Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

11228432From Goodreads: “In the new decade, the world gathers in Stockholm for a controversial climate forum. The stakes are high, as violent and unpredictable storms increasingly plague the earth and sea levels encroach on coastal shorelines. Nicole Hunter, head of the richly endowed Everson Foundation, leads the charge to invest in promising research that will hopefully impede environmental devastation. But her contentious stance has been questioned by others, and now her career and her life are both in jeopardy.

Meanwhile, unseen forces assemble to sabotage any breakthrough that could challenge existing global energy markets. Oliver Odin, a mysterious international agent, is sent by the Security Alliance to investigate ominous threats intercepted by intelligence sources. The evidence leads him to the beautiful, strong-willed Nicole and the brainy scientists attending the forum. But when scientists on the verge of a promising discovery are gunned down at a reception held by a United States senator, it becomes apparent that powerful forces will stop at nothing to prevent the world from being saved.

As a few brave souls attempt to rescue the planet from environmental calamity, they soon realize that their mission comes with a price—and some will pay with their lives.”


This was an extremely fun thriller, full of mystery and intrigue.  Beginning with an introduction to our characters and environment, setting the stage for the events to come, the novel really starts to take off as Nicole’s life is threatened at a party where the two scientists she is talking to are shot in cold blood.  Together with Oliver, an intense international agent, Nicole must figure out who is out to stop the green fuel initiative, and it is here that the fast-paced nature of the story begins.

Though a little more scientific than my brain is capable of processing, Hilleren does a great job keeping the reader up to speed with the scientist and environmental jargon as events progress.  And, with its high speed chases, gun battles, and explosions, this novel unfolds quite cleverly as Hilleren intertwines terrorism, espionage, and the very real threat of climactic devastation to create her intense novel.

The characterization was great, and while I wouldn’t necessarily be friends with either Nicole or Oliver in real life, we’re just much too different, I felt like I really got to know them as the novel developed.  Hilleren fleshed them out well and kept the romance to a minimum, which I was extremely happy about because I was much more wrapped up in the thrill of it all than the romantic aspects of the story.  Likewise, I just don’t think the chapter layout would have allowed it.

The chapters are set up to show as many different sides as possible using the third-person narrative, with extremely short chapters that quickly jump from person to persona and event to event to spur the novel on.  Each chapter has its own title, allowing the reader to easily focus on the new segment, which might be about Nicole, a senator, a terrorist, etc., and I really enjoyed this sporadic nature once I began to wrap my head around it.  Though there were many small side stories, Hilleren does bring them all to a point as the story unfolds, which was really fun as I began to piece things together.  Overall, this is a fun and engaging read that I think a majority of adult readers will enjoy.  Four stars.

4 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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