Wish They Wouldn’t: Over Research

Wednesday

Wish They Would/Wouldn’t Wednesday is my new feature where I talk about things I wish authors would or wouldn’t do. This week’s topic is: Wish They Wouldn’t: Over Research.

I’m not even going to pretend that I know all the hard work that goes into writing a book. Especially when trying to be accurate and authentic within specialized genres like historical fiction or something science-related, justice system-related, etc. A lot of research needs to go into making these stories feel real for the reader.

However, there are often times that I feel things get OVER researched. Like the author has done so much research that he/she can’t help but use it. It often does nothing for me in terms of enhancing a story. Sometimes it even feels like the author is flaunting his/her intelligence on the subject, taking away from the actual characters and their story.

Some examples:

Partials

Partials by Dan Wells.

It’s been awhile since I read this book (I still haven’t made it to Ruins yet), but what I remember the most was that it seemed soooo much longer than  it needed to be. And Kyra’s scientific research became way too detailed for me. I really have no idea if Wells did lots of Scientific research, if he’s just really smart, or if he made everything about it up. But how it came across to me was, “Look how smart I am, while I bore you for pages and pages and forget about the rest of the story.”  That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the rest of the story or his writing. The science was just too much.

Undetected

Undetected by Dee Henderson

The submarine description, Naval procedures, and science took up way too much time in this book. It made the book way too long and bogged down. I think it also really took away focus from the characters and their development.

The First Phone Call from Heaven

The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Ablom

I still am scratching my head over the inclusion of the history of the telephone in this book. This is a perfect example of over researching a subject and including it in a book when it really does absolutely nothing at all to advance or add to the plot.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Are there other books you think are Over Researched?

 

 

Review: Undetected by Dee Henderson

Undetected

I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

Synopsis from Good Reads:

When asked what he does for a living, Commander Mark Bishop is deliberately low-key: “I’m in the navy.”

But commanding the ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada, keeping its crew trained and focused during 90-day submerged patrols, and being prepared to launch weapons on valid presidential orders, carries a burden of command like few other jobs in the military. Mark Bishop is a man who accepts that responsibility, and carries it well. And at a time when tensions are escalating in the Pacific Rim, the navy is glad to have him.

Mark wants someone to come home to after sea patrols. The woman he has in mind is young, pretty, and very smart. She’s a civilian, but she understands life in the navy. And he has a strong sense that life with her would never be boring. But she may be too deep in her work to see the potential in a relationship with him.

Gina Gray would love to be married. She has always envisioned her life that way. But a breakup she didn’t see coming has her focusing all her attention on what she does best–ocean science research. She’s on the cusp of a breakthrough, and she needs Mark Bishop’s perspective and help. Because what she’s told the navy she’s figured out is only the beginning. If she’s right, submarine warfare is about to enter a new and dangerous chapter…

It took me several chapters to get into this story. The beginning is so weighed down by Naval description and procedures that I had to put the book down. While this got better – for the most part – as the story went on, there was way too much Navy procedure and scientific descriptions for me. It didn’t feel necessary to the story, as much as one of those instances when the author is stating, “Hey, look at all the research I’ve done for this book!” I also thought the formality was a little overdone. Almost every time the story comes back to focus on Mark, he’s introduced to the readers again as, “Captain/Commander Mark Bishop.” This got better after maybe ten chapters or so, but then it would do it sporadically. There aren’t so many characters in this book that I can’t keep track of one by their first or last name.

Gina Gray is a genius. She’s worked on many discoveries for the Navy, all with the intent on keeping her brother Jeff safe. She comes to his Naval base to visit him after she had a bad break-up and begins to work on her latest theory – which leads to another theory – and another theory…She’s super smart, guys. However, she’s not so smart with relationships and she wants to get married before she’s thirty, so she asks her brother to set her up. Jeff wants to set her up with his best friend, Mark, but Mark is hesitant since he’s about 11 years older than Gina. Jeff settles instead for the kind and funny Daniel.

However, Mark begins to develop feelings for Gina after spending some time with her and from there the love triangle begins. It’s not your normal  love triangle, though. Both guys are super chill with each other and go out of their way to help the other guy. Also, Gina doesn’t realize Mark is interested until late in the game. And he’s not just interested, he’s ready to get married interested.

I found Mark’s pursuit of Gina a little off-putting at first. Though he does love her and wants to be with her, I often got the feeling that he was talking down to her,

“Marry me, Gina. You need me. I want you as my wife. there are worse reasons to get married.”

“We’re going to disagree occasionally, Gina, on what is best to do with a discovery. That’s one of the reasons these kinds of decisions are never simple. There are two perspectives, and both might be valid. I’d like to think you’ll come to trust me on these difficult calls.”

Though it took awhile, I did begin to  like their relationship. I also really liked that all the romance in this book was based on more than attraction. There was never a statement of how Gina is the most beautiful woman ever created or description of how Mark’s muscles ripple under his t-shirt that just happens to be a little tight around his big, broad, tan shoulders. (Seriously, try to find a romance that doesn’t involve those type of statements.)

While the story focused on character and relationship development, I enjoyed it. When it veered off into the overly descriptive Navy/science scenes, I found it a little hard to get through. I did like how all the time spent on Gina’s discoveries didn’t go unused. I also was surprised to find out that this is either a book in a series or a companion book to another Henderson novel, Unspoken, that focuses on Mark’s brother (which I recently bought at a library sale, but haven’t had the chance to read it).

Overall, I did enjoy Undetected. I would have preferred less of the Naval and scientific jargon, but the rest of the story helped to make up for it. I would recommend this book to fans of Hendersons and Christian Fiction.

Rating (out of 5):
Plot: 3.5
Characters: 3.5
Readability: 3
Enjoyability: 3
Overall Average: 3.25 stars

 

Monday’s Minutes

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Monday’s Minutes is my weekly post where I share what I’m reading and what I’m reading next.

WHAT I’M READING

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2) by Katie McGarry. Ok. So I had no intention of continuing this series anytime soon, but I found myself faced with a few review titles that are long-ish and serious-ish and I’m just not in the state of mind for serious reading. I also find I’m not in the mood to read anything I really care about it, so this came up at the library and I decided to try it. While it appears to have heavier themes than most YA romance, it’s still, at it’s core, YA romance, which always fills the bill when I need something fluffy to read.

WHAT I’M READING NEXT

Ruins (Partials Sequence, #3)   Undetected

Ruins (Partial Sequence #3) by Dan Wells and Undetected by Dee Henderson. I’ve been putting off Ruins because I was pretty disappointed with book 2 in this series. I haven’t heard great things about the conclusion to the series, either. But I still want to read it. I enjoyed the O’Malley series by Dee Henderson, so I of course had to request Dee Henderson on NetGalley. However, it’s a pdf and not an epub, so reading it on my Nook is super annoying. But I’m still looking forward to it!

What are you reading?