In all honesty, this book was severely lacking in just about every area. It wasn't horrible. I didn't mind reading it, but there were just so many problems with the story as a whole, so many poorly developed aspects that kept it from being a truly good read. The story was very two-dimensional, lacking development and depth. It was just very superficial.
The characters have very little depth or exploration. The authors give you some basic history, but fail to really explore them. They mention things but then never really tell you about them. An example is Maggie's pregnancy. You know that the antagonist got her pregnant at a young age, and you're told that there was some sort of cover-up to get her out of town so no one would know. But they never give you any details. You have no idea exactly how old she was, and you're not told anything at all about this cover-up. Where did she go? What did she do? How did she handle it all? Why did she make up a husband? It would have been nice to have these details and it would have given another dimension to Maggie's character.
Zack's was in a similar state. You know his FBI step-father was killed by the antagonist but you learn little else, other than that Zack was greatly affected by the slaying. I wanted to know how old Zack was when his mother married his step-father, what their relationship was like, how he dealt with the man's death, etc. Again, knowing all this would have made the character more full-bodied. The authors just failed to give these characters any depth at all.
The romance between them was poorly developed as well. It seemed extremely forced, with very little emotion involved. It was like, hey, let's kiss; hey, let's have sex; hey, I think I might have feelings for you. I wasn't feeling the chemistry between them at all. I had a really hard time believing that these two characters were in love.
There were also some minor areas where issues bothered me. One was that Zack, as an FBI Agent, was allowed to participate in the case at all. He was personally connected (his father being killed by the antagonist 14 years earlier). I had a hard time buying that that would be allowed. Also, Destiny, who had roles in the other books, is done a serious injustice in this book. She's paired off and engaged with hardly a whisper. A little more on that would have been nice.
As for the good points...well, I enjoyed the cameos of Max and Jamie. Fleas the hound dog and Butterbean the goat were great. And the actual plot wasn't too bad. But none of that could overcome the holes in the book. I was rather disappointed overall once I finished.
Rating: 2 / 5