Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Firewall: Review

 Taryn Young, a top software developer for an important national-security project, is taking a vacation to go on her honeymoon. 

Just before she boards an airplane for her perfect, dream getaway, though, someone blows up the airport terminal. No one knows who is behind the attack or why. Taryn only knows that her dreams have fallen apart as she and her new husband become the main suspects in the attack.

A new release by Christian fiction author DiAnn Mills, Firewall starts off with a bang. Okay, that’s a bad cliché, but this is one of those ‘ripped-from-the-headlines’ stories about national security, computer hackers, and terrorist plots.

I have to say I liked this story, mostly. It’s a thriller romance, a story of finding love in between the gun fights, as Taryn recovers from her initial shock and joins with FBI Special Agent Grayson Hall hunt for answers. Together, they have to track down the real villain behind the bombing before time runs out and Taryn’s special software turns into a Trojan horse.

I did struggle a bit with the story. Some of the details felt awkward, especially early on, when the plot focuses on Taryn’s job and the initial FBI investigation. A good part of the search involves program security and hacking, but nothing gets very technical, and non-technical readers won’t have a problem with any of it. The software development process seems too simplistic, but my problem there might be that I’m married to a software designer and get to hear about all the stages of development from time to time. (And, for the record, I don't really think either of the cover models look like the main characters.)

Apart from those details, though, Firewall has a lot of action, with plenty of narrow escapes, near misses, and revelations. Taryn’s search runs into a number of twists, including a big one at the end, but my favorite part was getting to know the characters and their determination to see things through.  I’d rank this as a fun, light summer read for anyone who likes romance with their action stories. 

[My thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for sending me Kindle ARC of Firewall, in exchange for my honest opinion of the book.]

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