Blood Virus by L A Hollis

Blood Virus: A Pandemic by Design by L A Hollis
Published by iUniverse on April 13th 2016
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 200
Format: Ebook
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
one-half-stars

Thousands are dying and many more sickened as an unknown virus runs rampant through Western Africa. Its victims experience a violent death within a few days of exposure, so the CDC jumps in before the virus can become a global pandemic. They send their best man, Dr. Lennox Richards of the Epidemic Intelligence Service, to ground zero in Benin. Lennox heads up an international team of top specialists with the intent of identifying and possibly developing a vaccine to halt the virus's progress. However, there's a problematic variable: the virus is ethno-specific, killing only blacks and leaving others with nothing more than a common cold. As an African American, the stakes have suddenly changed for Dr. Lennox Richards.
The good doctor has yet to realize a more sinister plot is being waged, with Benin as the initial test site for the bioengineered killer. A lethal plan is in effect to expose the world's ethnic groups to a virus specific to their particular race-in other words, the implementation of an ethnic bomb.
With time running out and no cure in sight, will Dr. Lennox Richards be able to stay alive and halt the doomsday scenario that looms close at hand?

The blurb of this book interested me, in that it was a thriller involving a genetically engineered virus designed to target specific racial groups, which I thought was an interesting discussion in the current political climate. I was quite surprised to see how short the book was, given the subject matter.

A husband and wife team travel to Benin to investigate the origins of a virus which is wiping out large numbers of people, but doesn’t seem to be affecting – for the most part – white people.

Full disclosure – I did not finish this book, even as short as it was – I had only made about 70% progress through the book after almost a week, and it wasn’t showing signs of improvement. I felt the pacing of the story was really off, and I wasn’t really sure where the story was going. The main characters weren’t particularly interesting, and the side characters – particularly the Beninese – felt stereotypical, or bordering on the vaguely offensive.

I am not sure what the author’s publishing history is, but they seemed to make a lot of basic mistakes, truncating action to the point where we were being told about things, rather than showing them. This is particularly true in relation to what happens to the main female character over the course of the novel, and her rather blaise response to it. Looking at the author’s bio, she is a scientist, and perhaps in retrospect this novel is written in a particularly analytical, almost perfunctory style.

I was quite disappointed by what I did read of this novel in the end, and am glad that I did not subject myself to the rest. If life is too short for bad coffee, it’s way too short to spend time and energy on reading half-baked novels like this.

I received a review copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

one-half-stars
Rating Report
Plot
four-stars
Characters
two-stars
Writing
one-half-stars
Pacing
one-star
Cover
three-stars
Overall: two-stars

From Ice to Ashes by Rhett C Bruno

From Ice to Ashes by Rhett C BrunoFrom Ice to Ashes by Rhett C. Bruno
Goodreads
three-half-stars

A humble laborer is caught in the tensions between Earth and Titan, the now-colonized moon of Saturn, in a standalone novel set in the universe of Titanborn.

From Ice to Ashes is the follow up to Titanborn, which I reviewed last year, and is a standalone novel set in the same universe. I really enjoyed the dark and gritty science fiction that novel brought with it, and was hoping for more of the same with From Ice to Ashes.

I think this novel is much tighter in focus than its predecessor, which is both a blessing and a curse. I found it difficult to follow what was happening with the world at large, as most of the story follows the main character in his trials and tribulations as a Ringer, and there were quite a few concepts which were thrown out there without a great deal of explanation.

I read this book some time ago, having received a copy directly from the author, but for real life reasons I’ve had to put off a lot of reviewing recently. Looking back now I don’t think the book had the same impact on me that the first one did.

From Ice to Ashes is a bit of a slow-burner to begin with, but the tension begins to ramp up as Kale is forced to take actions that he doesn’t necessarily agree with. Where as the previous book had quite a Dick-like vibe to it, I found that this reminded me of the Alien series, in style if not in substance.

