Series: Chicago Syndicate #6
Reading Challenges: 2017 New Release
Black Hat Hacker by Soraya Naomi is the sixth book in the Chicago Syndicate series; however, it can be read as a stand-alone. This is my first time reading Ms. Naomi’s work and I had no idea what the story was about prior to receiving the book for review. I was going into this experience blindly but I had hopes that my time would be well spent.
Usually, I would give a brief summary in my own words about the details of the story. This time however I chose not to as I believe this story needs to be read without any knowledge of what it is about. The synopsis vague, but it provides enough information to peak one’s interest.
I enjoyed the pacing and loved the way the story flowed from start to finish. The narration of the story in alternate first person POVs was a plus for me. It allowed me to get into the heads of the main characters, causing me to relate to thoughts, actions and emotions. I may not have agreed with their actions at times, but I understood the reason behind the things they did.
I enjoyed the twists that were strategically placed throughout the story. The writing style is good, and I found myself immersed in the story. The scenes, which were funny, emotional, suspenseful, intense and dramatic, were well developed.
My feelings as it relates to the characters are mixed. They are interesting, but I thought they needed a little more development. Initially, Mary grated on my nerves. She acted immature, made dumb choices, which placed her and others in harm’s way. However, as I went deeper into the story, I watched her evolved and I appreciated her. I like her passion for life and her need to offer help where needed. However, it would have been nice to have insight about her life, prior to discovering that her brother were the syndicate.
Henry is a character I enjoyed meeting. Who knew computer nerds could be so hot. He is a complicated character. I understood why women flocked him. He has experienced a lot for his 24 years; his experiences scarred him emotionally. As a result, he had issues with trusting others and he shied away from committed relationships. His feelings for Mary shocked him to his core, and he struggled through most of the story. He desired to spend time with her, but his trust issues and his inability to connect on an emotional level proved a hindrance.
I disliked some of his actions. I did not appreciate how he felt the need to keep secrets about his past from Mary. Secrets, which has the power to wreck his relationship Mary and his employers. Nor did I like his reaction when everything blew up in his face. He lied to everyone about his past. I knew why he did it, and I empathise with what happened to him, but he did not have to lie. His past collided with his present and his lies came to light and he found himself coming under pressure.
I had a hard time connecting with Mary and Henry as a couple. I enjoyed their banter but their conversations and interaction lacked the depth that one would expect from a couple in love. For most of the story, the focus was on the physical aspects of their relationship. Although the sex scenes were well written, I had hoped for an in depth interaction. I was not convinced about Henry’s feelings for Mary until the moment they shared a near death experience. From that moment, I became invested in their relationship and hoped they would get their happy ending.
In spite of the flaws, the story proved to be an enjoyable read. I will definitely be reading more from this author.