Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Merrett's Choice by Ian Mitchell-Gill

Merrett’s Choice
by Ian Mitchell-Gill
Publication Date: January 26th 2017
Publisher: FriesenPress
Find This Book: Merrett’s Choice
Rating: 4/5

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wow! This was an action-packed book! It kind of felt like the Animorphs of my childhood- a semi-large group of teens working to each other strengths to get the mission of the book done. The characters were all developed in Merrett’s Gift (which you can read my review about here) so this adventure could focus on the the current task: busting a Senator’s son out of a cult.

This book was a lot more engaging than the first one, pulling the reader into the more plot-focused action. The students and their backstories (particularly Lydia) were all established in book 1, and this novel could really hone in on their talents and their cohesiveness as a unit. The POV occasionally shifts, but primarily stays on Lydia which I loved because I feel like I become better connected to characters when I’m not switching around viewpoints as much. Lydia in particular is wicked smart and analytical- great qualities for a team leader and the analytical quality I could personally identify with. The best part of this book for me, is that while all of the planning of the operation is in front of the reader’s face the plan isn’t obvious until it’s in motion. Sometimes books tell you the plan and then give you an update on whether or not it was successful. With the way Ian Mitchell-Gill writes, I’m figuring out what Lydia’s doing as she’s doing it even though I’ve watched her strategically put pieces in place beforehand.

So like I said, the plot of this book is about infiltrating a cult. It deals with the CIA/FBI’s previous attempts at breaking up cults and seems very well researched. The location of this cult’s base, the physical work and lack of sleep, the leader’s personality, and the shady behind-the-scenes activities felt like watching a fascinating documentary. Sure their leader intentionally misquotes religious texts to manipulate his followers, and has a criminal record, but this novel also captured the nuance of the cult followers finding a place they feel like they belong. I loved this balance and element of reality. All in all it was a quick and exciting read, and while you would get character backgrounds by reading the first book you definitely don’t need to read Merrett’s Gift to thoroughly enjoy Merrett’s Choice!

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