book review · NetGalley

Book Review: Degrees of Freedom by Susy Gage

It’s book review time and you know what that means!!! Many thanks to NetGalley and Biting Duck Press for allowing me to review this book.

Format read in: Kindle as an ARC

Date of publication: November 1st 2016

Sites where book can be found: None right now. See above for publishing date

Publisher: Biting Duck Press

Genre: Mystery & Thriller

Book synopsis:

Lives are at stake!

The new class of physics grad students has arrived at Midwestern U, and it’s not just grades making them nervous. Academic collegiality turns into fear and distrust as they discover their classmates have skeletons in their closets and their department exams will drive all but a few out of the program. When one of their fellow students is shot to death in front of the Foucault pendulum, all anyone cares about is how the police questioning will throw off their study schedules. But when official suspicion falls in all the wrong places, and it looks as though the killer is still around, they have to work together to find the real killer before someone else dies or they all fail out.

The third in the Lori Barrow mystery series, this prequel is a flashback to 1991, back when students checked paper journals out of libraries, the LOLcat had not been invented, and the most sophisticated Internet search was finger. Lori is just turning 17, and finding out that doing the homework is the easiest part of getting a PhD. (Goodreads)

My review:

What I liked about Degrees of Freedom:

  • The characters. I liked Lori, Gus, Radi, Carol, Roger and Abby. They were very relatable. You either loved them or hated them….no in between.


  • The flashback to 1991. It was refreshing to read a book where there wasn’t smartphones or tablets on hand and that everyone was computer illiterate…lol.


  • The storyline. It was good and perfectly illustrated this high level of competitions in college. It also showcased the stress of college perfectly.

What I didn’t like about Degrees of Freedom:

  • The storyline. Yes I wrote it in what I liked and didn’t like. I felt that there was too many storylines going on at once and it was very confusing to read. I lost track of different  characters, couldn’t keep their names straight at times and to be honest, almost didn’t finish the book because of that.


  • The physics terms in the book. Listen, I am not a picky person but when I have to stop reading a book to constantly look up terms, it puts me off the book…..big time.


  • The ending. I felt that it was all over the place and then was all brought together and tied with a neat bow. Almost like the author was done writing the book and didn’t want to spend anymore time on it.


How many stars will I give Degrees of Freedom? 3

Why? While it was a well written book, the main storyline didn’t start until almost the middle of the book. Then the main storyline took a backseat to other storylines and didn’t reemerge until the book was almost finished. Also, it is book 3 in a series (not noted in the title but in the blurb) and I hate starting a series 3 books into a series….even if it’s a prequel.

Will I recommend it family and friends? Yes

Will I reread again? Yes, after I have read the other books.

Age Range: Adult on up

Why? No sex, no violence (besides the murder) but there is severe religious fanaticism portrayed and a couple of suicide attempts.



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