Havelock: Part One

Havelock: One - Jane D. Everly

[I received a copy from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.]

I'll have less to say here than I do when it comes to my regular reviews, since it's the first part in a serial (6 chapters), and obviously no first episode can ever develop everything in terms of characters, plot and world building. However, those six chapters were definitely interesting.

The style is a little surprising, in that it mixes parts from Eliana's point of view (1st person, present tense), and parts seen through other characters (3rd person, past tense). I'm not sure what the intent was—more and more novels do that, so I'm actually never really sure—but it didn't bother me the way it did in other stories. It lent a certain immediacy to Eliana's scenes, and since they were of the action-packed kind, it fitted. I liked her humorous way of describing situations, too.

Though there's still a lot of mystery surrounding the characters, again, there's much room for more development in later episodes. So far, nothing's revealed about Eliana, but she clearly demonstrates resourcefulness and abilities to fight and get out of dire straits. Other characters are also close to tropes clearly reminiscent of typical spy narratives, à la James Bond, yet everything here seems to work in a reversed way. The dashing spy/action type is a woman. The big boss is also a woman (and got there through years of service in which she played an active role, even getting severaly wounded, not because she was a paper-pusher). The potential mark-to-be-seduced is a guy. The villain is... villainish, yet his ruthlessness and his plan make him enjoyable, not ridiculous. And the story's overall plot looks promising (not to mention a few hints dropped here and there).

A bit stereotypical, sure, but of the kind that was very entertaining. I'll gladly read the next installment.