Buckle in guys, you’re in for a wild ride. A lengthy one too. I didn’t intend this review to be so lengthy but I wanted to be as constructive as possible. This review is spoiler free.
Traitors from the Inside Out was a difficult book for me to read; not because of the story or the characters, but because I found it troublesome to get on with the writing. I wanted a break and to read something else, but I was unsure of if I’d pick this book back up again. Had I not been provided a free copy for review, I don’t think I would have finished it; however, I persevered, and I’m glad that I did.
My struggle started as soon as the book did. Right off the bat, the writing felt stilted but also fluffed out with an unnecessary amount of adjectives.; often describing things that I felt didn’t need the elaboration or matter to me as the reader; whereas some other things could have benefited from being elaborated upon. Sometimes, this descriptiveness really put my mind right in to the location though albeit not always necessary or suited. I feel like M.M Justine could do an excellent job at writing a guided “journey” – where someone just takes your mind to a different place and evokes the surroundings so strongly you can almost feel the sun on your face; or in the case of her book, sometimes I could easily imagine the snow, the desire to put a jacket on to warm up, the cold pinching at my cheeks.
It feels like M.M Justine struggled with the writing process, especially initially. It takes a lot to write a book and I feel like you can see her develop more as a writer and develop more confidence as she continued to write, which I found fascinating and also really cool to witness. I feel like she could re-write the book either partly or in-whole now and improve majorly on her initial work.
The main character, Martina, loses her parents in a fatal “accident” and heads up the family company in their stead. When talking about the work of the company, MM Justine really comes through and starts to shine. You can tell that she is very passionate about alternative medicine and her other beliefs. While the book is a work of fiction, the passion of the underlying inspiration really shows and definitely had me thinking about my own health, too. The writing relaxes, the flow improves and the readability of the book increases, along with my interest and investment in to the story. The story began to grip me and I wanted – no, HAD to find out where it would go.
So, what about the actual plot/premise? Well, I was determined to make it through the book, and I’m glad that I did. About 1/3rd through, we get to the good stuff. Now I want my review to be spoiler free, but all the good stuff happens beyond this point. Murder attempts, espionage, medical interference. I was hooked. I found myself incredibly keen to find out what was happening around Martina, her company and the world as a whole; things started to fall down like dominoes. I even wanted to find out how things were going to pan out for the books bad guys. Some of the villains were naturally so. Some where manipulated in to becoming the bad guys. The narrative benefited the intrigue as it would switch between perspectives which I found helped to draw me in.
I had a lot of trouble connecting with the seemingly almost-robotic Martina. Initially she seemed devoid of much personality or even emotion, however, her humanity showed through later in the book, and I found myself beginning to connect with her; eager to participate in her journey for the truth. I wanted to be by her side and stick it out as she uncovered the truth about her parents and made more headway in to uncovering something I can only describe as astounding, yet horrendous…
The story developed in a way that I didn’t expect, especially based on my initial impressions. However, Traitors from the Inside Out had an incredible unique and original plot and the sequels hold promise. It’s a shame the execution of the writing, especially initially, was poor. The fact that I ended up hooked in spite of this is a testament to the excellence of the the story that MM Justine wanted to tell. I hope that one day, maybe when she has completed the final installment, she will revisit her original works and see if she can improve upon them because such a unique and intense story deserves to be read.