A Highly Infectious Spy Drama

coverI absolutely hated how this book began.  In fact, I nearly put it down before finishing the first page.  My mind was positively boggled by the fact that a writer would choose to begin a story with a list of tedious, mundane, and entirely innocuous activities for his heroine.  And after I bitched at him for driving me to such distraction on wattpad, I went on to rail nearly as badly against chapter two for a heroine whose reactions were as curious as they were implausible.  And I made sure to throw in the fact that I could care a lot more about death threats against her life if she had been established with some traditional sort of act 1, and I’d had a chance to bond with her; but as it was, she was Queen Anonymous.   I’ve read other things by this writer and just knew him to be capable of a lot more.  Perhaps the author will take my feedback to heart and rework the beginning of the book.   Perhaps he’s thinking I should just get over myself.

Either way, needless to say, I’m glad I kept pushing on.  Because the book quickly takes off from there on a rollicking and fun adventure on par with the best of Alastair MacLean.  The dynamic between the highly capable spy and trained assassin and the young, bright, and talented, but ultimately impulsive and immature college teen he’s charged with protecting, and who is suddenly on someone’s kill list for mysterious reasons, is captivating.  The teen heroine, LJ, often annoys as much as she endears, but then, she’s a teen.  If someone my age reacted any other way, I’d have to scream lack of realism.

The high-octane action scenes just keep coming in this relentlessly fast-paced story full of cinematic appeal and reminiscent of the better action films I’ve seen over the years.  In fact it would be a shame if this didn’t become a film at some point.

The author writes with a refreshing sense of economy that fits his swiftly moving tale.  The short chapters in which so many plot twists, reveals, and reversals, not to mention the character development which I thought was lacking from the beginning, are crammed, add to the forward momentum, while also giving the tale a taught, disciplined feel.

Fans of James Bond, the Avengers (for those of us who date back that far), and action flicks in general will feel very at home here.  This is as close as you can come to seeing an action movie in print form.  I can’t imagine the screenplay would be any terser.

Keep in mind this is a serialized novel and Episode 1 just takes us to the end of Act 1 and completes the set up.  That said, Rob is quite good with maintaining a good, prolific pace, so fans should expect new installments to come frequently enough to satisfy their need for more.