Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Please, God, Someone show those idiots to the airlock.

Pure ControlPure Control by C. Lloyd Brill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pure Control was a love/hate read for me. It had the setup and feel of an episode of "The Twilight Zone", which I very much enjoyed. Sadly, it had the casting director from "Big Brother". I enjoy a good unlikable baddie, but not stupid ones, and these bad guys didn't have the brains of a day-old roadkill.

Too much of the tension and conflict comes from the incessant arguing and not enough from the environment. Quinn and Kevin never become interesting or likable, or anything at all beyond designated crap-stirrers.

The premise and the actual story were enough to keep me reading despite getting irritated every time Quinn wasn't shoved out the nearest airlock--and for that, kudos to the author.

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Review of Attack the Geek by Michael R. Underwood

Attack the Geek (Ree Reyes, #2.5)Attack the Geek by Michael R. Underwood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

‘Attack the Geek’ is a very long short story set after ‘Geekomancy’ and ‘Celebromancy’, and is mostly independent of those two books. You don’t need to have read them, but it helps a lot.
The story centers on a nasty, prolonged siege directed at Grognard’s the sewer-accessed bar/gaming store/geek hangout where Ree Reyes works. She and a number of patrons have a bare-knuckles, no-holds-barred fight against a legion of Uglys, which takes up most of the book.

The battle is excellent. Fast, relentless, and wearing on the characters. You feel the physical, mental, and financial toll each encounter takes. The dialog has a nice flow and a realistic sound, changing to match the conditions of the characters as they get hurt or run down.

My biggest issue is that the story feels rushed at the end. The resolution makes sense, and is the civilized thing to do, but it fails to satisfy. After the world of crap the characters go through, I wanted something more.

As long as the book is, I think it could have gone a bit further and allowed the characters to fully settle matters with the villain. The ending provided does make sense, in a Lawful Good sort of way, but I really wanted to see the villain get held at knife-point out over the edge of a volcano and asked, “Are you familiar with the works of Shan Yu?”

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