Title: Betrayal Of Love and FreedomAuthor: Paul Huljich
Publisher: Mwella Publishing
Release Date: October 2009
Page Number: 624
After witnessing the death of his immediate family in a car crash at a young age, Luke Powers is sent to live with his grandparents in New Zealand, where he is sent to a high class boarding school. During his time in school he meets Hughie, a Maori boy who, like Luke, is considered an outsider, and they boys become quick friends. Luke sets himself up as a business man early on, and this drive continues after his graduation and moving on into college. Betrayal of Love and Freedom portrays Luke's life from his family's death onward, covering his schooling, love life, and everything in between. Just that was more than good enough for a book, and I actually enjoyed Luke's story a lot. Except that Betrayal doesn't just end there. No, that's only part one.
The second part of Betrayal covers the story of Rick Dellich, a man with bipolar disorder who struggles to overcome his disease and fix his home life and business life without the disease ruining him. The only connection between the two parts of the book was that Rick and Luke met as teens, raced against each other, and Luke stayed at Rick's house for part of a day with his family. Afterword they don't even keep in contact.
Now, I'm not saying that the second part of the book was bad, exactly. It might have been an okay read if it had been a stand alone and I'd picked it up. But it wasn't, and the two parts have very little connection to each other. The second part was flat out dull after reading the story of Luke Powers, with all the gritty romances and power trips and culture.
Now, there was a third part of the book that was probably meant to pull the whole story together. The book starts off with an intro where Luke is on trial for the murder of an unnamed former lover, and the third part is the conclusion to that intro. In the third part, Luke is suddenly engaged to a woman that is just thrown into the story, with no character development or reader interest on my part toward their relationship. During the course of Luke's first part of the book, Luke has several relationships that are built up and explained. I loved reading about each one. But the sudden engagement to a woman that wasn't in the story before was just...boring. There was no appeal, because there hadn't been enough interaction or development. As far as I was concerned, this made the entire last part of the book more of a chore, reading just to finish, than it was reading for the sake of fun.
Betrayal of Love and Freedom was pretty good to start, but as far as I am concerned, everything past the first part failed to entertain at all. Maybe if Luke Power's story was a book by itself, or if there hadn't been an in-depth story on Rick and he'd just been an interesting side character, Betrayal might have been better. As it was, I doubt I'll be rereading it anytime soon, if at all, and I'd only recommend reading the first part to anyone, unless they have a particular interest in the plight of a man suffering from bipolar disorder and a shitty marriage life or absolutely MUST know what happens in the trial mentioned in the prelude. Although, to be perfectly honest, I'd just suggest skipping the prelude too.