Friday, September 4, 2015

Home-Schooled Psychic Virgin Kung-Fu Cook. Yeah, that.

Review: The Lynx Novels by Fiona Quinn

I love the concept of these three novels: home-schooled psychic with awesome kung fu and kitchen skills joins an elite law-enforcement/counter-terrorism agency as their puzzle solver. As a teenage girl. A virgin girl recently married to a soldier deployed to the Middle East. Who's being stalked by a sinister serial killer.

Quinn gets all that concept across quickly in the opening of the first novel, Weakest Lynx, which leaves her free to tell the story. And the story is a doozy! We meet the Striker Team of the elite force Iniquus, and through their protection of innocent Lexi Sobado (maiden name India Alexis Reuben), we meet her "Kitchen Grandmothers" and learn about the unique training that left Lexi with her mad skills.

I got the first book in the series for free via Kindle Scout, so I overlooked the bad typography and occasional poor word choices that marred my enjoyment of the tale. Okay, Quinn wrote "their" when the appropriate word was "there." Everyone does it, and the book was free to me. I gritted my teeth and read on, but I still took away a half-point for it, 4.5 stars.

Besides, the characters are all really intriguing. Lexi has to fight her growing attraction to the team leader, Striker. (It's his "call name." He's the only one for whom Lexi also knows his real name, Gavin Rheas.) From her backstory, we learn that she's met most of the team before, and kicked their butts at a paint-ball war. Deep, Gator, Blaze and Axel work with Striker to safeguard Lexi from the bad guy, and eat her incredibly good cooking.

I'm fighting not to produce any spoilers here, because I want to sing the praises of the three novels I've read in this series. Let me just say that the struggle has an unusual conclusion, and leave it at that.
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In Missing Lynx, Lexi (Lynx) spends most of the novel in a prison in Honduras while the Striker Team searches for her. Here, again, the story and the excellent character development carried me past the poor typography and tooth-grindingly bad word choices. More wrong homonyms: "passed" instead of "past" sticks in my mind. Weird punctuation, like "taxi-ed" and "kaleidoscope-d." And non-ellipses everywhere.  .  .with spaces between them opened by the justification of lines, these were even more obvious. 

Gator's speech uses mismatched number and tense as a dialogue device. Unfortunately, these errors are not restricted to his dialogue. All together, these cost the book a whole point, even though the team and Lexi and some outstanding bad guys made the story enjoyable. 
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With the final book of the three that are available now, Chain Lynx, Lexi has some additional challenges. She's still fighting bad guys and solving puzzles for Team Striker, but now she has personal battles to fight on top of that. Throwing some politics and inter-agency conflict into the mix doesn't help her or the guys, either.

Things are getting sexier for Lexi as she reaches her majority, too. I still enjoyed this story, and will probably buy the next novel, Cuff Lynx, when it is available. I sure hope I don't have to overlook the continuing bad homonym choices (this time, the most egregious was "do" instead of "due!"), and slipped tenses all over the place.