I enjoy Stanalei Fletcher’s books and have avidly snagged each book in the Northstar Security series. That being said, there are times when I feel Ms. Fletcher takes a leap toward creating characters who are equal in the romantic relationship, but then pulls back just before that goal is achieved. Allison is a great character. A former police officer, a computer analyst, and avid gamer, she breaks many stereotypes. But then she withdraws back into her insecurities and shies away from being assertive. Often, when interacting with the ‘reformed playboy’ Sloan, she comes off as churlish and rude. I had a difficult time discerning whether she was snappish as a character or if it was the narrator. Certainly, many lines leant themselves to sarcasm.
Also, Allison is nicknamed the ‘Cyborg Queen’ by her coworkers because she holds them at arm’s length. And that moniker comes from the people who like her. One man who doesn’t, calls her ‘Nerd Diva’. Part of me railed against the stereotype that all women programmers are socially awkward and standoffish, uncomfortable in social situations.
Now, some of that was laid aside when Allison engaged with her adorable nephew. Their interactions spoke of a familiarity and comfort. Mitchell is intelligent, precocious, keen, and eager to learn new things. I loved that he embraces the notion of Bushido – honor. That theme carries through the book as Sloan is forced to face the fact Allison might be the hacker who is putting Northstar in danger. Allison is forced to defend herself, and even Mitchell is called upon to step up.
I am enjoying the series and the narrator, Charles Henderson Norman does a good job, but his voice is more suited to the men in the series. His female voices are a little off and it is occasionally hard to listen to him as Mitchell. After four books, though, I am used to Mr. Norman’s performance and it would not keep me from purchasing another book nor did it hinder my enjoyment.
This was another good book and I hope the final book of the series will be out on audio soon. I will be sorry when the series ends.