Sunday, February 17, 2013

Book Review: Code Word by Traci Hunter Abramson (Whitney Finalist)

Title: Code Word
Author: Traci Hunter Abramson
Enjoyment Rating: ***
Whitney Finalist
This book would be rated: PG for violence and intense situations

Code Word is the sixth book in Traci Hunter Abramson's Saint Squad series-- novels about a group of LDS Navy Seals. Each book typically focuses on one member of the squad and his conversion to the gospel and/or courtship, all set against the backdrop of a dangerous and intense situation.

In the past, I've been outspoken about how I feel about the formulaic nature of these books. Does every courtship have to take place with bullets flying? But I'm going to set aside my quibbles with the form for this review, because after six books, I've decided that the formula isn't going to change.

Anyway, Code Word, opens with the Saint Squad taking out Bin Laden. I read that and groaned-- it felt somehow off to have them involved in such an important historical event. After the successful completion of their mission, the guys are sent on a two-week leave, and new guy (and the only non-LDS guy in the squad-- you can see where this is going), Jay Wellman goes home to Miami, where he soon meets Carina Channing, a beautiful girl whose defenses are up, way up. Jay sees this as a challenge. But Carina, whose recently deceased grandfather is the head of the Mafia in Chicago, is in grave danger. And it's up to Jay to save her.

I enjoyed this novel more than other books in the Saint Squad series. Carina's story was interesting, and Jay was a believable character. The climax of the book seemed to come sort of suddenly, and seemed rather, well, anticlimactic after some of the events leading up to it. Jay's conversion also happened rather quickly and conveniently. But all in all, an enjoyable escapist read.

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