I think this book fits a nice hole for fans of the first book looking for something more.

three-half-stars
Rating Report
Plot
four-stars
Characters
three-stars
Writing
four-stars
Pacing
three-half-stars
Cover
three-stars
Overall: three-half-stars

Archmage by R A Salvatore

Archmage by R A SalvatoreArchmage by R.A. Salvatore
Published by Wizards of the Coast on September 1st 2015
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 384
Format: Audiobook
Goodreads
three-half-stars

The pall that had descended over the North is gone, and a new day has dawned on a victorious Mithral Hall, but no matter how bright things seem on the surface, Drizzt and his companions know that what lurks just under their feet remains steeped in evil and charged with unimaginable power. The dark elves of Menzoberranzan, including the powerful Archmage Gromph, aren’t done with Drizzt yet. And consumed by their own power struggles, feeling backed into a corner, the drow may just be desperate enough to call on demonic forces from the deepest reaches of the Abyss, and unleash a disaster even the Underdark could never have prepared for.

Drizzt Do’urden is one of the most iconic characters in the Forgotten Realms universe, and it was with some regret that I realised I had missed several previous trilogies written by R A Salvatore. It did not take long for me to catch up with where the world was at, as the author does a fairly good job of introducing the characters’ progression in a natural manner, although he does tend to belabour the point after a while.

Thinking back to what I really enjoy about reading the Drizzt series, I found myself reminiscing about the ‘good old days’ of Drizzt, Bruenor, Wulfgar, Regis and Cattiebrie all going on adventures together, to slay the nasty dragon, or to do something equally heroic. I think the author has moved away from that sort of formula, perhaps by necessity, as the characters aged, and acquired real life responsibilities, but getting away from that tight band of adventurers requires the reader to follow the exploits of a dozen or so characters.

Broadly speaking, this book is the tale of Drizzt and friends, and their personal armies, going on an adventure to reclaim the dwarven homeland of Gauntlgrym. Having missed a few series, I initially thought they had already been down this path previously. Opposing them are the ever-convoluted intrigues of the Drow of Menzoberrenzan, and it is as much a story of the ‘bad guys’ as it is that of the heroes.

Part of what I did not particularly enjoy about the book probably stems from the fact I was listening to the audiobook version, and that is the dwarves. Pretty much everything about them, from the ridiculous names, the absurd quasi-scottish accent, the magical shield that produces mugs of ale. (no really) All of this adds up to feeling like they are little more than a comedy routine, rather than serious fantasy adventurers. I know that Dungeons & Dragons novels exist in their own parallel uni-genre to traditional fantasy novels, and lack mass-market appeal as a result, but I just wanted things to be serious for a while, which is hard to do with The Three Stooges going on. With such a large cast of characters to follow, it felt like some of them disappeared for extended periods of time, which was disappointing.

Where Salvatore really excels is in his fight scenes – after a few years away, coming back to a tightly-written Salvatore fight scene is just a joy. All of the characters are given their moments to shine, and you can easily get caught up in the emotional and physical action.

At the end of the day I don’t think this book is going to appeal to a wider audience, beyond fans of the series and the Forgotten Realms setting in general. While I did enjoy the book, I don’t think it shaped up to its predecessors. It does require a certain stick-to-itiveness, as this is apparently the 28th book starring Drizzt. I know that Drow are long-lived, but I really feel like perhaps it is time to allow them to go quietly into the darkness.

three-half-stars
Rating Report
Plot
three-half-stars
Characters
four-stars
Writing
three-half-stars
Pacing
four-stars
Cover
three-half-stars
Overall: three-half-stars

The Devil’s Triangle by Catherine Coulter

The Devil’s Triangle by Catherine CoulterThe Devil's Triangle by Catherine Coulter, J.T. Ellison
on March 14th 2017
Genres: Thriller
Format: Ebook
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
two-half-stars

