Due to FTC regulations, any book reviewed on this site was sent for free by the author/publisher to The Pagan & The Pen Book Reviews. We are not paid to give reviews by Author or Publisher. Once review has been made, said books are deleted.

Mar 20, 2011

28 Hours by Mia Brookes


Title: 28 Hours (Print book)
Author: Mia Brookes
Buy Link
Solstice Publishing
Genre: Mystery/Suspense  
Length: 215 pgs.
Reviewed by: Jake Latimer

Cover: 3
Presentation: 3
Editing: 2
Story: 4
Writing Ability: 3

Overall Card Rating: 

About The Book:

What would you do if you knew that, by this time tomorrow, the world would be destroyed?

Two months ago, astronomers identified an asteroid on a collisision course for Earth and, with the help of the military and governments across all of the continents, they planned a strike against it. They failed. Now time is almost up and, 28 hours from now, the majority of the population will face a global disaster to rival the extinction of the dinosaurs. There is nothing to do but await the inevitable; the panicking has been done and reluctant acceptance of what is to come has settled in.

On the beach, sitting around a campfire, a group of friends look back over the events that have shaped their lives and their friendships and decide how to use those final few hours. With the burden of worrying about the consequences lifted, the remaining hours present a chance to fulfil dreams and fantasies, to repair relationships and to exact revenge, or just to do the one thing that they have always wondered about but never dared to follow through. That night, they meet again on the beach with their families to watch the final sunrise.

The Review: 
From the blurb, this looked like a very promising story. And so it was. As the denizens of Earth prepare for an asteroid strike, Ms. Brookes focuses on a small band of friends on the English coast. The characterizations are strong. The real high points in the story come as the characters struggle with the impending doom of their world and the choices they have made, or refused to make, in their lives. The characters are all given plenty of stage time, and Ms. Brookes does a great job of putting the reader in their shoes and minds. Their motivations are understandable and sympathetic, one notable exception being the tragic result of Vince and Ellie finally admitting their long-concealed feelings for one another.

This story has a great deal of potential, but the biggest hurdle for me to overcome was the editing. 28 Hours was replete with spelling and grammar errors and oddities; as evidence of this I refer you back to the blurb, above. The editor on this particular novel did no service to Ms. Brookes or her story, and the result reads like a quickly tossed-together first draft. The dramatis personae reminded me of the original Beverly Hills 90210 meets Armageddon. This was especially pronounced in the case of surfer Vince, whose character is essentially Dylan McKay with a British accent, right down to having a father in prison at the end of the world. I'm not exactly what you would call a picky reader, but to me, the promise was never fulfilled. It's ironic that I didn't pick up on the fact that two words in the blurb were misspelled until I sat down to write this and my word processor caught it.

Overall, this isn't a complete loss. Some of the characters' choices surprised me; some made me laugh out loud; and some brought me to the brink of tears. The characters could have ended up as cardboard cutouts, but Ms. Brookes' greatest strength in this novel is her ability to infuse them with life. I will say, without giving anything away, that I found the ending highly disappointing and a little rushed. It's worth giving a read, but don't expect anything earth-shattering (pardon the pun). 

Pagan Elements: N/A
Disclaimer: Due to FTC regulations, any book reviewed on this site was sent for free by the author to The Pagan & The Pen. We are not paid to give reviews by Author or Publisher. Once review has been made, said books are deleted. 


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