John Rain hasn’t killed anyone for four years. He gets recalled from retirement to stop an attempted coup against the US Government. But this job is tJohn Rain hasn’t killed anyone for four years. He gets recalled from retirement to stop an attempted coup against the US Government. But this job is too big for Rain. Under the guidance of a black-ops specialist and veteran, Colonel Scott 'Hort' Horton, he puts together a four-man team of killers. Eisler surprised me in this story. Of course it has lots of suspense and action, including some stone-cold killing -- wouldn’t be a John Rain story otherwise. But, just when I thought the story had settled in and I sort of knew where it was going, it changed direction. And then it changed direction again. The story ends in a satisfactory way with dead bad guys all around and a nefarious plot foiled. Satisfactory but somewhat unsatisfying -- I think because Eisler was not just telling a good story in this book; he also was weaving in some serious concerns he has about the direction of American politics and society. And, the plot elements involving those concerns just don’t have known solutions at present. I’ll avoid details, but do check out the list of references at the end of the book. Eisler decided not to use a legacy (traditional) publisher for The Detachment, opting instead to publish as a Kindle eBook and by Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer mystery imprint. This let him get the book out about a year earlier than it would have via a traditional route. I thank him for doing that. (Also, I think it is a good business decision.)...more
I do love Boothenay Irons, C. K. Crigger's time traveling gunsmith. In this the third book in her gunsmith series, Boothenay gets kidnapped and takenI do love Boothenay Irons, C. K. Crigger's time traveling gunsmith. In this the third book in her gunsmith series, Boothenay gets kidnapped and taken for the first time into the future. Seems a customer needs help. Or rather the descendant of a customer. This book brings almost all the things I have come to expect from a Crigger story -- lots of action, a tight plot, and a bit of romance. The only thing missing is the historical detail she usually provides; understandable as most of the action takes place in the future. Good story. (Read in eBook format.)...more
In this novella length story, very special operative Chandler is given a mission to rescue a young woman from slavers. However, while carrying out herIn this novella length story, very special operative Chandler is given a mission to rescue a young woman from slavers. However, while carrying out her mission, she uncovers something even more sinister than human trafficking. Only immediate action will prevent disaster, and the stakes are about as high as they can get. Chandler is fantastically competent and improbably lucky -- and she needs to be. The action is practically non-stop in Exposed. Remember Daniel Craig’s opening sequence in Casino Royale? String several of those together with barely time to draw a breath between and you have the pace of this story. I quite enjoyed it. (Evidently, this is sort of a prequel to Flee, which now goes into my to-read list.)...more
In Liberator’s Ruin Johns has written a damned good debut novel. The novel starts off with multiple story lines that seem unrelated. The first story lIn Liberator’s Ruin Johns has written a damned good debut novel. The novel starts off with multiple story lines that seem unrelated. The first story line is about the adventures of airship captain Nathaniel An’Rieyr and his crew. Then we have Anna, a deposed princess who is obsessed with driving out the invaders of her country and regaining her throne. She is the leader of the Illum resistance. And finally there is Thomas Ras’Kar High Inquisitor of the Rhivellian Empire, who has the job of ending the resistance in Illum. As these story lines develop, with quite a bit of violence and more than a little skulduggery, we learn more about the world they live in. In the end the story lines all come together nicely in an exciting and action filled finish. At first -- because of the use of some standard tropes, especially airships -- I thought Liberator’s Ruin was an alternate history steampunk novel. However, as the story developed, it became apparent that it is something else entirely (cannot say more without giving spoilers). And, that brings me to the subject of P. J. Johns writing style. Johns doesn’t do infodumps. Instead the back story of the planet and the people is slowly revealed by the dialog and action. This is a style which I quite like. (It reminds me somewhat of Vonda Mcintyre.) All in all, I can strongly recommend this book to SF&F fans.
Unfortunately I do have a few negative comments. (Please note that none of these hurt the readability of the novel. But they were slightly irritating and kept me from giving the book five stars.) - Liberator’s Ruin needs just a little more work. I think the right professional editing could have tightened up and improved an already good story. - The whole book most certainly needs a pass by a good proofreader. I noticed a cut-and-paste error, some misuse of homonyms, and a few grammar/punctuation errors. Also, at one point a revolver transformed into a single-shot pistol within the space of a single paragraph! - Finally, the cover is rather ugly, and I can't see that it has any relationship to the story. I cannot help but think that a few hundred dollars invested in professional editing and a cool cover would really help this book....more
This eBook contains all four of the original .357 Vigilante novels that Goldberg originally published in 1985 under the pseudonym Ian Ludlow. Good valThis eBook contains all four of the original .357 Vigilante novels that Goldberg originally published in 1985 under the pseudonym Ian Ludlow. Good value! The stories feature lots of blood-soaked violence served up at a fairly rapid pace. Think Death Wish merged with Dirty Harry and with a generous dollop of gratuitous sex tossed in for spice. What's not to like?...more