From #1 New York Times–bestselling author Catherine Coulter, the thrilling new novel in the remarkable series featuring Nicholas Drummond and Mike Caine. 
FBI Special Agents Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine have a new mandate as the government’s Covert Eyes, assembling a handpicked team of top-notch agents to tackle crimes and criminals both international and deadly. But their first case threatens to tear the fledgling team apart when the enigmatic thief known as the Fox reappears with a plea for help.
Master thief Kitsune has stolen the staff of Moses from the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, and now that she’s delivered, her clients are trying to kill her. On the run, she asks Nicholas and Mike to help her discover the true identity of her clients and stop the threat against her life. Under strict orders to arrest the Fox and bring her back to New York, the Covert Eyes team heads to Venice, Italy, to meet with Kitsune, and finds nothing is as it seems. Kitsune’s secret clients are the Koaths, a family descended from Moses himself, who will do anything, anything, to find Ark of the Covenant and wield its power, as their long and bloody history can attest. To execute their plan, they’ve spent years perfecting a machine that can control the weather, manipulating worldwide disasters that spin the entire globe into chaos.
From New York to Venice, from Rome to the Bermuda Triangle, Nicholas and Mike and their team are in a race against time, and nature herself, to stop the Koaths and recover the famous Ark of the Covenant. But can they trust Kitsune, their sworn enemy, to help them save the world from a family of madmen?

On the face of it, the premise of The Devil’s Triangle seemed interesting enough – FBI agents teaming with a thief of a priceless artifact to uncover the mystery of a family of self-important lunatics who want to uncover some other ancient artifact so they can do something or other. There’s pseudo-science, mystical hand-waving, conspiracies, and the Bermuda Triangle thrown in for good measure.

I haven’t read any of Catherine Coulter’s previous books, but the synopsis of this book reminded me of authors like Andy McDermott’s Wilde and Chase series, which I have a sort of love-hate relationship with. I was hoping for more rollicking adventure than strict FBI-based thriller, given the frankly silly premise. I found that the two main characters were really not that interesting, and while the ‘bad guys’ – the crazy rich (in both senses) people bent on world domination – were suitably psychopathic, I just found it hard to connect with the whole story.

There were some entertaining and well-written action scenes, but I thought the whole pseudo-science/conspiracy stuff bogged down the rest of the plot, and I wound up just skipping over a lot of the waffle. On top of that I thought that the FBI guys seemed to act with carte blanche, in a world where I think that would be unrealistic.

I suppose it is rather unkind to say, but towards the end – having forgotten the details of the author temporarily – I was wondering whether this was a low-rent self-published book, it just had that unpolished feel to it for me. I did not finish this book, I tapped out at about 80% of the way through, I just couldn’t take it any more. I think that the book was trying to be too many things to too many different audiences, and if it had focused on being an over-the-top action adventure it would have made easier reading. Perhaps fans of this series and author will like this book, but I felt that it lacked sufficient realism to draw me into its world. I read a lot of trashy fiction, particularly in this genre, but I like to be entertained by what I’m reading, and that is ultimately where I feel The Devil’s Triangle failed for me.

I received a review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

 

two-half-stars
Rating Report
Plot
four-stars
Characters
two-half-stars
Writing
three-stars
Pacing
two-half-stars
Cover
three-stars
Overall: three-stars

Stasi Wolf by David Young

Stasi Wolf by David YoungStasi Wolf (Karin Müller, #2) by David Young
Published by Zaffre on February 9th 2017
Pages: 416
Goodreads
three-stars

How do you solve a murder when you can't ask any questions? The gripping new thriller from the bestselling author of Stasi Child.
East Germany, 1975. Karin Müller, sidelined from the murder squad in Berlin, jumps at the chance to be sent south to Halle-Neustadt, where a pair of infant twins have gone missing.
But Müller soon finds her problems have followed her. Halle-Neustadt is a new town - the pride of the communist state - and she and her team are forbidden by the Stasi from publicising the disappearances, lest they tarnish the town's flawless image.
Meanwhile, in the eerily nameless streets and tower blocks, a child snatcher lurks, and the clock is ticking to rescue the twins alive . . .

Stasi Wolf is a detective story set in the grim dark landscape of East Germany during the Cold War, using this rather oppressive backdrop to tell a rather convoluted and ultimately very personal story for the main character, a female detective named Karin Muller. This is the second book in the series and, although I have not read the first, I found it relatively easy to pick up and understand the personalities, and relationships in the book.

I suppose on one level this is a well-crafted whodunnit, that takes the reader on a long journey filled with red herrings, and twists and turns, but I found the author’s use of flashbacks to be rather distracting at times, and I often found myself lost reading it. The detectives must solve a mystery stretching back over several decades, revolving around the disappearance of babies, without apparent motive.

