Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Book Review: CORPORATE CITIZEN by Gabriel Valjan

Title: Corporate Citizen: Roma Series Book Five
Genre: Mystery-Suspense/Thriller
Author: Gabriel Valjan
Publisher: Winter Goose Publishing
Purchase link: http://amzn.to/2b9E2qE

About the Book from the back cover:
A call for help from an old friend lands Bianca and the crew back in Boston. On a timeout with Dante, due to revelations in the aftermath of the showdown in Naples, Bianca is drawn to a mysterious new ally who understands the traumas of her past, and has some very real trauma of his own. Murder, designer drugs, and a hacker named Magician challenge our team, and Bianca learns that leaving Rendition behind might be much harder than she thinks.

About the Author:
Gabriel Valjan is the author of the Roma Series from Winter Goose Publishing as well as numerous short stories. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he enjoys the local restaurants, and his two cats, Squeak and Squawk, keep him honest to the story on the screen.

Twitter: @GValjan

Linzé's Review
I volunteered to read and review this book as part of a blog tour. It wasn't until I opened the ebook that I realised it is the fifth book in a series.
It doesn't take you long to realise that the books must be read in order, despite the claim that they could be read as standalone books. There is a lot of history between the characters and their past associations that is not revealed in the story.
The story is complicated with several murders, conspiracy theories and conjecture that makes it difficult to follow given the context and history.
I liked Nick. He is not the main character and yet he is easier to understand and empathise with than the others in the story. He enters the story as a suspect and gets involved in the process. While he has his issues, his character is likeable and also someone the reader can sympathise with.
Bianca is the main character and the lead investigator in the story. If it wasn't for the character list at the start of the ebook, it would have taken the reader at least four chapters to get that information. As a character she appears cold and distant, even though her actions (she touches her friends and the cats without hesitation) say the opposite. As the main character she is not easy to relate to, and that might also be because of the lack of reading the first four books in the series.
Her past and her issue with intimacy was explored without any depth, and might again be because I haven't read any earlier books.
The other characters were sometimes confusing. They were either addressed by a nickname (prior history again), first name, or last name. It makes it difficult to figure out who is who, despite the character list. A list in a printed book is easier to refer to than in an ebook.
I liked the cats and the way they took part in the story. Their individual characters were well woven into the story, although in the end, they could have served as an opportunity to explore more of the 'human' side of the characters.
In the end, I remained confused as to the motivation of the antagonists in the story for involving some of the characters in their schemes. Again, maybe details in earlier books, or setting up a plot for the next book somehow.
The plot was complicated and the author did hint throughout the story what the reader should expect at the ending, yet all the while creating an expectation of a different outcome. It was not entirely a satisfying ending, despite continuing the story with another book.
There is a sixth book in the series, and from the way this book was written, the story would simply carry on.

It is difficult to rate the book based on my experience, so my rating is based on my experience of the characters, the plot, the structure and the limited backstory as presented.

My rating