Erica is a member of Habitat for Humanity, entering RIPT triggers warning bells in her subconscious before she’s even exited the airport. When the group she’s travelling with is ambushed, and all but her are killed, she finds herself imprisoned, but for the most unlikely of reasons. Her captor is Sharif, a Captain with a trigger on his back.
Forbidden is one of those books that leaves a reviewer feeling challenged to make a definite decision about It, particularly now that I’ve read some of the other reviews and seeing I’m in the minority with my opinion. In Forbidden we are introduced to a new Islamic nation, one where the focus is on peace. Stone makes a very precise statement regarding the research she has done in writing Forbidden, possibly because this could be a potential ‘subject sensitive’ story.
Dialogue in the book is also quite different. It’s extremely abrupt. “No, can’t get more people involved. Bad enough for your squad…” I can’t help but wonder whether this was an intentional approach, though I don’t feel it was as effective as it could have been. Perhaps utilising this in fast paced, or high-tension scenes would have worked better instead of using it for most of the conversations. I just felt like, as I was reading, I was following more a basic draft where dialogue had been summarised. It felt unrealistic.
The concept of RIPT being founded on peace, and yet still holding violent elements within was one which I found both interesting, as well as disappointing. I think more than anything it’s the fact that at Chapter 15 I am still not entirely certain of who exactly is for and who is against RIPT. This could make the book frustrating to follow.
HOWEVER, it’s a great commentary on a problem faced by many within the Islamic faith, as can be seen following any attacks at the hands of ISIS, despite best intentions of the majority -there’ll always be a minority who cannot follow the same ideals.
As far as the characters go. I’m again up in the air on this. While each of them are easy to relate to, even empathise with, I found their actions to be more irritating than anything. Erica and Sharif’s relationship dynamic developed far too quickly considering their respective histories. Erica suffers from PTSD and yet situations which I would imagine being a huge trigger elicit no reaction in her whatsoever. She swings from appreciative for Sharif’s assistance, to angry which while certainly realistic considering the situation they’re in, just didn’t fit well and could have done with a little more focus and structuring. The relationship between her and Sharif is one I couldn’t identify with which is possibly why I didn’t enjoy it.
Overall it is a book which holds your attention, despite a slow progression in plot. Character development is gradual but interesting enough to keep reading. The general plot/premise is interesting and intense at points, ensuring an effortless read for those who enjoy a middle-eastern suspense. This would be a borrow before buying book for me.
More Information: Final Review Rating – 2.5 Stars Published By: Romance Under Fire Published date: December 12, 2016 Genre: Middle Eastern Military / Thriller / Suspense