'Writing for me is not about speeling, grammar or punctuation – that’s why we have editors.... No, writing for me is the ability to capture a story and put it in words.' - Fantasy Muse
Bullet Rain - A Nova Bartkowski Novel (Holly Lin Series) by Robert Swartwood
WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS
Nova is a free man. Having just walked away as a non-sanctioned hit man for the U.S. government, he's purchased a classic Mustang to drive across the country. But when his car breaks down in the middle of the Nevada desert, Nova ends up in the small town of Parrot Spur. There's something strange about Parrot Spur. Something ... off. Maybe it's the fact the town is full of ex-servicemen. Maybe it's the fact the abandoned mine might not be abandoned. Maybe it’s the fact the knockout brunette in the bar is clearly more than what she seems. In the end, none of it matters. What matters — and what Nova is soon going to learn — is that in the desert, the only thing that rains is bullets.
I do love a good action/thriller book, and I was - probably still am - a huge fan of the Jack Reacher books before Lee Child seemed to lose his way, and so every now and again I like to find a good action/thriller novel.
The story is about Nova, a recent ex-government hit man, who is on his way to California when the tires to his newly bought Mustang blows up. Stuck in the middle of Nevada, the closest place nearby is a small town called Parrot Spur, but something is not quite right with the threadbare town.
There is also another character called Jessica, a young woman, who is also a stranger to Parrot Spur but has her own reasons for being there.
This is an action packed, fast paced book that I finished in one sitting. The story has enough pull to it that keeps hooked to it from start to finish.
The central character, Nova, is everything you want in a hero, but more importantly (for me) has a toned down sense of morals, which adds a bit grit to the book, as there's nothing more I dislike than the good guy being a saint.
The other character, Jessica, wasn't entirely the damsel in distress, she did need saving - at times - but her personality was strong and she wasn't timid in the face of danger.
I did mention Reacher at the beginning of this post, and there are some comparisons, mostly in the short, crisp writing style, and riveting action scenes, but I wouldn't yet put it in the same class as Reacher (the early books that is). However, there's no shame in that as many authors place Lee Child's works as the benchmark for their own books.
Fans of action/thriller, who are looking for something quick to read and like their hero to be more greyer than white, will enjoy this book.
**I should add that there is an earlier book in the series, which I was unaware of before I read Bullet Rain, and there are hints to some of the characters in the 1st, but there was never any confusing points in the story and for me this book can be read entirely as a stand alone. However, saying that, it'd probably be more beneficial to start with book 1 No Shelter (A Holly Lin Novel).**
Out of 10 Stars:
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The Devil's Mouth (Alex Rains, Vampire Hunter Book 1) by Matt Kincade
The only things Alex Rains cares about are rock ’n’ roll, classic cars, and killing vampires—that is, until he meets Carmen, a tough-as-nails cop who's hot on the trail of her missing little sister.
When the two join forces, they leave a trail of corpses across the desert as they race against the clock, hunting an ancient evil that’s preyed on the migrants of the American Southwest since the time of the Spanish conquest.
While Alex leads Carmen deeper into the deadly, secret world of vampire hunters and their quarry, a romance blooms that neither of them expected. But when it all goes wrong, Alex is forced to make a grueling choice.
An action-horror thriller from author Matt Kincade, The Devil’s Mouth is an adrenaline-fueled ride through the dark underbelly of America: a warped landscape of old motels, seedy roadhouse bars, and monsters lurking in the night.
I'm always a sucker (no pun intended) for a good vampire book and I wasn't disappointed.
The main protagonist is called Alex Rains who is a vampire hunter, and whilst tracking a vampire, he stumbles/saves a cop called Carmen, who is trying to find her missing sister.
The remainder of the book is spent trying to find her younger sister and along the way they deal with more vampires and their growing relationship.
I liked the main character Alex, he was an interesting person who had no special abilities but managed to more than hold his own against the vampires. His personality was quirky and I found him easily likeable. Simply put he's type of person I wouldn't mind hanging out with.
The main character, Carmen - the tough female cop - I wasn't so sure on. She said all the right things, did all the right things, but I was still left a bit unsure of her.
In terms of the plot, it flowed from one scene to the other seamlessly, and there was a twist in the story near the end that I admittedly did not see coming - it changed the whole dynamics of the book and future books to come. Truth be told I don't think it changed for the better, but that's just my opinion.
There is a healthy dash of romance between the two main characters which I thought added little to the plot, but, saying that, near the end - due to the plot twist - their relationship sprouted an extra dimension to it, which does set it up nicely for the sequel.
A very well written urban vampire book that fans of the genre will enjoy. There is nothing new here, except for being a very well written story, from a talented author, who I am certainly going to keep an eye out for and very much looking forward to the sequel.
Out of 10 Stars:
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The Dragon of Time: Gods and Dragons by Aaron Dennis
In a world where Dragons pose as Gods, one man with no past unearths their lies in the ruined kingdom of Alduheim.
Scar, the mercenary, seeks only answers, but those who hold sway in the world of Tiamhaal would have him fight for lies. After defeating a man who claims he follows the real Gods, Scar grows even more curious of his origins.
Is he truly this King Brandt of Alduheim? Were the Dragons really killed at the site of the old kingdom? And if so, how can they possibly be influencing the leaders of Tiamhaal?
The premise of the book is based on a warrior who has lost his memories and is trying to find out his past. Along the way he discover more about himself and who he is.
I found the start of the book to be rather slow and I wasn't instantly hooked. There just seemed to be too many names thrown in and I did get confused, but the story did pick up halfway through and I got the sense that the author grew into the novel both in terms of writing, world building and characterisation. Interestingly, the book reminded me a lot of greek mythology when it came to gods, goddesses and heroes.
For a self published novel I found the book without any typos of spelling mistakes and generally well edited.
I recommend this book for those who are interested in greek mythology but I do feel this author is still growing into his craft and so as a result the book feels more akin to a rough diamond than a polished one.
Out of 10 Stars:
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