Jack Reacher fought a little person in 61 Hours, so definitely time he fought a giant in Personal. Oh, and some other stuff happens... like beating up...moreJack Reacher fought a little person in 61 Hours, so definitely time he fought a giant in Personal. Oh, and some other stuff happens... like beating up a giant!
Lee Child's continued adventures of Sherlock Homeless - Jack Reacher - have reached (boom tish) their nineteenth instalment. Reacher is manipulated into searching for a former army sniper he had put away 16 years ago, a sniper who has taken a shot at the French President and is threatening to shoot some other world leaders at the G8 summit. This is the first Reacher novel that isn't set in the US, seeing him travel to Paris and London, for his manhunt. Of course, it is never as simple as a manhunt, especially when the sniper bears a 16 year old grudge.
What I love about picking up a Lee Child novel is starting the novel and realising I'm already 50 pages into the action before I realise it. Lee effortlessly steers you through the story and keeps you entertained. He makes you appreciate just how good an author he is compared to his contemporaries. It was also refreshing to have Reacher leave behind his small town problem solving in favour of an international, high stakes, manhunt. Not that this stops Reacher beating up people and solving problems: wouldn't be a Reacher novel without that.
Hard to find fault with the latest Reacher adventure. The only criticism would be that it feels like a "standard" Reacher adventure, despite the break in location tradition. My own observation is that since 61 Hours Lee's writing has become taut and that he skilfully plays with the reader, making him my favourite author.(less)
How do you tell if a book has samurai in it? Don't worry, they'll put a katana on the cover. A book about ninjas is a little harder, since they are in...moreHow do you tell if a book has samurai in it? Don't worry, they'll put a katana on the cover. A book about ninjas is a little harder, since they are invisible to anyone that hasn't just been killed by a ninja. How do you tell if a book is a thriller? Don't worry, they'll put a gun on the cover.
Professional protectors - the fifth profession.... get it! - Savage and Akira are teamed up to protect a travelling businessman. Things go horribly wrong and Savage is beaten to a pulp after seeing the businessman and Akira killed. Akira is also beaten to a pulp and sees the businessman and Savage killed. And so begins the twist in this David Morrell thriller.
A lot of thrillers take you from point A to point B very efficiently to the point of cliche. Some authors even churn out the same book dozens of times in this manner. The thing that keeps you coming back is the the taut writing, thrills and cool escapism. The strength of The Fifth Profession is that it starts with the standard thriller plot setup and then eschews that for a different plot entirely. It makes the entire story novel. See what I did there?
There are some annoying aspects to Morrell's novel. David has a habit of hammering certain points and descriptions at the reader, to the point I started assuming everyone had "karate" calloused hands. To some people this could be annoying and enough to throw the book against a wall - which I wouldn't be doing this since I read this on my iPad. To others the plotting and pacing will keep you entertained, as it did with me.(less)
Sometimes you read something that leaves you scratching your head. I think this is one of those books. Either that or I need to change shampoo.
Garth E...moreSometimes you read something that leaves you scratching your head. I think this is one of those books. Either that or I need to change shampoo.
Garth Ennis' Hitman is an interesting tale, almost something you would expect from a different publishing house to DC Comics. Tommy Monaghan is a freelance hitman working in Gotham city when he is bitten by a demon and picks up the ability to hear people's thoughts, see through walls and wear sunglasses at night without looking like a douchebag. With his new abilities he makes the move into killing supercriminals. And since he works in Gotham, Tommy is soon confronting Batman. Well, Garth Ennis' version of Batman....
I'm a huge fan of Garth Ennis' work. He combines interesting story lines with humour and irreverence, simultaneously embracing and satirising whatever genre he is writing in. The Boys would have to be one of my favourite series, and Garth's run in Punisher Max is legendary. It is these two series that leave me scratching my head about Hitman. There are a lot of similarities between Hitman and Punisher, and the main character of Tommy bears no small resemblance to Butcher from The Boys. So for me, having read Punisher and The Boys first, Hitman feels like a pale imitation - despite coming first.
