gunned down at the location where they agreed to meet. The mysterious discovery of a DVD revealed the possibility that teenagers were being abducted, only nobody reported them missing.
On the hunt for the victims, McSwain & Beck were chased by men in ski masks, nearly gunned down by members of a cartel called the outlaws, Sydney’s precious pickup was broken into; then the step-brother they were hired to follow, was found dead and Sydney was the number one suspect.
If things weren’t bad enough already, they had to figure out how to crash a red-carpet Mardi Gras bash being held on a private cruise ship, before it sailed off into the sunset, where they just might meet the devil, himself.
Now, the clock was ticking…
And time was running out…
How was she ever going to find her father, now?
“Their lives were in the hands of two 18 year-olds…”
And now for my review:
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Disclaimers: I received this book for review as part of the Reading Addiction Blog Tours. For more information, see the disclosure at the bottom of this post.
My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I had never heard of this book before being asked to review this book for the blog tour. I looked at the cover, the synopsis, and then realized it was about teenage private investigators and so I gave it a shot.
C.R. Hiatt created a compelling world with lots of intrigue. I constantly felt the wheels turning in my head as I tried to piece all the information together to figure out who was really the villain.
Hiatt also created characters that I absolutely loved. Sidney was a character that I could relate to and one that I was rooting for. Cody was the best friend (and maybe more if you trust Sidney's mother's take on the situation) who you loved shaking your head at. The friendship between Cody and Sidney made for an enjoyable read. I also really liked their friend Jaden, but you didn't learn a whole lot about him in this novel. From the few pages I've read of the next novel, it appears like that might change in the sequel.
I've mentioned that I loved the plot, the characters, and now let's talk about the novel in terms of style and writing. C.R. Hiatt's writing was fresh and I sincerely felt like I was in the character's minds. This novel was told mostly through Sidney's mind; however, there were a few other perspectives brought up in the novel. Her writing lent to realistic characters that I loved reading about.
However, while I liked her writing style on the whole, there were some occasions where I felt like the text jumped ahead too quickly or else lagged behind. There were a few pacing issues and a few moments in the text where something caused me to momentarily disconnect with the novel or made me pause and think 'could that really happen?'. But those moments were few and the rest of the novel made up for these few moments.
Overall, a great start to an intriguing series.
In Summary: An intriguing premise that lent itself to an enjoyable read with plenty of suspense and full of lovable characters. One that I recommend to fans of suspense novels.
The Wrap-up: This book was a fairly quick read for me and one that I did enjoy. I think that C.R. Hiatt as a lot of talent as a writer and I can't wait to see how she refines her style in the next one in the series.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*