I had such high hopes for the latest written work by Abe F. March. Here is the description I read about his book:
An American attack on Baghdad leaves heartbroken and angry survivors. Two different families, one Muslim and one Christian, are wiped out in the 2003 raids and their young adult progeny are determined to avenge the loss of their loved ones. An Israeli Secret Service Agent with a grudge of his own, knows just how to tap into the vulnerabilities that grief leaves, and he organizes the training of select men and women whose desire for vengeance is strong enough to consider a deadly covert mission in America. Trainees will learn to blend in, disappear in the multicultural mix of the US and then infest the food and water supply with a deadly flu virus capable of mutating and infecting the human population. The antidote - if it works - will only be revealed under strict demands.
As part of their indoctrination, mission members must have a deep understanding of the causes of conflict in the Middle East. Peering through the darkness of their grief and hatred, some team members come to realize that they could ultimately be responsible for millions of innocent deaths. Their actions could break the stalemate between the Israelis and Palestinians - or bring on unparalleled tragedy.
Unfortunately, the book did not live up to my expectations. I did enjoy the idea that plotting and carrying out revenge brings with it feelings of regret and the potential to change one's mind. However, I found the character development inconsistent and incomplete. The number of pages devoted to each character was not the same; within one subsection of a chapter, I would get little bits of information about several people in a way that did not make much sense. Additionally as the book progressed, I found the plot development harder and harder to believe. Towards the end of the book, especially, I felt that things were just unrealistic. Since I did not have a lot of information about the characters, I also did not have sympathy or understanding about the choices they made. I did appreciate the message that the author was trying to give, but many times I felt that I was being lectured instead of getting engrossed in a story. Finally, I know that I am not an editor or an expert, but I found a few typos and editing mistakes which were also distracting.
On the plus side, I think the book raises important questions about how terrorism and terrorist are defined. I think that the book asks us to question the difference between ignorance and responsibility. While I would likely not recommend this book to a friend, I am going to count it as an entry for the Orbis Terrarum challenge.