Saving Paradise, by Mike Bond (Mandevilla Press, 2012) – 4 stars

I’m giving Mike Bond’s Saving Paradise 4 stars because it’s not just a decent novel but also is an exposé of the hoax wind energy companies (which are also oil companies) are perpetrating on us. I’ll rant about the hoax itself elsewhere and here say only that the disturbing details, on their own, make the book worth reading.

The plot is timely and suspenseful, pitting the wealthy and powerful against native Hawaiians and threatening the islands’ ecology and sacred spaces. Hawaiian Pono Hawkins, the book’s main character, is a Special Forces veteran and excellent hero material. His passion is surfing, his survival skills are finely honed, he keeps himself in excellent physical shape, and he knows the islands (and a number of beautiful women) intimately. His prison record and native status make him automatically suspect by the police, but he’s a good guy who took a fall for a friend (a disabled vet who once took a bullet for Pono) and he’s an habitual rescuer of damsels, animals, and friends in distress, compelled to take risks for good causes. He’s an interesting narrator, too, able to use native dialect naturally, but also so that it illuminates native customs, values, and settings in ways relevant to both character and plot.

I’ve ordered a copy for our library and recommended its purchase in digital form for our Overdrive Consortium. Here’s hoping Pono stars in many more Bond novels to come.

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