Review Copy Provided by Author
Kansas photographer Judy Hale loves to chase storms, but at the heart of her passion is a fear she longs to quell, born of the tornado that destroyed her childhood. Handsome, devil-may-care tornado researcher Jack Andreas wants nothing better than to forget the past in his dangerously close encounters with the twisters he chases for science. He also chases women, and when he and Judy meet, sparks fly.
But Judy and Jack have dueling destinies as they cross paths with Judy’s sister Shannon, a directionless coquette; a clueless newbie storm-tour operator named Brad Treat; geeky, likable chaser Robinson Marvell; and a bevy of other storm chasers as they pursue the gorgeous, violent storms of Tornado Alley. Their stories intertwine as they chase the monster storm that forces Judy to confront her deepest fears and Jack to find the courage to face the ultimate twister.
I’m always bummed when a book that I was looking forward to reading didn’t quite live up to the hype that I had placed on it. For me, Funnel Vision was one of those books. I have to admit, that since Twister, came out when I was in high school, I have been intrigued by storm chasers and what they do, and even considering getting into meteorology at one stage (unfortunately, my science grades in college were just not good enough). So when this book was offered up by the author in one of my goodreads groups, I was intrigued. The premise sounded entertaining, and since it was based on the authors experiences, I figured it would be a good read. Here is, for me, where it splits…the story regarding the storm chasing itself, I really liked. I thought that the author did a good job of detailing the adrenaline that these chasers must feel – both the official ones and the non-official “Weekend Chasers” (I don’t know if that is the right term, but it works for me). I think I might have enjoyed it more, if the drama of some of the characters lives had just been completely left out of it (and this is coming from someone who is an avid romance reader – yes, I admit it).
It was mostly the character interactions on the personal level that bugged me the most. When I see the phrase in a description, “sparks fly” I am expecting some kind of tension, interaction, development of a relationship, but for me, it was more like sparks fizzle. That and the development of the character as a skirt-chasing playboy – just pissed me off. Especially when you think that (hover here for spoiler). I also threw the book across the room at that point, I was so fustrated. Yes, I know that it wasn’t specifically marketed as a romance, but the description kind of led me to expect more. I guess if you don’t like the touchy-feeley romance stuff, you might like it, but if you are a romance reader, I would avoid it (and I don’t say that lightly). I also had an issue with how an issue played out later in the book, but I am waiting on a response from some law enforcement friends with an answer to my question before I vent…but essentially (hover here for spoiler)
But I am having a hard time rating this book, I would probably only give it 2.5 stars overall, mostly because of the issues that I mentioned above – but at the same time, it was very well written and you could tell how much the author knew about the topic, so I am conflicted. I may end up changing my review, but right now, I am going to leave it at 2.5 stars. But I am curious about what the author might write in the future.