Saturday, July 22, 2017

Review: Exploited by A. Meredith Walters

Title: Exploited
Series: Zero Day #1
Author: A. Meredith Walters
Release date: July 25, 2017
Cliffhanger: Yes
Rating: 1 Star


At first glance, I’m nothing out of the ordinary. I am a daughter. A sister. A friend. When you look at me you won’t see anything that warrants suspicion. I don’t look like a criminal.

My name is Hannah Whalen, but most people know me as freed0mov3rdr1v3, or “Freedom Overdrive”—one of the world’s most prolific and notorious hacktivists. My goal—my purpose—is to shed light on the evil that lurks behind the corporate and government lies we have been force-fed for too long.

My story begins with the best possible intention. Devoting my life to exposing the corrupt. The dishonest. The unethical. For that, they label me a cyber-terrorist. Wanted by the FBI, I’ve always been one step ahead.

Until I fell in love.

Because I’m sleeping with the man who’s hunting me. And he has no idea that I am his prey. Now I have to decide what’s more important: my freedom or my heart.



To say I'm disappointed in this is a massive understatement. I know I'm being really blunt here, but I'm still riding the wave of rage that flooded me at 2 AM when I finished this book. Pounding my pillow, tossing and turning and unable to sleep. My mind turning over the many reasons in which I could not stand this heroine.

It's one thing for a character to be flawed, then learn and experience growth into a better human being. That's expected. WELCOME! But no, she pulled off the exact opposite in my opinion. I wasn't her biggest fan from the beginning, she was cold and very abrasive. But rather than redeeming herself, she destroyed any hope of me ever liking her.

Freedom Overdrive is her hacktivist alter ego. She's an untouchable code cracker. Invulnerable to the authorities because of her genius. Willing to crush lesser mortals and destroy an innocent man to make the world a better place. I'm all about revenge plots, but hers was misguided and self-serving. A boost to her ego in order to enforce how powerful she was. From minute one, when she sidled up to Mason and sank her claws into him, not one word or action towards him was genuine. And with every bit of poison she injected into the trust he gave her, she never had more than a moment's hesitation before she continued her assault.

None of it, not their first date, first kiss, first time in bed, bringing him with her to visit her sister was real. How are you forgiven for deceiving someone, ruining their career and shattering their heart with your lies? You can long for real all you want, but there's no coming back from what you did.

The hero was a really good guy. If you could put aside the fact that he's an FBI agent with ten years of experience, and didn't have the faintest inkling that Freedom Overdrive was his girlfriend. After not just one, not two, but countless times he was handed clues that pointed to her. Everything but a neon sign was shoved in his face and yet he never connected the dots. Never. Mason's character was not believable, not as a skilled and perceptive agent.

The romance was non-existent and I couldn't care less about their "HEA". The repetitious internal dialogue, two main characters who fell flat, and a plot that had me pulling my hair were just pieces of the larger scale of my frustration. I honestly had no love for either one of them. I felt a shade sorry for the hero and how easily susceptible he was to her deceit. But that's as far as it went. As for being interested in continuing with the next book to find out who her mysterious partner was, and how she would get Mason to forgive her? Sorry. That DAY has a ZERO percent chance of happening with me.

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