Thursday, 8 May 2014

Review ~ Disruption by Steven B Whibley

Disruptionebook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: March 19th 2014

At fourteen, Matt Cambridge has executed so many pranks-the latest nearly destroying his school-that his parents are out of discipline options. So his father pulls a few questionable strings to get his son into Camp Friendship: a camp that promises to strengthen the moral compass of today's youth. With a name like Camp Friendship Matt imagines three punishing weeks of daisy chains and Kumbayas. Within minutes of arriving at the camp, however, Matt's nearly killed-twice. It doesn't take long for him to realize there's more to this picture-perfect place than meets the eye. What sort of summer camp has classes in forging passports? Why do they have endless fight training, and weapons drills, and what is with the hidden rooms? Matt wonders if his parents realize they've enrolled him in what seems to be some kind of freakish, elite spy school. What Matt doesn't yet know is that Camp Friendship's ultimate purpose is far more sinister than he could possibly have imagined. With each dot he connects, he begins to understand that in the end he'll be left with two choices: pull the prank of a lifetime to escape this place . . . or die trying.

My Opinion

Disruption sounded like it would be an action-packed and gripping read that would have a lot of mysterious and strands to it. Those were the aspects of the blurb that persuaded me to download this this novel from NetGalley--well besides the spy hint. For the most part this was an entertaining read and it did keep me hooked, but I just can't help but feel a little disappointed that parts were so obvious and the ending kind of fizzled out for me.

I was hooked from page one with Disruption. The prank--although not funny--caught my interest and the kid-being-sent-away aspect set up the book nicely. I also liked that the book was written from Matt's POV in the first person. For me, it was a refreshing change to read about a male protagonist. It was easy to connect with him due to the single person narrative however, there was also a significant amount of overall description was good and detailed, setting the scene well for the reader.

In general, I liked the camp and the idea behind the story. I also liked Matt's obliviousness as it gave the book another dimension. The reader knew something was up and knew more than Matt which I normally like as it's fun to watch the characters struggle and come to grips with everything. I think Whibley created a strong cast of characters that all clearly had their own personalities and the gelled well in the book. I liked that they were all as strong as the next and the fighting element made Disruption interesting.

However, despite all of that, I did find my attention waning towards the end. I know there was meant to be this big climax but I figured it out way before so it just lacked any impact for me. I don't want to reveal what happens as I don't want to ruin it for you guys if you give this book a go but for me it was obvious what was going on. The fact that the author kept repeating certain phrases dropped significant hints that not all was what it seemed and for me there was only one other plausible explanation which turned out to be right. I wanted the mystery of what was really going on to be concealed better as not one thing surprised me. As well as this there were a few scenes that were exactly like other books I've read so my attention once again wasn't fully with the book during the moments.

The only other thing I had a problem was the age at which the author pitched Matt. The blurb said he was fourteen but for me, he felt more 16/17. The way he acted, spoke and took control was just unbelievable for me and I couldn't picture him at that age. The age issue, for me, was also highlighted by some of the terms the author used and then never explained. I know they were in this secret camp but for the readers' sake I felt they needed explaining as I would have had no clue what they meant if it wasn't for the dictionary on my Kindle which is a pain to load.

Overall, Disruption was an interesting read that started off well. I felt the mystery needed to be constructed better to make the goal of the camp less obvious so it could hold my interest better as when you figure the main idea out at such an early stage it does take the pleasure out of reading as it becomes a question of "am I right?" Saying that though, there were good points about this book and if you like spy novels this may interest you.


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