I think to say much more would be going into spoiler territory, which I would prefer to avoid, given the nature of the genre. Most of the obstacles that need to be overcome seem to be of a systemic nature, with the relationship between the varying branches of police, as well as government interference preventing forward progress. This book took me longer to read than any other in recent times, despite it being a book of fairly average length, and if I wasn’t reading it for review I probably would have put it down out of frustration, because the characters just didn’t seem to get anywhere.

I was interested in this book from the point of view of its setting, the still somewhat mysterious East Germany, and I think the author’s description of life under that system is gritty and grim, with a delicious palette of dull grey concrete and authoritarian rule. But the interesting setting would not be enough to draw me back to this series, as I prefer a faster pace to my novels.

I received a review copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

three-stars
Rating Report
Plot
three-stars
Characters
four-stars
Writing
three-stars
Pacing
two-half-stars
Cover
four-stars
Overall: three-stars

Blue on Blue by Charles Campisi

Blue on Blue by Charles CampisiBlue on Blue: An Insider’s Story of Good Cops Catching Bad Cops by Charles Campisi, Gordon Dillow
Published by Scribner on February 7th 2017
Genres: Memoir
Pages: 368
Format: Ebook
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Blue on Blue is a historical memoir written by a police officer who was the long-time head of the New York Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau, and provides an insight into the daily lives of a regular NYPD officer in the 70s and 80s, before focusing on the investigations of corrupt and criminal police.

I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting when I picked up this book – in some ways I was concerned that the author would be an apologist for the ‘good’ police, as distinct from those who were committing the crimes. And to some degree the author does occasionally resort to saying ‘not all cops’ which I hope would be the default position in most readers’ minds anyway.

The book is slightly problematic in that it attempts to focus on too many stories. Rather than spending time on some of the high profile cases, particularly those in recent years which I was interested in hearing about, the author provides a brief summary of the events of a large number of investigations, most of which felt pretty inconsequential. There was too little information provided about too many cases, never spending long enough on any to make me interested in them.

The author does paint interesting pictures of some of the characters and players, both in the police, and the political spectrum. It can’t have been an easy job dealing with the different pressures on him from various high places, but again I was left wanting more.

At the end of the day, I felt like the author pulled too many punches to make this book interesting enough for a general audience. I understand that this was a memoir, rather than intended as a history of police crime and corruption in New York, but I just wanted more than was on offer.

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

three-half-stars
Rating Report
Writing
three-stars
Pacing
four-stars
Cover
four-half-stars
Overall: four-stars

The Shadow Factory by James Bamford

The Shadow Factory by James BamfordThe Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America by James Bamford
Published by Doubleday Publishing/Random House (NY) on October 14th 2008
Genres: Politics, Technology
Pages: 410
Format: Audiobook
Goodreads
four-stars

James Bamford has been the preeminent expert on the National Security Agency since his reporting revealed the agency’s existence in the 1980s. Now Bamford describes the transformation of the NSA since 9/11, as the agency increasingly turns its high-tech ears on the American public.
The Shadow Factory reconstructs how the NSA missed a chance to thwart the 9/11 hijackers and details how this mistake has led to a heightening of domestic surveillance. In disturbing detail, Bamford describes exactly how every American’s data is being mined and what is being done with it. Any reader who thinks America’s liberties are being protected by Congress will be shocked and appalled at what is revealed here.
From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Shadow Factory by James Bamford is a history of the National Security Agency – one of the most secrecy-bound American intelligence agencies in history, at least until recent years. In addition to the technical and scientific history, it examines the politics and the pitfalls faced by the agency throughout the year. Written in 2008, it provides factual and interesting information up to that point, but predates the leaks by Edward Snowden in the past few years.

This book is definitely written from a neutral, bordering on sympathetic point of view, and as someone who has an interest in internet privacy, and freedom, I found this rather aggravating. A large portion of the book is devoted to the approval, and conduct of the warrantless wiretapping, and general internet snooping which was first approved under the George W Bush administration.