So despite this being at times confusing (a poetic demon who inhabits a human discusses stuff with himself... oookaaay...) and unpolished versions of the above mentioned series, I did enjoy reading about Tommy killing people in Gotham. (less)
You know, the people who only read the book after they've made a movie of it. I'm not quite as bad as th...moreMy name is Tyson and I am one of those people.
You know, the people who only read the book after they've made a movie of it. I'm not quite as bad as the people who only read the book after they have seen the movie: those people are just pure evil.
I've had Guardians of The Galaxy Volumes 1 and 2 sitting on my TBR list since I heard something about a movie with a talking racoon in it. Any movie that has a talking animal in it falls into only a few categories: kids film, lame comedy film, or worst movie ever. What piqued my interest was the movie hadn't trodden down the Jar-Jar Binks route and had instead turned in solid gold awesome. To the bookshelf!
Guardians is a very entertaining read. It is action packed, has plenty of humour and has a cast of interesting characters who are meant to be a team, but are always in a state of social flux. They are also fighting against many foes as they try to keep the universe from falling apart or being invaded from other dimensions. They even find time to make jokes about how lame it would be to have an altered timeline plot as they kick off an altered timeline plot.
The thing that held Guardians back from being a four star read for me was the intercut frames. During most action sequences the writers/artists interspersed post-action debriefing scenes. Whilst this did give the humour a place to really dig in, it did also detract from the tension of the action scenes to an extent. Several times I noticed myself rapt with the life-or-death struggle only to have one of the characters talk about it post tense: "That was pretty close." Now this isn't that big a deal, since heroes don't die. Ever. Not permanently at least. So it could be argued that they've instead decided to parody or make some jokes about, or around, action scenes. Thus, even my opinion could be swayed up if I were to read this on a different day.
Fishing is a strange sport. You sit around getting drunk for hours on end and hopefully catch some food. But red herrings are highly overrated, especi...moreFishing is a strange sport. You sit around getting drunk for hours on end and hopefully catch some food. But red herrings are highly overrated, especially when they inspire novelists.
Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are back with another mystery to solve. This time a sniper has killed Robert Morano, an American citizen who doesn't like America, whilst he was in a hotel room in the Bahamas. There are suspicions this was a government authorised hit, the local police are more concerned about a missing tourist, and Morano may be the first of many targets. The investigation is lacking in evidence and cooperation, frustrating Rhyme enough that he decides to go swimming.
Deaver is one of the most respected mystery crime writers for a reason. Rhyme and Sachs are an interesting investigative team and there are plenty of other interesting characters throughout the novel. Deaver keeps the mystery intrigue running for the entire novel. But the points that I felt counted against this novel were the overuse of red herrings (in one case a double fake). It is one thing for mysteries to have dead-ends and other points of narrative tension, but it felt like Deaver was trying to fool the reader just a little too often.
To some extent this is probably because of Deaver's success and the mystery reader fanbase. Readers are going to find plots too obvious or recycled if a writer like Deaver doesn't mess with them a bit. I felt there were other ways he could have kept the mystery going without such blatant red herrings, but others may not mind them. A solid effort but not quite as good as earlier books in this series.(less)
I've never entirely gotten onboard of Deadpool. On paper (boom tish) Deadpool should tickle all of my reading spots: humour, irreverence, action, Ryan...moreI've never entirely gotten onboard of Deadpool. On paper (boom tish) Deadpool should tickle all of my reading spots: humour, irreverence, action, Ryan Reynolds man crush. But so far I'm still on the fence about being a fan. Admittedly I haven't read Joe Kelly's classic run, so maybe that is tainting my perspective.
