Ask, Tell by E.J. Noyes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I finished reading this last night but needed some time to think about what to say about it.
There were a few issues that honestly made me want to quit reading. The near constant use of “running tongue over” either lips or teeth, biting the insides of mouths, and the word “almost” drove me mad. I also understand that this is something that not everyone cares about or even notices. But I do. If the same phrase is used over and over – and particularly when it’s used to express an emotion like nervousness or stress – find other ways to express it. Again, not something all readers will have a problem with but enough for me to ding at least half a star for.
So here’s the part that took me some time to sort out. How did I end up liking the story so much but still not like Sabine – or her sister – so much? Well here it is… I didn’t like their voices. I thought the sister came off as incredibly immature in her dialogue, much more like a petulant adolescent than a grown-up attorney. And Sabine… well, I didn’t like her much either. Maybe if it wasn’t in first person POV, I wouldn’t have been bothered by her as much. I don’t know. I liked Rebecca a lot, though.
The non-relationship/Rebecca/Victoria based scenes were fantastic, I thought. Particularly the firefight, I loved. Noyes wrote the action and emotions and interactions superbly and I wanted so much more of if. This is probably the only part of the book where I felt completely engrossed in the story and action. The following scene in the surgical center was equally as good.
I was apprehensive about reading a military-based novel written by someone who hasn’t served but those worries were allayed quickly. I was in the Marines before Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and understand the scrutiny was even tougher under DADT. The fear of being investigated (I was investigated three times) and dishonorably discharged is very real. Things that may have seemed like over the top in the descriptions of these characters with regard to not talking to even those closest to us, were very accurate. So kudos to Noyes for a job well done!
I’m not sure if I’ll read the sequel but I did like Ask, Tell.