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ARC Book Review - One Breath, One Bullet (The Borders War), by S. A McAuley

One Breath One Bullet - S.A. McAuley

An extremely good (sci-fi/fantasy/futuristic) storyline of a time 500+ years into our future, where you can kill people with sonic-rifles, which have the bonus of killing you on the inside, without all the mess of blood and gore and intestines that usually mark the nitty-gritty facts of war. You just fall dead to the ground. Clinical. And also unemotional. Yes, it would certainly be easier to kill someone, when you don't actually see the damage you are doing. 

Main characters Merq and Armise are of course on opposite sides of the conflict, but I had great trouble following the different sides, and who was what on which side and why. There were states, and Presidents and Premieres and Prime Ministers, and god knows who belonged where. Then there were Revolutionaries and Oppositionists and Nationalists, and I don't know who revolutioned against which opposition or what nationalist haven. 

Safe to say, I was confused. And 88 pages were simply not enough to clear my confusion.

Now, in her book, An Immovable Solitude, the author gets all the proverbial little ducks in a row, with all the emotions in place, before taking us on a long and crazy ride all over the planet. Here, not so much. It is hard and harsh, and then harder and harsher. Maybe this is what she was aiming for? But it made it really difficult for me to find anyone to root for. I could hardly connect with the MCs, they felt flat, except right at the end, when they started to come alive and think and talk. And that's when the book ends.

Perhaps a bit too much telling going on? Maybe it is simply too little dialogue to show what's happening? 

This story was different, and as you've seen, I'm not sure I agree on the format; it is too short for a serious story and too wordy to be a concise short story. I find the world building to be a bit on the info-dumping side of things, and that kind of throws me out of the narrative, but all in all a believable world was created. 
Too bad it finished right when it was getting interesting.

And that's when I remember that it is a series. 

Now, why write your story into a series, if your first book is only 88 pages long? If the other two are anything like this one, that makes it A BOOK, in my opinion, ONE book. Not three. A series is what you do when you have too many words to fit in one book, and you're not finished telling your story when you're clocking in at 300+ pages. (Which is often the case with sci-fi/fantasy/futuristic novels, as the world building can take a lot of time and effort to handle convincingly).

I love this author, but I don't feel her true voice is coming alive in this work. The boys don't connect like her boys usually connect, not on an intellectual level, nor emotionally. They are too busy trying to tell me about a future world with data chips and surge-pills, tracker devices and whatnots to actually show me what they feel. Ms McAuley's finest voice is usually in the emotion of nature and human nature, in resonance. Unfortunately, I did not hear much of it here. Perhaps in the second and third installment of the series?

I'm gladly going to read the rest of this story (as once I'm invested in a pair, I want to know what happened) but I really feel there should simply have been more chapters to this book, not a new book coming out at a later date. 


My opinion may vary from yours, but I always try to convey my most honest thoughts about a book and a story.
I was given a free ARC of this story, as a gift from the author, no strings attached. A positive review was not promised in return.

Source: http://AnnaLund2011.booklikes.com/post/201952/one-breath-one-bullet-the-borders-war-