Victorville. 1981. My parents and I went to the movies just a few weeks before I turned eleven. They wanted to see Clash of the Titans.
It sounded boring to me.
I opted, instead, to see Raiders of the Lost Ark. Mom and Dad thought it sounded ridiculous. So, when we met up again outside the theater after the movie was over, guess who loved the movie and who didn’t. Yeah. My raving worked, though.
The next week, they went to see my movie—the one that made me fall in love with the idea of archeology.
Yeah, I wasn’t alone. Half the kids I knew went from aching to be missionaries to determined to be an archaeologist adventurer that summer.
In some ways, that dream never died. But, as I grew older, I learned to live it out in safer, cleaner, and more exciting ways—through books.
Egypt—the ancient tombs. Archaeologists. Intrigue. Suspense.
As I read the synopsis of The Tempering Agent, I knew I had to request this book to read and review.
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What I thought of The Tempering Agent
As you can see from the synopsis, the concept of this story is fabulous. I loved the idea of a grieving woman working through that grief to find justice for her murdered fiancé as well as the new crimes that seem to be putting her in danger.
Unfortunately, the book didn’t live up to my hopes.
The Tempering Agent opened with a choice of words that made dating the book confusing, but I figured out it was contemporary soon enough. Little things bothered me—things like how Priscilla is a Brit, but she speaks with American syntax and diction. Inconsistencies in behavior and descriptions made things a bit difficult to swallow at times.
However, I have to give her props for usually keeping descriptions interesting, not overloaded, and without info-dumps. She also did an amazing job of writing a third book in a series without making you NEED the first two to understand it. Not all authors try to do that, of course, but those who do rarely do it as well as this author did. I didn’t even know there were more until I went to look up something.
Unfortunately, she does have her characters tell stories as if she’s writing them. At those times, there are unusual sentence structures and diction.
I wish that was all.
There is also a bit of repetitive telling, run-on sentences, and a few other editing issues. For those bothered by those things, you won’t be able to miss them. I purchased this book last night, so I’d suggest to the publisher to take another look at it.
The worst part of the book for me, however, was the romance. Now, I don’t usually read books for the romance, but the “Hi, I’m Donnie, and I’m going to flirt with you because I already decided that I like you.” Followed by the, “I’m in love after two meetings” from her… Ugh. It can work. It can. Sometimes “insta-love” is the point of a novel, but if you’re going to do it, just be upfront about it. And she didn’t. She wrote it as if it was normal to do that. And well, it’s not.
I really wanted to love The Tempering Agent, but by the 44% mark, if I hadn’t given my word, I probably wouldn’t have finished it.
For what it’s worth, I’d have missed some of the best parts of the book. A lot of the action was there and exciting, although one of the most exciting events happened off the page.
One of the strongest elements was the spiritual content in the book. Ms. Craine really did make most of her spiritual truths beautifully presented and without too much preachiness. And in one section, there was this little gem of a quote.
Look, I’ve seen reviews for this book. A lot of people really liked it. A few others, like me, were frustrated by it. So, please. Check out the other reviews. I truly hope you enjoy it more than I did.
The Tempering Agent is on tour with Celebrate Lit
Book Title: The Tempering Agent
Author: Victoria Pitts Caine
Release Date: February 14, 2014
Dr. Priscilla Hackling finds herself thrown back into the murder investigation of her fiancé, Trey Whittington. While she was a suspect three years ago, she’s now working with the police to find the murderer, Egyptian artifact trafficker, Zarka El-Din.
During a sting operation in Siwa, she and Agent Donnie Barnes are drawn to each other but Priscilla, overcome by personal ghosts from her past, decides a relationship isn’t possible. Priscilla realizes she’s the bait in the ruse and uncovers others involved with El-Din.
Will she and Donnie reconcile and unravel the reason behind Trey’s death before El-Din kills her, too?
About the Author
Victoria Pitts Caine is a native Californian and lives in the central portion of the state. Her varied interests include genealogy and exotic gemstone collecting both of which she’s incorporated into her novels.
The author has received recognition in both fiction and nonfiction from Enduring Romance top 10 picks for 2008, William Saroyan Writing Conference, Byline Magazine, Writer’s Journal Magazine, Holt International Children’s Services Magazine, and The Southern California Genealogical Society.
Her first novel was published in 2007 followed by two more as well as novellas and short stories in anthologies.
Victoria is a former staff technician in air pollution control. She is the mother of two daughters. Now retired from the work force, Victoria and her husband enjoy travel, cooking, and are self-appointed “foodies”.
Guest post from Vicki Caine
Since childhood, I have been interested in genealogy and ancient Egypt. Two of my prior novels, Alvarado Gold and Cairo, let me follow my fantasies into those two areas. Donnie the hero in The Tempering Agent is also in the other two books, and it was his turn to find his own romance.
When archaeologist Dr. Priscilla Hackling finds herself drawn back into the murder investigation of her fiancé and the missing breastplate of the high priest, Agent Donnie Barnes, is just the man to help her out, even if she doesn’t think so.
Traveling along with Priscilla and Donnie, I discovered some interesting facts about ancient Egypt. From the ruins in the Siwa Desert to the mystery of the Valley of the Kings. The genealogy factor in my novels is Donnie is loosely based on my cousin. Alvarado Gold tells the story of my family while Cairo and The Tempering Agent fueled my inquisitiveness about Egypt.
Texas Book-aholic, March 20
Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, March 20
Reflections From My Bookshelves, March 21
proud to be an autism mom, March 21
Blogging With Carol, March 22
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 22
Multifarious, March 23
All-of-a-kind Mom, March 23
Bibliophile Reviews, March 24
History, Mystery & Faith, March 25
Bigreadersite, March 25
A Greater Yes, March 26
Just the Write Escape, March 26
A Baker’s Perspective, March 27
Margaret Kazmierczak, March 28
Janices book reviews, March 28
Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 29
Carpe Diem, March 29
Pause for Tales, March 30
Red Headed Book Lady, March 30
Mary Hake, March 31
Simple Harvest Reads, March 31 (Guest post from Mindy)
Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 1
Two Points of Interest, April 1
Among the Reads, April 2
Pursuing Stacie, April 2
To celebrate her tour, Victoria is giving away:
Grand prize: Murano type heart necklace with lampwork bracelet and $25.00 Amazon gift certificate
1st Place: Green and white lampwork pendant and earrings
2nd Place: Set of three lampwork earrings
3rd place: Set of three holiday-themed earrings
4th place: One ten $10 Amazon gift card
5th place: One ten $10 Amazon gift card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c9e1