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What would have made Undetected better?
I know this review is going to sound harsh but after the last three books I am just too frustrated not to comment. I have read every Dee Henderson book I can find and fell in love with both the O'Malley's and the Uncommon Heroes series. Henderson was my favorite author growing up and my mom and I would fight over who got to read her new books first.
Full Disclosure was different from the rest of Henderson's books, but it started a new trend that I am just not enjoying at all. Unspoken and now Undetected all feel like nearly identical character personality types in a strung out plot with only a few chapters of suspense. The male characters are almost too perfect to relate too and while I appreciate smart, talented, unique, loner-type women I need at least some variety. I love the suspense and the spiritual growth displayed in her previous books. They were about normal, broken people who struggled but ultimately grew with God and were used by him to do something amazing. It was almost creepy how few flaws or struggles any of the characters (especially the males) had in the last couple books. I can appreciate Daniel and Mark handling the situation like Christian men, but there needed to be some more frustration and self-checks to make it believable. Seriously, if Mark asked Gina to marry him one more time I was going to stop listening. It is not that I hate reading about godly, mature Christians, I just need to see them struggle and grow spiritually or at least someone in the book to do so or else it seems like every chapter is just more of the same. Internal struggles and conflict make for a much more enjoyable plot. I did not consider Gina's decision on which guy to marry very conflicted. The book buried her struggle to decide under way too many "marry me Gina"s from Mark. If he had asked her to seek God's will and then just focused on wooing her it would have been much more believable.
The lack of email and modern comms was also a little frustrating. Email can be delayed on ships and subs, but it does go through in batches and as a naval spouse it is a life-line during deployment. If Gina had the clearances implied, she could have also sent email to Mark and her brother via classified channels as well. Also, some of the book was extremely well-researched and yet some of it was extremely inaccurate and a could have been fixed with just a tiny bit of fact-checking. No one with a clearance is allowed to write or draw classified work like notes, schematics, or a decision trees at home on a kitchen table. Handwriting notes so it will be easier to burn at your house is not how classified material/notes would be handled either. Gina would not be allowed to do classified work from her house or have the technology on hand to do so. Scientific research is one thing, but the second it is classified or considered part of a classified project she would have to be in a secure facility to access and work with the data.
With just a few tweaks to the characters, a few minor fact checks, and a lot more suspense this could have been a great book. Honestly, the narrator didn't help make the characters interesting either though. He added to the "too-vanilla to be real" flavor of the book. My mom hasn't even been able to finish the last two books. Please Dee, go back to your roots and tell us about flawed characters saved by grace and then used by God to be heroes.
Would you ever listen to anything by Dee Henderson again?
Yes, if she returns to her old style
Would you be willing to try another one of Adam Verner’s performances?
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
Some of the descriptions were accurate and potential conflict between North Korea, China, Japan and the U.S. in fiction is always interesting.
20 of 22 people found this review helpful
Other reviewers have this story a low score. I would have to agree. Not enough story on the characters themselves. Too much story on the technical side.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful