Balancing the Scales Book 1

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
457 Pages
Reviewed on 05/27/2016
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

“I preferred talking to people I didn’t like with my feet and hands rather than my mouth,” says Karma Johnson just at the start of this breathtaking story, and she isn’t wrong because she’ll have to do a lot of kicking and smacking of balls. Karma is the first book in Balancing the Scales series by RJ Blain, a hard-to-put down detective slash action packed crime fiction. Karma Johnson, the committed and hardworking member of FBI’s Child Abduction Rapid Deployment unit is kidnapped with a little child. Through skill and cunning, she escapes into the woods where she is met by her partner, Jake. But it’s just the start. It seems like the kidnapping isn’t the whole challenge Karma has to face. It’s just the beginning of an evil far more dangerous than she could even imagine.

Karma is a great read, hilarious and exhilarating. RJ Blain’s writing has a lot of focus because of his masterful use of the first person narrative. The author has the gift of absorbing readers into the narrator’s viewpoint and drawing them completely into the intense action. Karma and Jake are characters who are well-developed and crafted to offer the best entertainment to readers, a pair to follow through their witty exchanges, their attraction to each other, and the relationship they enjoy. I enjoyed the language, the humor, the suspense, and most of all, the well accomplished dialogue of this novel. The author seems to know just what he is doing and he does it so well that readers will want to find out what happens in the next books of the series.

Michelle Stanley

Karma, Book One, is from the urban fantasy series: Balancing the Scales by R.J. Blaine. Karma Johnson, an FBI agent, is kidnapped along with a baby while attending a festival. Karma’s youthful looks deceive the captors while her kick-ass survival skills help her escape with the infant. When she is transferred to Child Abduction Rapid Deployment (CARD), Karma becomes frustrated with her team’s chauvinist attitude, especially when another child is abducted and her leads are ignored. Karma, known for her success in solving cases, sharp-edged retorts, and stubborn nature, retaliates so her 8th ex-partner is transferred to CARD. Jake is the only one who knows how to control her feisty temperament. The partners’ lives are put in danger when they uncover a deeper connection to the kidnappings.

I expected to respond with a smile if parts were amusing, but definitely did not expect to be laughing out loud when reading Karma: Balancing the Scales, Book One. This urban fantasy is loaded with the wittiest, smooth flowing dialogue from fully-developed characters who fascinated me. Karma is such a sassy character and Jake is jovial, possessing enigmatic qualities. The plot is inventive, intense at times, reflective, and extremely entertaining. It’s not easy to foresee what’s coming next since R.J. Blaine makes the most intricate twists. I like her steady, well-balanced writing style and suspect Karma’s personality has to be similar to hers, especially the dialogue. I am now a fan of R.J. Blaine and intend to read Book Two in Balancing the Scales series.

Kerliza Foon

RJ Blain's Karma will have you on the edge of your seat in this witty suspense novel. Karma is a twenty-nine-year-old woman who is often mistaken for a teenager. Ever since she was small, she had wanted to work in CARD, Child Abduction Rapid Deployment, and help rescue children for the FBI. Her dreams are finally coming true when she is dragged into a hostage situation, holding an infant. Her survival depends on her ability to fool her captors that she is a teenager and prove useful. Hopefully the FBI will figure who she is and come to her aid sooner rather than later. And just maybe, they'll bring along a sure fire way to get her back if former partner Jake Thomas has anything to say about it.

Whoa, boy, did this book put a smile on my face and keep it there until the end of the book. RJ Blain has written a fantastically witty suspense novel that kept me excited and hungry for more. I cannot wait for the next book in the series. Karma reminds me a bit of J.D. Robb's Eve Dallas with her strong, independent personality. Karma kicks ass and is not afraid to speak her mind. While suffering many setbacks in her career before advancing, Karma lets nothing stand in her way. While this is not a fast paced novel, RJ Blain creatively weaves the story to show that every detail has meaning and, while it may not be clear or glaringly obvious, it all comes together and it keeps you interested.