"It's the kind of book I would pick up at the library." #Kindle #BookReview

Gold Train

by Lada Ray

Genre: General Fiction Thriller

Book Synopsis

For the fans of The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure comes this gripping new thriller, based on true historic events. 1918: Civil War in Russia. The entire Gold Reserve of the Russian Empire vanishes without a trace. But what if it's about to resurface? And what if it's about to be used to shift the global balance of power? Today: the world's largest treasure; dangerous adventure; forbidden passion, defying time and space; conspiracy that threatens to plunge the country into darkness.

International journalist, Jade Snow, travels to Russia to investigate the tantalizing mystery of the Gold Train. Instead, she finds herself a pawn in a struggle between forces beyond her control. Running is not an option, as commitment to solve a murder makes her play the deadly game. Jade must choose between her worst friends and best enemies, and the fate of the world just might depend on her choice.

Mark's Rating

Mark's Review

I got excited after I read the synopsis for Gold Train. After all, it's the kind of book I would pick up at the library. I've read several books based upon a similar premise, the idea of a modern character researching or finishing up a story that took place many years before. It's got mystery, intrigue. It's takes place in an exotic location—at least for me anyway. The major cities of Russia may not be exotic for you, but I've never been out of North America.

However, there were several things that disappointed me. I'll start with the one overall thing that caused the most damage in my opinion: the grammar and punctuation. Mostly the punctuation, actually. Commas in particular. I'm a stickler for correct comma usage, and although there are situations where a comma is debatable—up to the author or editor—most of the time a comma is either correct or not. Gold Train has every comma mistake in the book, and I'm not talking about the occasional typo. I'm talking about every page and in most cases every paragraph. This problem along with other frequent mistakes made this book read like a first draft.

If grammar and punctuation were the only problems, I could see giving this book four stars, but I take issue with some of the characterization. The main character didn't seem real, though I could tell where the author tried. If Jade was a real person, I wouldn't like her. I wouldn't care what happened to her. I wouldn't agree with many of her decisions. And she has a special ability that seemed out of place, not matching the genre as I know it, even though it was needed for the plot. There were other problems. The dialog didn't always flow as best as it could have, for instance.

My dissatisfaction with the main character is purely personal, though. You may like her just fine, so if grammar issues do not bother you, and you like the thriller genre, give this book a try. Despite all the negative things I've said, there were times that I really wanted to know what would happen next, and there was one scene in particular that made me smile. A plot twist that I guessed might happen did happen, and sometimes that is just a darn good feeling.

As a final note, the ending didn't work for me as well. It would have been suited better as the start of the next book. A character from the first book of the Jade series was brought in, which in my opinion was out of place. And there was another event at the end that I won't tell you about so as not to spoil it for those that are interested in reading it, but let's just say that it was anti-climatic and did not give me an emotional response as it was intended to do.

Disclaimer: May not be appropriate for children due to violence and sex.