Review of Erec Stebbins’ Latest Novel, China Girl

The focus of my blog is to review book series and not individual novels. But writers are going to continue writing novels within a series even after I have done my review, so I plan on reviewing the individual novels as they come into circulation.  Erec Stebbins has recently released book #6, China Girl, to the INTEL 1 series.

If you like wearing a MAGA hat while watching Sean Hannity on Fox News, believe that the Deep State is real, and proclaim that Donald Trump is the CHOSEN ONE, then you may not want to read Erec Stebbins latest addition to his Intel 1 series, China Girl.  Even though the names have been changed, it is pretty clear who the bad guys are in this story.  

China Girl is somewhat a continuation of the previous book in the series, Androcide.  It begins with two rouge INTEL 1 characters, former CIA operative Sara Houston, and former priest Francisco Lopez, behaving like domestic terrorist within a group known as El Marcado, whose goal is to destroy roads and bridges that are used to transport illegal immigrants across the border back into Mexico. In their intent to help immigrants, they come across some disturbing findings which forces them to seek help from their former employer INTEL 1. Additionally, two characters that made their debut in Androcide, undercover detective Grace Gone, and disgraced former detective Tyrell Sacker, also return in China Girl. Grace Gone is an interesting character in that she is a bit of a geek with a sixth sense that things are amiss. In China Girl, Gone begins investigating some suspicious government contracting which eventually leads to something too big for her to handle which ultimately requires the help from the folks at INTEL 1.

I have mixed feelings about China Girl. On one side, I felt that the storyline was too predictable and I knew pretty much from the beginning on how it was going to end. I also felt that with our overwhelming political environment these days, using a fictional version of our recent administration was something that, right now, I just didn’t want to deal with it. I applaud authors that take real world issues, such as climate change and emerging technologies, and incorporate it into fictional scenarios that enlightens to possible outcomes if we, as a society, don’t deal with these problems. But right now, the constant barrage in the news on our political climate, doesn’t really make me want to also have to confront it in my fictional readings. Perhaps at another time, but not right now. On the positive side, I enjoyed reading about the exploits of Grace Gone and Tyrell Sacker and hope that these characters return to future additions to the series.  So with this, I give China Girl a so-so score.

To learn more about the series check out the INTEL 1 series.

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