Title: Five Minutes Longer
Author: Victoria Sue
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 219 Pages
Category: Paranormal, Sci-Fi
At a Glance: I really enjoyed reading this new sci-fi/paranormal story, and hope it is the start of a new series because I came to adore a lot of the secondary characters and have soooooo many questions!
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: Talon Valdez knew when he transformed into an enhanced human, his life and his dreams were finished. Reviled, mistrusted, and often locked away, the enhanced were viewed as monsters, despised by the public, and never trusted to serve in the military or any law enforcement agency.
Years later he gets a chance to set up a task force of enhanced to serve in the FBI, but with one proviso: each enhanced must partner with a regular human.
Finn Mayer dreamed of joining the FBI from the time he was fourteen and made every possible sacrifice to make it happen, including living with his selfish mother and bullying, homophobic brother and never having a boyfriend. But his undiagnosed dyslexia stopped his aspirations dead in their tracks. His last chance is to partner with Talon, an enhanced with deadly abilities who doesn’t trust regular humans with their secrets and wants Finn to fail.
Four weeks to prove himself to the team. Four weeks for the team to prove itself to the public. And when another group threatens their success—and their lives—four weeks for them to survive.
Review: Okay, so first off, this is a new spin on an alternate world where there are “enhanced” humans and “regular” humans who coexist. Enhanced have talents that emerge when their mark makes an appearance. The thing is, the mark just sort of happens to certain humans in and around pre-teen time, and no one knows why one person in a family will get it and others won’t. No one understands the talents and how they manifest. When the mark appears, the kids are feared and many are thrown away by parents that said they loved them; friends turn their backs on them; and society mostly shuns them, without thought of these kids’ feelings. The enhanced are denied basic human rights because the regular human population fears them, and many work to create more stringent laws against the enhanced.
Finn is a regular human with dreams of being an FBI agent to escape his horrid home life. When getting into the FBI via the regular agent process fails, he is offered one last chance to follow his dream. The chance comes with a secret pilot program the FBI has, partnering regulars and enhanced together in sort of a SWAT team.
Talon and his team of enhanced also have dreams of being in law enforcement, of showing they are more than just being “enhanced”. That just because they wear the mark and have powers doesn’t mean they are awful and would use their talents to harm. Talon believes the team is a way to get regular humans to view enhanced in a new light.
They have a short timeframe to prove the team’s worth, or the program goes bye-bye. But while the training is happening, political machinations and a series of unfortunate events puts the group in the spotlight before they know it, and everything they do is scrutinized—from the enhanced actions when in the spotlight to Finn’s lack of training.
This story, even with the paranormal aspect, was about the characters for me, which is good because if I don’t connect with the characters I am reading, no matter how great the plot is, I lose interest. I wanted the team to succeed because of Finn, Talon, Sawyer, Gael, Vance and Eli. I fell in love with a particular secondary character in the group of enhanced more so than Talon, which is weird, but there you have it. I became fully invested in their group and what would happen to them. I wanted to yell at Talon to stop being wishy-washy and step up. I wanted to be Finn’s friend and show him people aren’t all like his family. I wanted to give Vance a big hug (even if I probably couldn’t reach around his torso, and my head probably reached his hip). I wanted to hive-five Gael multiple times. I want to know more about Sawyer and Eli, and why they held themselves back.
Though thoroughly entertaining, the story is not without a few little issues. Even though part of the story is told from Talon’s POV, I still didn’t have a clear picture of him as a person and what was driving his thoughts and actions. He behaved like an a**hat to Finn a lot, and didn’t seem to learn from his mistakes, or his team pointing out how unfair he was. I honestly wished a few times that another of the enhanced, like Vance or Gael, would have been the romantic interest for Finn. But that is okay because that means if this is going to become a series, and Vance and Gael get their own stories, I am going to be all over it!
The plot was decent and kept me engage. It was a little predictable in some ways, but surprising in others. There were a couple inconsistencies towards the end that popped up, and although it didn’t exactly detract from the story, it did pull my focus a bit. When I find little things like that, I find myself going back to making sure.
All in all, I found this to be a very entertaining story, with an engaging plot and characters. There are a lot of questions left unanswered, and a lot of directions the author can take this group of amazing characters. If you can’t tell from this review, I really, really want another book about these guys, and I think that is a darn good sign!
You can buy Five Minutes Longer here: