Book Review: Force of Habit, by Cash Peters

After seeing the cover for Force of Habit, by Cash Peters, I was expecting something of an action-adventure comedy. After all, with a masculine-looking nun on the cover with a habit and a black eye and crooked smile, what else could I have thought?

The author has called this book a thriller, and I have to respectfully disagree with him. I love a good thriller, but this book really isn’t a thriller. If I had to classify the genre, I’d say it’s more an action-adventure mystery. While there are some humorous moments, witty places, the book itself really wasn’t as funny as I had expected it to be.

Force of Habit starts with action and it ends with unresolved questions. That bothers me a bit, as a book, even if part of a series or an ongoing character series, should really stand alone. This one does tell a complete story, I just don’t feel it tied up all the loose ends well and tried too hard to make this a ‘beginning’ of something instead of a stand-alone book.

EDITING, GRAMMAR and STYLE

As for the grammar and editing, Force of Habit could have been better edited, both grammatically and stylistic. The author uses single quotes for dialogue ‘ instead of “, which wouldn’t be so bad, except he has many, many moments of ‘air finger quotes’ where he puts quotes around single words or phrases, making it hard to differentiate what is spoken and what isn’t when reading through, especially true for those who know how to speed read. I realize the author is British, and this is a stylistic issue, but when pandering to an international market, the double quotes is the better way to go. Plus, it makes the writing clearer, which is what an author really wants for their reader.

There are some instances of using improper words, like ‘alright’ instead of ‘all right’ and ‘anymore’ instead of ‘any more’. The author also uses an overabundance of ellipses and dashes in his writing that aren’t at all used properly. All that said, it’s better written grammatically than most indie-published books I have read (and I read a lot!), and stylistically, it’s solid in the plot and progression.

PLOT and IMPRESSIONS

The book opens with an action scene, described as a dead man taking the stairs, which definitely is enticing to wonder how a dead man is walking around. It soon becomes clear why the author refers to him this way. From there, the action doesn’t let up, keeping the reader flipping pages all the way through (or flicking the screen, as is the case with e-readers).

In Force of Habit, Sister Madeline is left an inheritance she doesn’t really want, but needs to claim, and to do so, she has to face going back into the real world. The real world for her, though, isn’t a safe place to be, her having left society decades ago, holing herself up in a backwards, technology-shunning religious community. Her culture shock at how much has changed is amusing.

When the government agency (at least it’s insinuated it’s a covert government agency, but I could be wrong on this point) she used to work for, as a type of covert ops agent or spy, sees many of her follow comrades dropping dead in strange ways, she decides to leave the nunnery and seek answers on her own. Her trusty sidekick is an inexperienced, na├»ve, and giggly young woman, so the contrast is also amusing.

Force of Habit has some humorous moments, action-packed moments, and page-turning moments that will keep the reader satisfied right until the end. Unfortunately, the ending sort of falls flat. I’m not sure it leaves me enticed to want to know more as much as it frustrates me that it feels like things weren’t all tied up. However, it definitely leaves this open as a series potential, which I’m assuming is what the author intended to do. My advice: give the readers a better ending and they’ll still likely want to read more if the stories are good.

FINAL ANALYSIS OF FORCE OF HABIT

Overall, it’s a good story. With a bit more polish and a good developmental edit, it would probably have been an excellent book. Even so, the action and voice kept me reading. If you’re looking for a good and quirky mystery-style story, this is an author and a series that should satisfy.

Buy Force of Habit, by Cash Peters, on Amazon.com

Visit the author’s website.

See Force of Habit on Goodreads.com

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One comment to Book Review: Force of Habit, by Cash Peters

  • WindowShopping  says:

    It sounds like a good read for a vacation! Something to tote along to a beach somewhere warm and read while sipping an icy beverage containing rum and fruit juices, adorned with skewered fruit and little umbrellas. After cleaning the skewered fruit and little umbrellas from the reading material (virtual or hard copy), I’ll look forward to getting to know the characters.

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