Monday, May 19, 2014

Undetected, by Dee Henderson

From the Publisher:
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 her crew trained and alert during ninety-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 handles it well. And at a time when tensions are escalating around 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, with a lovely smile, and very smart. She's a civilian, yet she understands the U.S. Navy culture. 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. A breakup she didn't see coming, though, has her focusing all her attention on what she does best--ocean science research. She's on the cusp of a major breakthrough, and she needs Mark Bishop's perspective and help. Because what she 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.
 
My review:
 
This was my first Dee Henderson book and I was very disappointed. Based on my reading speed according to my Kindle, I estimated this book to be about 500 pages long, and was only off by 19 pages. I've read books that length a lot faster than I read this one!

The first 20% or so of the book was pretty much all submarine stuff or Navy base stuff. I was bored, but pressed on. It was just all too technical and uninteresting and I was waiting for the book to get more personal. Which kind of happened, eventually. This book has a LOT of Navy talk and submarine talk and scientific discovery type stuff. If you want to read a romance, I'd suggest picking up another book because the love story part of the book comes very slowly and is disappointing when it does come. If you want a less romance-heavy book that has some interesting information, then this one is good. I, personally, was not that interested in the subject, but it was informative.
 
Another reviewer identified on Amazon as "Kathleen" really summed it up when she wrote, "...as I slogged through paragraph after paragraph of fine detail about submarines and their workings, I had to wonder. Was this really written by a woman? It felt like a man’s writing to me. Very analytical with emphasis on settings rather than characters. The author’s in-depth research impressed me, as I assume her descriptions of submarine life are correct. The plot was laid out well, despite what I thought was too many unnecessary details."

The characters had layers, but not really. There was a lot told about them, but not a lot shown about them. There wasn't a lot of emotion to this love story. I was turned off by Mark. I don't want to give away a spoiler, so I'll just say that I feel like he came on very strong. Too much, too fast not just for Gina, but for the development of the love story. I think he was a gentleman and there were some things I respected about his character, but I just wasn't into the way their story unfolded.

Gina was... weak and insecure and needy and I think she could have used some serious weekly "dates" with a counselor rather than another boyfriend or two. She grew and matured throughout the story... but when? How? What really changed? One minute she's insecure and the next thing you know, she's independent-ish and strong.

I feel like this book could have been written with half the words and been just as interesting. While I made it through the book, I wouldn't call it good. It was just ok. I am sorry to say that I cannot recommend this book to you based on personal preference and interest. It was well written and if you're into the Navy thing and submarine details and all of that, you'll really enjoy it. Just don't expect a sweep-you-off-your-feet romance.
 
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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