So why read Deadpool Killustrated? Well, funny you should ask, voice in my head. I thought the premise and execution of Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe was an interesting story: a very meta tale. After you've read Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe, you'd think that the idea of one Marvel character finding a way to kill all the other Marvel characters is pretty much tapped out, but the Deadpool version took that idea so much further. Killustrated is the logical extension of that story, and hence worth a read.
I'm only giving this three stars, however, as the story felt somewhat abbreviated/abridged (much like Deadpool Kills). The story concept wasn't fully realised, but still worth a read.(less)
It surprises me just a little that I only just discovered David Morrell's books. He writes thrillers, he's been doing so since before I was born, yet...moreIt surprises me just a little that I only just discovered David Morrell's books. He writes thrillers, he's been doing so since before I was born, yet I'd never heard of him, let alone realised he was the brains behind the Rambo franchise.... Okay, that latter point is not a huge selling point, unless you like seeing people sawn in half with a machine gun for the final act of a movie (Hint: my answer is yes).
In The Protector we have a protective services operator, Cavanaugh, protecting a client, Prescott, from two groups who want Prescott dead... Guess where the idea for the novel's title came from. Of course there is more to Prescott than it first appears, the groups after him are highly resourced, and the straight forward protection assignment goes sideways. Car chases, gun fights, black helicopters, several fires and a knife fight for good measure: you know, thriller.
This book moves at a cracking pace and was very entertaining. I'm definitely checking out more of David's novels.(less)
I'm not sure that there are enough sci-fi thrillers out there. Maybe we should get James Patterson to churn out a few dozen this year, or maybe someon...moreI'm not sure that there are enough sci-fi thrillers out there. Maybe we should get James Patterson to churn out a few dozen this year, or maybe someone can point me in the direction of a few dozen authors like Hiroshi Sakurazaka.
People may be aware of All You Need Is Kill because of the film adaptation starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, retitled Edge of Tomorrow because 'kill' had such negative connotations. I haven't watched the film yet, but have heard very good things, which makes sense, since this is a very good book. The premise for the book (and film) is that Earth has been invaded by terraforming robots - Mimics - who are preparing the planet for an alien race to come live here. These robots have a special trick they use to help them win battles: they can send a signal back in time to allow time loops to play out until they win. Keiji Kiriya is a new recruit, but in his first battle he gets caught in the loop, and he is able to alter the future by learning from his mistakes.
Obviously this sounds a lot like the Bill Murray film Groundhog Day, just with less Bill Murray and more giant robots trying to destroy the planet. The story never lets up, despite the fact that the two days (the day before and day of the battle) are on an endless loop until either Keiji or the Mimics succeed. And the twist ending caught me somewhat by surprise. I recommend this book to any fans of thrillers, unless you can't stand the idea of people in robotic suits fighting alien robots for the future of the planet - which is, of course, impossible not to love.(less)
This is a really hard book to review. For starters, I saw the movie first, which starred Timothy "Raylan" Olyphant. I mean, sure, he didn't have the h...moreThis is a really hard book to review. For starters, I saw the movie first, which starred Timothy "Raylan" Olyphant. I mean, sure, he didn't have the hat, and he barely shot anyone, and it was only a supporting role, but just his mere presence made the film watchable. Then there is the infamous history of the authors of the book, which is an interesting tale of an author who prefers to fictionalise his non-fiction works, who recruited some starry eyed grad students to write a bunch of novels for him, and paid them in lumps of coal. Then there is the fact that this book reads like it was written by someone who was paid in valueless commodities.
This begs the question: why did you even bother reading it? I did mention Raylan Givens was in the movie, right?
I think it is fair to say that author James Frey is not highly regarded for his ethics in the publishing or business world. This is the key reason to downgrade any rating this book receives. That may seem harsh - judge the writing, not the author - but it is hard to enjoy something you know was produced via exploitation (hi to everyone reading this review on an iPad or iPhone). But I felt I had to give the book a chance.
