Saturday, May 14, 2011

Review- Original Sin


Seeing Lucy Hamilton, you would think she is just like any other suburban stay-at-home San Francisco mom. She takes her three-year-old son Theo to the beach, playground, and the zoo. She makes organic applesauce, folds laundry, and plays on the floor with Matchbox cars until her knees ache. What no one knows about Lucy, not even her adoring husband Will, is that for nine years she was known as Sally Sin, a spy for the USAWMD (United States Agency for Weapons of Mass Destruction). And that’s just the way Lucy wants to keep it – a secret.

Ian Blackford, a notorious illegal arms dealer and Lucy’s long-forgotten nemesis, returns to the USAWMD’s radar, and they are forced to call Lucy back to action to lure Blackford out into the open. As she races to unravel the mystery that surrounds Blackford’s return (and get dinner on the table), she realizes that the answers she needs lie in a past that she’s tried very hard to forget. In a race against time, Lucy must fight to save herself, her family – and, oh yes – the world.

As the back cover suggests Original Sin has a very unique cast of characters and when it comes to character development Beth does her due diligence and then some. Although, Lucy is the focus all of the supporting characters are equally as well formed through Lucy’s observations of them. She describes each with an elephant’s memory and a spy’s eye for detail. Not only do we get Lucy’s commentary on each person who passes through her life, but in many cases we also get to travel back in time to Lucy’s most vivid memories of them. As a result in this book as in real life everyone is a true blue individual with their own unique quirks.

At times it felt like there was almost too much character development. Much of the story was spent in the past going back over Lucy’s life and using big chunks of it to explain the present. The detailed back story was greatly appreciated, but so much time was spent in the past I often forgot what was happening in the present.

Although, Original Sin was a solid debut novel it’s real strength, in my eyes, was as a set up device for the rest of the series. Now that the stage is set I’m very interested to see how the next book turns out.

All in all I liked Original Sin, and would recommend it readers who enjoy complexly plotted vibrant stories.

- Aaron

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