REVIEW: Split Second & Every Second Counts (Books 1&2) – Sophie McKenzie

split secondSplit Second

Sophie McKenzie

Book 1

Hardback, 357 pages

Published September 12th 2013 by Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 978-1-4711-1597-4

– 2.8 stars

“Bound together by the devastating consequences of a terrorist attack on a London market, teenagers Charlotte (Charlie) and Nat appear at first to have much in common. But, as Charlie gets closer to Nat and his family, she begins to wonder if perhaps he knows more about the attack than he has let on. Split Second is an action-packed thriller that shifts between the perspectives of its two main characters as their courage and their loyalties are tested to the limit.”

First of all, I wouldn’t exactly call this book an “action-packed thriller” at all. The opening was promising with an immediate intense scene leaving the reader gripped and willing to turn the page. But after this I found that the plot moved slowly and was very straight forward. The two characters love story was incredibly cliqued and didn’t feel original or particularly real; I also didn’t connect to them in a way that made me really care about what happened to them. The book was written from both Charlie and Nat’s perspective, but I found the voices too samey and at times found it difficult to distinguish the two, without going back to the beginning of the chapter and check the name. I did feel that Nat evolved more over the course of the book, but I personally did not feel that this had as much of an impact on the book as what it should have. My main reason for such a low rating was the lack of danger. Realistically, the characters wouldn’t have survived for barely a couple of chapters if the people responsible for the terrorist attack were as violent as the book proclaimed them to be, but I understand that this is a novel; but there has to be an element of realism in it to give it its backbone- to make the reader feel like it could happen to them at any moment.

Overall, this book packed very little punch and wasn’t an “original” idea and didn’t diverse from typical “baddy” stereotypes. I also felt that the book was very predictable at times, which made it lose its suspense immensely. This book may be for slightly younger readers (11-13), but I still feel that I would not be impressed even at that age if this book was produced to me. Sophie McKenzie’s Girl, Missing was much better and left more of an impression.

every second countsEvery Second Counts*
Sophie McKenzie
Book 2
eBook, 256
ISBN: 978-1-471-11602-5
– 2.6 stars

“The heart-stopping sequel to Split Second. Nat and Charlie are on the run, and in more danger than ever . . .
Nowhere is safe for Charlie and Nat. They have each other, but Roman Riley’s networks could reach them at any time. Charlie believes the only option is to go undercover in Riley’s team, and sneaks away from Nat to pursue her plan alone. Nat is desperate to find Charlie, but his family are in danger and Riley is coming ever closer. Even if Nat and Charlie can find each other again, could being together be even more dangerous than being apart . . .?”

This book, much like the first, was disappointing. I still struggled to connect to any of the characters as I didn’t feel like they were real people. I found the beginning of the book very slow and the traditional start of a simple story arc. However, towards the end the action and “suspense” picked up, but unfortunately, the plot was over developed and there was too much going on. This cause me to get extremely confused at times and I really wanted to give up. There was no tense atmosphere to the book compelling me to continue and it was so frustrating to have to spend time on a rubbish book. I felt similarly to book one, as the characters were virtually indestructible, walking out of deadly situations with just “cuts and bruises”. Some of the plot ran in circles occasionally, with the same thing happening repeatedly. And overall no suspense was sustained throughout the books. There was also very little character development in this book, which surprised me. I felt that the ending had the possibility to be extremely heart-wrenching and emotional, but was an extremely let down as it felt very unrealistic.

To concluded, this book was as uneventful as the first and made me incredibly glad that this is only a duology. I felt that it was also a false and unrealistic representation of situations like what the story deals with (i.e. the foundation of how a government is run, terrorist attacks). I was disappointed by Sophie McKenzie’s writing as I felt there was no power behind words or any impacting linguistic devices used. The characters were annoying at times that the reader couldn’t connect to because of their ability to escape every situation with such predictable ease. I was glad this was the last book and would definitely not recommend it to action lovers like myself.

Please like and comment below if you have read this book, you want to buy this book but need more persuading or if you agreed/disagreed with my review. I’d love to hear from you! Or you can contact me here.

* This book [Every Second Counts] was sent to me by a publisher in return for an honest review.


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