Friday, February 20, 2015

Review:Hindsight by A.A. Bell

Original Review in May 2013

Hindsight by A.A. Bell

I read Diamond Eyes- the first of the trilogy of this story and fell in love with Mira and all her quirky ways. So naturally its inevitable that I read Hindsight.

The intensity of this novel just blew me away. Granted I'm not one to read a whole lot of suspense thrillers. I've enjoyed such greats as Six Days of the Condor by James Grady. Shimbumi by Trevanian and many but not all of Ludlum's Jason Bourne novels.

I'm not a great fan of novels that use violence as a sort of jar mechanism to pull people out of their comfort zone although it's really difficult to write good thrillers without that element. What I appreciate is the artist who paints the characters successfully around that element.

You could say that this series is Science Fiction but I think that's a very small portion of the mix of genre's we have here. Mira's story reads almost like paranormal romance although the science is well woven into the story to give it less of the mystical feel. Her story is also one intense ride into suspense and mystery.

Now after admitting that I'm not the expert on suspense and thrillers I have to say that A.A. Bell does a magnificent job of using the violence in the story to weave in the hints for the various motivations of many of the characters. For Mira everyone is suspect in their motives and allegiances and I felt that even in the grisly elements portrayed that there were insights that logically lead up to each successive revelation as the story built to its climax.

Taking up from Diamond Eyes Mira Chambers is still institutionalized at Serenity and living with the memories that keep reminding her of her part in Ben's (Bennet Chiron) suffering. Ben is recuperating and attempting to gain freedom for Mira by becoming her guardian. The catch is that his past life and prison time make that nearly impossible. Through some tenuous arraignment Ben seems to achieve that with the help of the institutions matron Madonna Sanchez.

The story opens with a murder one that Mira comes across while jogging- one that she can't easily share with anyone because it happened days ago because Mira sees things that are in the past because of her Diamond Eyes that are sensitive to slow light.

I must confess that when I picked up Diamond Eyes I was thinking oh great a suspense thriller mystery with a blind sleuth that can see into the past. She has a side-kick Ben who has saved her from the institute and now works with her to solve cases.

That's not what I got- but I'm not disappointed; I really do love these books the way they are.

Mira is about to be thrust back into the world of intrigue this time dredging up Ben's past and the reason he went to prison. She's going to have to undergo the changes that will occur while she detoxes from the chemicals that the institute has used to control her; and, she has to deal with her feeling for Ben and her fear that she will cause him harm again. She'll also have to deal with her nemesis Colonel Kitching who wants to have her Diamond Eyes and the ever invasive General Garland who also would like to use Mira's talent and her eyes. Not to mention her-Moriarty like rival- the elderly Fredarick 'Leopard' who can hear voices from the future and is also a client at Serenity who is in love with Madonna Sanchez and views Mira's existence as a threat to Madonna. Fredarick is also related to Colonel Kitching.

This doesn't even cover having to deal with Ben's overbearing mother Mel and a few ex-girlfriends. Then add in an over protective lance corporal Lockman who seems to be anything from a bodyguard to a black ops both frightening and somehow appealing to Mira and you have an extra blend to an already troubled romance.

Mira herself is an intriguing character who has spent over 10 years in an institution and has to deal with assimilating a lot of technical advances while she herself is a biological wonder that sometimes surpasses all of that development.

There are many gems of narrative that come out of this and her perception of her talent.

[quote]`I was thinking about time,' she confessed, `... about how pointless it is trying to fight it or change to suit it, because we're already caught up in it, like a tide, and we're just the fish. Close your eyes and you might even feel it, the breeze traveling through time like a current, taking our scents and memories with it.'[/quote]

Bell, A A (2011-06-01). Hindsight (Kindle Locations 1714-1717). HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

And a lot of humor such as the time Mel fixes Ben and Mira a romantic dinner that seems a bit over spiced.

[quote]At least she still had fond memories of the meal before she'd taken her first bite; so romantic on the beachside patio.[/quote]

Bell, A A (2011-06-01). Hindsight (Kindle Locations 2397-2398). HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

This story has several onion like layers to the plot. There are all sorts of twists and turns that once it gets going roll the story down a long and almost endless hill of action, suspense and gore that makes this 'not for the faint of heart'; though I was surprised that it never left that bad taste that always begs the question "why is that even there?"

Everything is well placed and timed in this story and even if the reader doesn't feel they need a score card to keep track of all the threads; its a marvel to watch A.A. Bell unfold all of them.

I recommend this to any fans of suspense and mystery -most Science fiction lovers should find something to take away and even Para normal Romance lovers will find a spot for Mira and her Diamond Eyes.

Definitely read Diamond Eyes before Hindsight if you haven't because after you do you'll have to buy the rest of the trilogy to finish the rest of Mira's story. Each book gets better.

The next book is Leopard Dreaming and I've already put it in my kindle.

J.L. Dobias

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