Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Secret of Nexus by Jeff J. Miller

First, I received a promotional copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Second, many of you will notice that this isn't the normal type of book I choose to review, but it was a good, quick read that lends itself more to my professional life and reading than my personal life and reading.

This book is most notably about leadership. It lands somewhere between inspirational reading and self-help. It is a work of fiction and not filled with anecdotes and tips. The benefit is found in the impression of the main character that is left after you close the cover of the book.

Garrett Thompson is the president of Nexus, Inc. Five years ago he was a medical doctor and decided to open a business after developing a healthful sports drink. The story follows Garrett through a time period in his life when his business is about to take a new turn as his top researcher has developed a new product that would change our lives. We follow Garrett through how he deals with his management team and attempts to balance this with his personal life. There is trouble brewing and Garrett doesn't know from what direction to expect the next attack. I found myself at times doubting two different characters and for a split second one of the secretaries. The ending was unexpected and bold. Normally I would hate that type of ending as I am a HEA type of girl, but it oddly works...somehow (although it is against all of my parameters that makes a good book!).

Other reviewers have noted that this book would be good for those in management positions but I think it would be good for anyone who holds a job. Everyone would benefit from improved leadership and communication skills. Garrett shows us how to deal with uncomfortable situations without saying hurtful things and stepping up to take ownership of situations that aren't of our own making.

In this age of everything needing to be "politically correct" I'm not sure that this could be mandatory reading for companies as it has minute references to Christianity. At one point Garrett said he would keep a hurting colleague in his prayers and at the end Margaret notes that the church they are in is where Garrett went to worship on Sundays. As we have people trying to remove prayers from schools and "one nation under God" from the pledge of allegiance and the Ten Commandments from the courthouses I'm sure you would have those who would try to make money off of their company attempting to make them read this book. So without getting into a diatribe about how I feel about those issues I will just say, it was quick and good. Read it and encourage others to read it.

On to the technical stuff...

The book is written in third person POV and mostly from the POV of the main character, Garrett Thompson. The first time that the book shifted POV to another character was a little jarring. We went from one sentence being in Garrett's head and the next line of the next chapter we are in the head of Derek (one of Garrett's managers). Every other time we switched POV there was either extra spaces or a marker to designate this, so I am inclined to think that this was more of an editing issue and not a writing issue. However, it was big enough that I started questioning that perhaps I forgot the main characters name and it was Derek. It took a couple of pages to figure out the issue.

The dialogue at times was stilted. It could have benefited from some good beta readers. Overall, as a first novel from this author we see a great skill in developing a story line and characters.

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