Sunday, September 30, 2012

Black List, by Brad Thor

All of Mr. Thor's novels share a style:  there is political ranting (i.e., tea party style) that is sometimes a speed bump amidst the plot, there are good guys who have to moral or ethical compass other than doing what they imagine as appropriate to defend the nation, all exposed with writing and character development at the C to C+ level.

Since the last book of Mr. Thor's that I read (two years ago), his writing hasn't changed sufficiently to make me a big fan.

So, if you want to read an action adventure novel that you don't have to invest much energy into, although you might skim a bit on the boring parts, then this isn't bad.

The fundamental plot line of this book is government monitoring of its citizens.   This topic could be a very interesting skeleton for a well written novel.   Unfortunately here the exposition of the idea is boring and not very well linked to the action.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Risk Agent, by Ridley Pearson

This is a suspense novel set in Shanghai.   A private security firm, Rutherford Risk, works with a multinational doing business in China whose employee was kidnapped (along with an employee of the security firm).   The two heroes are Knox, a stereotypical action hero, and Chu, who has skills in forensic accounting as well as in spy craft; they both work for Rutherford.

This novel has enough plot movement to keep me interested to the end and reasonable character development.  Mr. Pearson signaled his intent to make this a series featuring the two main characters.   I'll probably read another one of these if I can borrow it from a free library or buy from Kindle at a deep discount.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Discount Armageddon, by Seanan McGuire

This is one of the wackier paperbacks I've read.   The hero maintains balance between humans and non-human creatures.  (By non-human I mean:  ghouls, werewolves, bogeymen, et al.)  An opposing cult seeks to exterminate all the non-human creatures.   A dragon may be in hibernation near a New York City sewer line.

Yes, in my world this qualifies as wacky.  The good news:  Ms. McGuire has a sense of humor and writes with good plot pacing and character development.   So it was (mostly) very fun to read.

Apparently this novel is part of a series.   I don't expect to read more of these, but that's more a statement of personal preference than a critique of the book.