Dear Mr. Kubicki,
thanks for sending "A Dubious Terrain" as a booklikes giveaway. I just finished reading it. Here is my review.
Let's start with what I liked about the book. The plot is good: plans piled over plans, some betrayals thrown in, and supernatural artefacts for good measure. I also like the main characters and the side plot about Mr Hand. It deserves more screen time.
Now, the criticism. "A Dubious Terrain" needs editing: There are some twisted sentences (their was equipment stolen), some missing letters (going to be instead of going to bed), and it's Chop Suey, not Chopped Suey; martial law, not
Marshall law; light, not lite. Those are small things, easy to fix. While you're at it, erase the word "actually" wherever it appears. It waters down your sentences.
The prologue will be more difficult to get right. If you want to set it in Nazi Germany, you must read up your facts. More so if you want to use Goebbels as a character. It's recent history with a load of information available, so your research should run deeper than high-school level history class. Or delete the prologue. It doesn't add a thing to the book anyway.
The way you handle the supernatural is good and coherent except for the Wolf part. An all-knowing spirit needs limitations or it would turn into a game breaker, that's true. But the limit you set - he can't answer a question if that answer would change history - is illogical. He changes history by helping Colton at all. You allow him to say where the artifacts were yesterday and that they haven't moved. You might just as well let Wolf say where they are now. Give him a real limitation, like: only three questions a day. Or set a cost to Colton for every answer. Get creative.
The piled-up plans are brilliant. However, you tell them too often. Each plotter gets a scene where they go over the steps with their minions. Then the good guys get to guess at it and make their counter-plans. After the showdown, they debrief and again talk about what the bad guys' plans probably were. Better only tell the reader about everything once. Either you keep the minion-briefing scenes, but don't yet tell us whether or not the good guys figured it out, or else let us watch the good guys figure but leave out the minion-briefing so we can wonder if the good guys got it right. The debriefing conversation after the showdown is superfluous, leave it out.
My last suggestion: Get rid of all that sex. Some hints and remarks now and then are okay, but more is too much. Sexuality is not a good method of rounding out your characters. It is, however, an excellent way to bog your story down and bore me to the point of throwing the book away. I had to force myself to keep reading and not skip the poolside scene, the scene in Sanders' office and all the rest.
Now, Mr. Kubicki, you'll probably say that I'm telling you to leave away half the book. And you're right, that's what I'm telling you to do. Every scene, every paragraph, every sentence you could leave away is one you should leave away. Even if you spent days writing them. Even if it took you hours to find a certain expression. Kill your sweethearts, as the famous author said. Boil your novel down to the bare bones, then add flesh only where necessary. If you put a lot of effort into the sexual scenes and the poolside contest, why don't you change them into a story of their own and publish them as literotica? Only take them out of "A Dubious Terrain".
With best wishes for your future writing