The reality is that this book should terrify anyone with any kind of interest in privacy, and is concerned about government overreach. It is difficult to come away from reading this book without a sense of the grand scale of the systems which have been built to monitor and spy on everyone… the only apparent difficulty – as the author thoughtfully takes great pains to point out – is the technical limitations on storage and processing power

The book is not limited to the NSA, and explores the relationship between the Five Eyes nations, and how pervasive the spying technology has become. If the author seems offended by anything, it is that much of this technology has been outsourced to private companies, many of which have ties to foreign countries. That would not have been the thing I was most worried about, but that’s why the author’s position felt compromised to me.

This is a very comprehensive look at how government agencies have been set up to surveil its citizens unapologetically in the name of national security, but largely fails to present justification – other than the party line. It also mirrors the largely ambivalent attitude that the world at large has had towards the Snowden leaks, but perhaps people aren’t annoyed about it as I am.

The Shadow Factory is well-researched, and makes excellent use of sources, and very educational and disturbing book that should be read with a grain of salt.

four-stars
Rating Report
Writing
three-half-stars
Pacing
four-half-stars
Overall: four-stars

The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston

The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas PrestonThe Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story by Douglas Preston
on January 3rd, 2017
Genres: History, Memoir
Format: Ebook
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
three-stars

A five-hundred-year-old legend. An ancient curse. A stunning medical mystery. And a pioneering journey into the unknown heart of the world's densest jungle.
Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location.
Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization.
Venturing into this raw, treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful wilderness to confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn't until they returned that tragedy struck: Preston and others found they had contracted in the ruins a horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease.
Suspenseful and shocking, filled with colorful history, hair-raising adventure, and dramatic twists of fortune, The Lost City of the Monkey God is the absolutely true, eyewitness account of one of the great discoveries of the twenty-first century.

Douglas Preston is an author more well-known for his works of fiction, and so I will admit I wasn’t quite sure how to take this book when I first started reading it. If you’ve read your average archeological thriller, the promise of a danger-filled adventure through the South American jungle is par for the course. I don’t know whether I was expecting more from the story, or its telling, because of Preston’s reputation, but I found that the book did drag at times, or perhaps become a little prosaic. I also found the lack of a reference map – at least in the digital edition – made it harder to put a lot of the events in context.

The last 20% of the book – give or take – is given over to the author (and the team’s) encounter with the ‘curse’ of the place, which involved being attacked by a horrific parasite I thankfully have never heard of. This certainly added some vim to the tale, which – apart from the odd snake – the story was otherwise lacking. Strangely enough someone linked me to an article promoting the book, which also kind of spoiled the ‘ending’, as I had not yet come across said flesh-eating parasites, but it did motivate me to actually finish the book. He does take a great deal of time speaking about the medical and scientific implications, or consequences of such diseases, while the actual exploration of the City kind of fell a bit flat.

I am a fan of Douglas Preston’s other work for the most part, and his name drew me to the book, as I imagine it will others. It is hard for me to recommend a particular audience for this book, as I struggle to place it in a particular category, because of its journal-style. I think fans of the author may be interested from a personal perspective, but it ultimately lacks some punch. As an author who seems to be simply ‘along for the trip’ I felt that a more scientific, or in-depth point of view would have worked better.

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

three-stars
Rating Report
Writing
three-stars
Pacing
two-half-stars
Cover
three-half-stars
Overall: three-stars

House of Spies by Peter Matthews

House of Spies by Peter MatthewsHouse of Spies: St Ermin's Hotel, the London Base of British Espionage by Peter Matthews
Published by The History Press on September 28th 2016
Genres: History, War
Pages: 256
Format: Ebook
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
three-half-stars

St. Ermin’s Hotel has been synonymous with British espionage since the 1930s, when the SIS (MI6) was situated nearby at 54 Broadway. Bristling with intelligence officers such as Ian Fleming and Nöel Coward, the hotel was initially revealed by the notorious double agent Arthur Owens, code named SNOW, to be a covert base for the Secret Intelligence Service’s Section D, before three gloomy private rooms on the third floor became the birthplace of Winston Churchill’s SOE in the early days of World War II. During the late 1940s, the traitorous spies Kim Philby and Guy Burgess would hand over intelligence to their Russian counterparts when they regularly met in the hotel’s Caxton Bar, while St. Ermin’s proximity to government offices ensured its continued use by both domestic and foreign secret agents. This first book on the history of the hotel reveals the remarkable stories of the spies who met there and the secrets they were sharing.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good spy story, and true spy stories can be even more interesting than the odd James Bond page-turner, if they are done right. I say ‘can’ because it also requires a bit of self-awareness of the books which exist in the same space as the one you are writing in, which may already deal with similar material.

