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May 15

Review of An Undying Oath by H.K. Savage

An Undying Oath, the first book in what looks to be a planned trilogy, was an enjoyable read. I was drawn to the book because of its storyline: three honorable soldiers serving their country in the Middle East become unwilling test subjects for an immoral, unethical secret government genetics experiment to create the ultimate immortal super soldier.  After escaping imprisonment, Justin, Marcus, and Jimmy refuse to rest until they have destroyed the program headed by a deranged and scorned General on a mission to elevate her career status.

When the lead scientist of this genetic government-funded program involves his estranged daughter, Sam, in his endeavors, he selfishly puts her life and those she cares about in danger.  Unknowingly, Sam becomes a target and the bait for both sides in their quest to obtain this genetic formula designed to turn soldiers into weapons.  Although Sergeant Justin Shaw plans to use whatever means necessary to get information from Sam and to draw out her father, his heart has other plans, and this creates dissension among the trio. Because of the dire circumstances, Sam and Justin don’t have time for their relationship to blossom slowly. Instead, their strong attraction to each other soon becomes intimate despite Justin’s efforts to keep an emotional distance.   I’m not a fan of “insta love” relationships, but the events that occur help me to believe that even though Justin and Sam don’t know all the nitty-gritty details about each other, they are able to see the strength and goodness that radiates within the other, and this becomes enough for them to fight to be together. Their love scenes are mildly sensual and avoid graphic description.

I find that many authors of romantic suspense use dual POVs from both the hero and heroine to narrate the story, but Savage uses an omniscient POV to give readers a more holistic view of this fictitious world and to add depth to the key characters. For the most part, this technique is effective. I like getting the perspectives of both Marcus and Jimmy, who’ve also suffered and lost much through their excruciating experiences. Furthermore, I have a better understanding of the underlying tension that exists among the three men who have united for a common cause but still lack the refined cohesiveness needed to cement their team.  The main characters have good intentions, but they also have their flaws, especially Sam’s father, Dr. Steven James. Just like Sam, my perception of him swung back and forth like a pendulum because of his willingness to use unethical methods in his pursuit of scientific discoveries that could be used for the greater good of society as well as to its detriment.

By using the omniscient POV, the author also provides a glimpse into the antagonists’ minds, but I found the villains to be merely two-dimensional characters whose motives are singularly driven by a need for power and prominence with no regard for others, so, overall, their perspectives didn’t add as much depth to the storyline. There are a few scenes leading to the plot’s suspenseful climax that incorporate too many characters’ POVs, which I found disruptive to the flow of the story.  Other readers may like the infusion of multiple perspectives within a scene, but it was a distraction for me.

Although the beginning of the story starts off slowly, the momentum builds after Sam receives a package from her father, and then the pacing and action throughout the story kept me engaged until the very end. Savage does a great job of incorporating paranormal elements into this romantic suspense, and I look forward to reading more of this author’s work in the future.

Source: I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the author to provide an honest and fair review. 

Please visit the blog page to read an excerpt, an interview with H.K. Savage, and enter a tour-wide giveaway:

http://sunmountainreviews.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/blog-tour-for-an...

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