The book itself is very similar to the movie. If you have seen the movie you know this isn't high praise, but the movie was watchable fun. And that pretty much sums up the book as well, readable fun. The main difference is that the characters were actually portrayed far better in the movie than in the book, especially John and Sarah. In the movie Sarah had a depth of character that wasn't really present in the book (which could just have been the writing perspective), while John in the book comes off as a whiny teenager as opposed to the more broody movie portrayal.
This should all add up to a book I wouldn't normally bother finishing, but the story itself, the ideas presented, some of the scenes, were well done. This was enough to overcome the sections of hackneyed writing (we get it, high school is tough, blah blah), and to make you ignore the ethics of the book's production. But even Raylan couldn't encourage me to read more of the series.(less)
Enjoyable short story that acts as a lead up or side story for The Emporer's Tomb. I'd say that this short is essentially only for the fans of the Cot...moreEnjoyable short story that acts as a lead up or side story for The Emporer's Tomb. I'd say that this short is essentially only for the fans of the Cotton Malone series, as this story needs the larger world of the series to make much sense. Fortunately I'm a fan and enjoyed this outing with Cassiopeia Vitt, and how Cotton's book shop wasn't destroyed.(less)
If you ever want to feel better about yourself and your life, there is nothing like reading a book with characters that have a litany of personal prob...moreIf you ever want to feel better about yourself and your life, there is nothing like reading a book with characters that have a litany of personal problems and struggles. I can't think of too many people with serial killers for dads, so that has to make your lot in life look better.
Unlike the previous Will Trent story I read from Karin Slaughter, this novel novel is split into two timelines, one in the modern day with Will, the other in the 1970s focuses on the early career of Will's boss, Amanda Wagner. Karin handles the multiple POVs and timelines seamlessly and I really enjoyed the trials and tribulations of Amanda's first homocide investigation, and the insights it gave into equality. It is really odd to think that only 30-40 years ago that people would have been phoning the police to report women impersonating police officers, because the idea that women could actually do the job seemed too ridiculous. Check out the interview with Karin discussing this:
It's good to know that society has come a long way in a generation, not that you'd notice on the Youtube comments section.
Despite enjoying this novel, the characterisation, the social insights, the murder mystery, I could only give it 3.5 stars. The only reason for this was that I've had a very busy time of late, with many things competing for my spare time, and this book wasn't compelling me to pick it up and keep reading it. I didn't have to force myself to read it, by any means, more that I wasn't drawn to it in the way I am with my favourite reads.
I'd recommend this book for people who've already read some of the Will Trent series, as they'll get more out of the story than someone new to the Will's world.(less)
There's nothing quite like a fast paced thriller to keep the blood pumping. Well, except perhaps a double shot of espresso washing down a hit of speed...moreThere's nothing quite like a fast paced thriller to keep the blood pumping. Well, except perhaps a double shot of espresso washing down a hit of speed after an eightball. I think reading might be easier on the heart, though.
Jeremy Robinson's Secondworld has probably one of the more suspenseful openings I've read in a while. His hero, Lincoln Miller, is stuck underwater with no air left, only to surface and find no air to breath thanks to some mysterious red flakes soaking up the oxygen. If the lack of air wasn't bad enough, he's being hunted by a shark. Like I said, suspenseful.
Of course, no air, poisonous red flakes falling from the sky, sharks, that's just the beginning of a thriller that sees skin-heads and a Nazi plot started back at the end of the Second World War, trying to purify the world. Welcome to Secondworld.
Jeremy handles the plotting and pacing well, reminding me a lot of James Rollins. This book is a lot of fun and is very entertaining. My problem with the novel comes from some of the details that jarred me straight out of the story. To most readers this wouldn't be a problem, but for me it was. An example was a .38 Super revolver being referred to as a hand-cannon, something that is a stretch for a yoga master. These errors and the inclusion of an overly obvious ending - not to spoil it, but add cryogenics and Nazis together and what cliche do you get? - and I had to downgrade my score on what was an otherwise entertaining read.(less)