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Book Review: Falling Star by Phillip Chen

Falling Star (The Watchers)Falling Star by Philip Chen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I won a copy of this eBook from a Kindle blog and dove right in as soon as I downloaded it. The story starts out good, and picks up from there. By the time I was halfway through, it was hard to put down. I just wanted to keep turning the pages. It's a thriller, with a bit of a sci-fi bent. The story skillfully combines cold-war military espionage, underwater navel research, and UFOs. Several mysterious, probably extra-terrestrial, objects are discovered at the bottom of the ocean. The US government establishes a program to monitor these objects. After several decades of observation, the objects begin to generate activity. Throughout the book, we watch the main character, Mike, and his involvement with the objects, from their discovery to the (almost) present day. Along the way, Mike and other government agents have to deal with unknown cold-war era threats.

I really enjoyed how well this was written, both in terms of plot and character development. On the surface, several of the characters appear somewhat stereotypical, but I think their portrayal was appropriate and reasonable. Several times, the author touches on the subject of racism. He refrains from being preachy, however, and each treatment of racism is essential to either move the plot or develop a character. I was really impressed by that touch. I don't know much about underwater exploration, but it's obvious that the author does. His description of the underwater scenes were technical and vivid enough, without being burdensome, to clearly portray the action that takes place. He puts me right in the submersible with the characters. It was lots of fun to read.

The story told is a great stand-alone tale. It wraps itself up neatly, but also leaves a few small loose ends, which provide an obvious opportunity for a sequel, or even a series. I hope the author releases a sequel. When he does, I'll be first in line to get a copy.

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