Auditory Viewpoint by Lillian R. Melendez

Posted April 19, 2014 in Book Review / 0 Comments

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I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Auditory Viewpoint by Lillian R. MelendezAuditory Viewpoint by Lillian Melendez
Published by Black Rose Writing on July 5th 2013
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 248
Format: eARC
Source: ARC from publisher
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three-stars

Gloria Rank has lived her entire life in the dark. Blind since birth, she has made a name for herself as a respected talk radio show host in New Jersey. When her younger sister, Anna, has her identity stolen and a man is murdered outside her apartment, Anna becomes the prime suspect in an FBI investigation. But when bodies begin piling up around her, the FBI has to admit that she is being stalked by a murderer. With the FBI focused in the wrong direction, it is up to Gloria to teach Anna to use her other senses--hearing, touch, taste, and smell--which she never really had to completely rely on before to help uncover a ring of identity thieves and stop the killer from taking her life, and perhaps Gloria's as well! Their only hope for survival is an experiment in perception that will unearth heartbreaking secrets and catapult Gloria into a darkness of the heart beyond any that she has ever known.

Main Points
Writing Style:

I’ll be honest here. It seemed, a lot of the time, that the writing was a bit simple and worded strangely. The dialogue was fine, and that surprised me, because there were a lot of times where I read a sentence and thought it sounded like it was written by someone whose native language was not English. It didn’t sound as comfortable and flowing. I found this to be the case mostly when actions were being described. Sometimes there was too much unnecessary description and the sentences were too long, or the word choice was unusual. I’ll use an example: “He reached into his pants pocket and took out his phone, then wiped his napkin on the side of his mouth while glimpsing at the phone screen.” First of all it seems too plainly stated. First this, then this. And secondly, the use of ‘glimpsing’ bothers me. Usually glimpsing is used like this: “I caught a glimpse of…” or similar. I don’t think you can grammatically ‘glimpse at’ anything. I think a better word here would be ‘glancing’. That pretty much sums up my view of the writing style.

Plot:
It was a new kind of story, that’s for sure. It had a good premise, if executed a little too simply. In the real world, I highly doubt tactics like those Gloria suggested would work out quite so well. But naturally it worked in the story, so there would be a story. (But honestly, is the sense of taste all that helpful in identifying killers?) In real life, I would have sided with Anna in her skepticism, but in the book, it felt a bit unfair. I would have thought she would have supported her sister more. But thankfully she goes along with it.
I also thought it was kind of unnecessary a few times- Gloria teaching Anna to use her skills. When Anna was alone at the beginning, yes, it would have been useful, but Anna and Gloria stayed together for the remainder of the book, and if Anna was going to be a target for future criminals, I would see the benefit of her learning to use her senses, but that’s not too terribly realistic. After all, Gloria’s the blind one, and she would benefit more. Anna still has her sight. (Not that it’s not cool to be able to hear things really well, which seemed to be the main result of Gloria’s lessons).
I did like being able to see the hackers’ side of things as well, so the reader is not left entirely in the dark. We still had to piece some things together, and it was fun. Not everything was predictable.

Characters (not all included)

Gloria: I had forgotten what the summary said before reading, so it actually came as a surprise when I found out that she was blind. But I guess that was the whole point of the story! Anyway, Gloria’s really sweet and tolerant, if a bit risky when it comes to putting herself in danger (and I am justified in thinking this; she does get in some trouble). But she’s your typical blind-person-overcoming-their-disability. She’s accepted it and used to learn her other senses well.
Anna: She was quite resistant at times, frustratingly so, and underestimated Gloria a lot. I was thinking, “Where’s your faith?” for most of the book. But it worked out all right.
Benjamin: Very helpful. I didn’t expect him to play a role as big as he did, but it was a good thing that he did. I actually got defensive when he was suspected, but that was quickly dismissed as a possibility.
Monica: It was pretty easy to predict the mental issues. But the other PLOT TWIST at the end was nearly impossible to predict. I couldn’t hate her at all, even when she did the bad things.

Ending
It almost seemed too easy how things were working out, until Gloria’s spot of trouble. But even that was a little easy to resolve. I felt like the conflict in this book was kept at a minimum. It was really more about the relationship between Gloria and Anna, and even that was somewhat typical. But happy ending, obviously.

Good vs. Bad
Good:
  • ending
  • plot (new/interesting idea)
  • twists
  • characters
Less than perfect:
  • writing
  • conflict
Bottom Line

This book was average. It had a good premise and new ideas, but the writing was too simple and didn’t flow very well. The characters were all right, if a little typical, and there wasn’t much real conflict. But there were some good twists and it was fun to piece things together as I read and try to predict what was going to happen. The ending was a little cheesy but still reasonable. Would I read more by this author? Probably not. Would I recommend this book to others? Maybe.

About Lillian Melendez

Mystery novelist, Lillian R. Melendez was born in New York, and grew up in South Orange, New Jersey. She began to publish her work when she was very young. The arts as a whole have always been an interest, but creative writing is her passion. She received a B.A. degree in English with a minor in Psychology from Trinity University in Washington, D.C. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America.

Rating
Plot
four-stars
Characters
three-half-stars
Writing
two-half-stars
Cover
four-stars
Overall: three-stars
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