G106 E-Reading Book Review of Body Traffic by Brandon Collier
Author: Brandon Collier
Type of book: Russia, 2000s, action, suspense, inaccuracy of Russian life
Year it was published: 2006
Aksana is a newly made prostitute in the dark streets of Moscow. She wants to find a way out but she doesn't know how. Ryan is the over achieving detective who always wants to solve the case. Kevin Mardell is the actor who is traveling to Moscow for a brief vacation. They all entangle in a web of deceit, greed, and deception. They find out quickly that there's only one way in, and one way out.
The characters are best described as very simple with good vs evil and no gray or in-between. I barely witness any depth to them and I cannot sense chemistry or love or anything like that. The choices they make seem too quick and no one really takes the time to think things through. One of the characters' wives cheated on him, and he instantly decided on divorce instead of trying to figure things out or going to counseling or anything like that. Before divorce, people should try to work things out. The only character that seemed to slightly shine was Cindy, much to mine surprise. To her the author gave some depth and I was interested in her and the scenes she played role in. Other characters, I'm sad to announce, fell flat for me.
Happiness is possible
Its written in third person narrative from everyone's point of view. The book is best described as a summer action movie that one watches and walks out of the movie theater, unfortunately something mindless. The author delves very little into characters, in particular Aksana's budding romance, and doesn't go into Russian culture or life. I also feel that the book is more of show rather than tell variety and everything happens way too quickly to be believable. I might have missed it, but how did Aksana and Kevin take such numerous trips to and from Russia? It takes ages to get out of Russia, even if you are trying to obtain a refugee status! Also, if the pairing was interracial, why wasn't Aksana, well, racist so to speak?
An author known for gritty tales and suspenseful thrillers, Brandon started off with non-fictional accounts of U.S. History as a youth, and then switched to writing fiction novels while taking Writer's Workshop during his college years. It was there he wrote numerous screenplays and stories, including Underneath the Palms of Rio, a haunting thriller in the beautiful and dangerous backdrop of Brazil.
His newest novel is Mercenary Measures, a tale of mercenaries hired to kill and take out a madman terrorizing the city of Salvador, Brazil.
I was excited about reading this book because first of all it took place in Moscow Russia, where I am from and it sounded very interesting. The author also has told me that it contains an interracial pair of African American male and a white female. I enjoy interracial romances. Despite the serious issue of human trafficking that the book has raised, I have to admit that writing wise it was a disappointing read. I would imagine that some research was done, but not when it came to Russia itself, or of living there. If you are hoping that the book would describe Russian cuisine or of how to truly live there, then look somewhere else please. If you are seeking a quick read of action scenes then this will suit you. Some things I will nitpick is that traffic is very horrible when it comes to roads and buses; the mindset isn't Russian either. (I don't want to sound mean or racist, but most Russians aren't fond of anyone who happens to be non-Russian, and that does include Jews, Asians and African-Americans.) People have to buy medicine just to get treated in hospitals, and the conditions there aren't good. I also had a problem that barely any physical description of characters was used. Only names and slight background. Some things as well weren't very sequential and things happened way too quickly. Also as well this isn't character driven at all.
Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.
3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)