The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)'s Reviews > The Reluctant

The Reluctant by C.S. Splitter
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The Reluctant—Seemed More Like the Willing to Me!
This was every bit of “Bubba Snoddy (Bubba and the Dead Woman) meets Donovan Creed (Lethal People)”

This is an enjoyable self-pub/Indie from C.J. Splitter. I’ll be honest up front, others may read this and score it higher than I, I rate it 3-3.5 on the Hugh rating system (there’s a link on my profile) because (view spoiler)

Having said that, there is much that I liked. I liked the nostalgic blue-collar or “Folksy” tone it was written in, plain spoken, direct language. No flowery prose here, just an almost Mark Twain like directness. I also liked the humor found throughout the story. It wasn’t ha-ha-funny-ville but humor made in good taste and measured for the seriousness of the matter at hand. I also liked the characters, despite their personalities and development being a little thin here and there, they came across like real people, and reacted like real people, each having a personal touch. I’d say I liked the supporting characters more than the main character. Splitter also made flying sound pretty cool.

I’d also say that I liked the fact that everything in the story seemed plausible. Not plausible as in, I bet they really do that, I actually hope they don’t do that, but plausible in that everything done, actually could be done. This wasn’t James Bond vs. Chaos; it was a thriller/suspense story that didn’t need extra science and second world magic to pull things off. And, even though I didn’t like the (view spoiler)
I’ll give this nod to our protagonist. He was a good thinker, and thorough, when he chose to use his brain for good and not for …”other things”… He processed things well and we didn’t get any of these scenes where we were screaming at our kindle because the protagonist didn’t see this or that coming. I liked the way splitter described the sense of living paycheck to paycheck so many people get that wrong, especially when there’s an airplane involved.

I also liked the ethical dilemma theme. What is a dislike for the protagonist, becomes a strength for the book. It’s nothing new. (view spoiler)

For the things I didn’t like, other than mentioned in the spoiler tag above, I thought it was too short. This read almost like a prolonged prologue or a novella “the history of “the Reluctant.” It was a lot like watching the pilot to a new Tv show, where they intentionally left things unsaid, and unexplained with plans to go back to those things later, or the flash back story of a tired protagonist trying to get out of “the system” recounting how he got involved in the first place. Either way, this left me feeling that we didn’t get a complete story (clearly that was on purpose, a sequel has likely been in the works before the first book was published).

I didn’t like the main character. Here’s a guy who, (view spoiler)

I didn’t find the plot particularly challenging or twisted. It was rather straight forward and the book was nearly half over before anything more exciting than a plane crash had occurred. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fun read, but this is one of the casualties of being written in direct language and leaving the book too short. There wasn’t enough time (or pages) to develop a particularly complex or challenging plot. The plot also started to hit that second or third gear too late so I didn’t get that tense, omg, omg, omg feeling about when’s all hell going to break loose.

Bottom line—3-3.5 stars -- It’s a fun story with a touch of humor. It makes a good prequel but lacks a the sophisticated plot found in some of its contemporaries. Good characters and intriguing thought provoking situations that are enjoyable, and it justifies or glorifies vigilantism.

Warnings (yes, always warnings)
Sex, guns, violence, questionable motives and themes, hard to like protagonist, It’s in there, be careful.
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Reading Progress

01/26/2012 "On Deck after The Reluctant"
7.0% "Starting "The Reluctant.""
50.0% "I love my wife...I love my wife...i love my wife!"
100.0% "Okay, so this is Bubba Snoddy meets Donovan Creed!"
100.0% "That is, Donovan Creed..


Bubba Snoddy"
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