House of Spies is a look at the history of British espionage, beginning in the 1920s, through to more modern times. Sure I have read a lot of books – both fiction and non-fiction – about the work at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, but this seemed like it would be an interesting read nonetheless. I am not entirely sure what I was expecting, but I found that this book while extensive in nature, did not provide me with very much new information, nor did it go in depth into the stories it was telling.

But I am prepared to accept that this book has been somewhat spoiled by the quality and quantity of material which has gone before it, and someone with either a specific interest about the location, or with less of an understanding of the history of spying in the last hundred years or so may find this more interesting than I did. I cannot fault the author’s research, or intention, I just felt that it was did not add a great deal to the body of work on the subject.

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

three-half-stars
Rating Report
Writing
four-stars
Pacing
three-stars
Overall: three-half-stars

The Nowhere Man by Gregg Hurwitz

The Nowhere Man by Gregg HurwitzThe Nowhere Man by Gregg Hurwitz
Published by Minotaur Books on January 17th 2017
Pages: 368
Goodreads
two-stars

Evan Smoak, the Nowhere Man, returns in the sequel to the breakout national bestseller Orphan X.
Spoken about only in whispers, it is said that when the Nowhere Man is reached by the truly desperate, he can and will do anything to save them.
Evan Smoak is the Nowhere Man.
Taken from a group home at twelve, Evan was raised and trained as part of the Orphan program, an off-the-books operation designed to create deniable intelligence assets—i.e. assassins. Evan was Orphan X. He broke with the program, using everything he learned to disappear and reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man. But the new head of the Orphan program hasn’t forgotten about him and is using all of his assets—including the remaining Orphans—to track down and eliminate Smoak.
But this time, the attack comes from a different angle and Evan is caught unaware. Captured, drugged, and spirited off to a remote location, heavily guarded from all approaches. They think they have him trapped and helpless in a virtual cage but they don’t know who they’re dealing with—that they’ve trapped themselves inside that cage with one of the deadliest and most resourceful Orphans.
Continuing his electrifying series featuring Evan Smoak, Gregg Hurwitz delivers a blistering, compelling new novel in the series launched with the breakout national bestseller, Orphan X.

I will begin this review by saying that I have not read the first book in this series, and I accept that some of my criticism may result from my ignorance of that book, however I think the fundamental issues I have with this book go deeper than my lack of having read the first book. Despite my not having read the first, I found the premise of this book interesting enough to consider reviewing it.

Spies, super-soldiers, mysterious government programs, assassins, what more could one want in a book.

I was hoping for something along the lines of the television show Dark Angel, with maybe a little Alias thrown in for good measure, but I found the book to be lacking in energy and engagement. I can sum my feelings up by saying that the title (The Nowhere Man) sums up how I felt about the whole thing, the story was going nowhere maaan. The main character is kidnapped and dragged off to (random-woods-unknown) where (seemingly random) things happen to him. For roughly 80% of the book he is trapped in this place, but I had no idea what the hell was going on, why he was there, or why he was allowed to get away with doing with he was apparently doing. The action which happened was well-written, but it took place in such a microcosm that I didn’t care about what was going on. I just wanted the action to move forward, and for something to actually happen – which ultimately did in the last quarter of the book.

I didn’t see enough in this book to make me want to go back and read the first in this series, if the style and pacing is reflective of the series as a whole. I was ultimately quite disappointed about  a book which showed a lot of promise, but ultimately went around and around in circles. It took me a long time to read this book because I kept putting it down for lack of interest.

Feel free to take my review with a grain of salt, however.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

two-stars
Rating Report
Plot
three-stars
Characters
three-half-stars
Writing
two-half-stars
Pacing
two-stars
Cover
three-stars
Overall: three-stars