Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “Action”

Jordan Bravado’s #CBR4 Review #3: Toys by James Patterson

“Toys by James Patterson”

I was in a local bookstore looking specifically aat books for the Cannonball Read. I had a couple picked out, but when the store was closing I felt a kind of terror knowing I needed one more book. I asked my sister, who reads Janet Evanovich and the Jungle Run, for a suggestion.”Why don’t you try James Patterson?” she said.

I walked over to his own two shelves worth of available novels, and saw one that touted “JAMES BOND AND JASON BOURNE HAVE JUST BEEN TOPPED”. The cover was pretentious. It had giant words filling in the mystery and “TOYS” gracing almost half the front cover.

But I was told to never judge a book by it’s cover. So I picked it up. When I got around to read it, I realize I have great judgment. The book itself is flamboyant and flowery, every bit as pretentious as it’s cover.

It follows Hays Baker, a 007-type with the worst spy name possible. His wife, who plays the most cliche-driven, clueless woman who teeters on the edge of human emotion (and treated this way by Patterson and co-writer Neil McMahon), Lizbeth and their kids are all caught up in a murder conspiracy. Hays is a detective of sorts, looking into an unbelievable multi-homicide when he unfortunately becomes the man who’s hunted for it. We meet his forgettable family, including the heart of the book, his sister, Lucy. She’s the saving grace of it all, but it opens up the Hays Baker character to all kinds of scrutiny.

The book takes place 60 years in the future, where robots are available in Toy Stores, for both personal and professional use. They’ve been articulated to do anything you need or want them to do. Anything. Yes, even that to a degree. Of course, when they tell you this, they only go halfway there, because despite all the cursing and anti-American attitude, they’re decent people… right?

It moves at a quick pace, and it clocks in under 400 pages, so it’s not a slow read. It’s fine enough to lose yourself in some of the quasi-question-raising that the writers explore, but it won’t keep you asking anything for very long. You’ll meet familiar and colourful characters, but the impressions soon fade away as they give way back to the story of boring Hays Baker and his backseat driver, Lucy.

Hays is every bit a simple badass, with simple motives and a bad attitude… but he is no John McClane. He is no Jason Bourne or James Bond. For a book that suggests and berates lies being force-fed to you, it’s a little ironic that I feel the same about Toys, but that’s what I get for not judging this particular book by it’s cover.

Siege’s #CBR4 #41: Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey

In which Siege’s love for Jason Statham movies and her love for literature are somehow combined.

Petalfrog’s #CBR4 Review#32: The Night Eternal by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

The Night Eternal is the third installment in what I think of as the strigoi trilogy, following The Strain and The Fall. When I saw The Strain on Amazon, written by Chuck Hogan and Guillermo Del Toro, I knew immediately I would be buying and reading the entire trilogy. First off, I LOVE when books come in a set. Secondly, how could these two possibly go wrong? Guillermo Del Toro is the genius director of Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone, two of the most beautiful and haunting movies I’ve ever seen. Chuck Hogan is author of Prince of Thieves, the book that Ben Affleck’s The Town was based on. He’s like Jr. Lehane. There was no room for anything but greatness with this trilogy, and I quickly devoured The Strain and moved on to The Fall. I finally got the paperback of The Night Eternal, and now I have completed the trilogy and discovered that sometimes, greatness can be overestimated.

Read the full spoiler-ific review here!!! Opens in new window

Gabe3886’s #CBR4 review 9 Liberation Day by Andy McNab

Nick Stone is desperate for American Citizenship, and the US version of the Yes Man just happens to be the father of his girlfriend, Carrie.  He’s offered citizenship in return for taking part in an undercover operation in Algeria.  Simply kill an Albanian citizen, who isn’t a good person at all, remove his head and return it.  But nothing is ever that easy for Stone.

Libaration Day

He gets dragged further in, being left very little choice once George lets Carrie know that Nick has been working for him.  This time Nick is off to the South of France to capture some money launderers and pass them over for interrogation.  Not everything is plain sailing when Nick sees that the source of all the information they are getting is the same informant who gave them the tip-off for the previous job, and someone which Nick and his two team mates, Hubba-Hubba and Lotfi, really want to kill.

Continue reading my review on my website.

DragonDreamsJen’s #CBR4 Review #35 Princess of Wands by John Ringo

American author John Ringo is far better known for his military fiction and political thrillers than this quirky paperback that appeared in 2006. The cover artwork of a woman in jeans with a Japanese katana (sword) fighting some scaly beast was intriguing enough to get me to flip it over at the bookstore. The back copy about this homemaker drawn into the supernatural was clever enough to make me buy it and the ensuing tales of mayhem, magic, wry humour and Faith ensured it a permanent place on my basement bookshelves.

Princess of Wands is actually three books in one. Book One, The Almadu Sanction, explains how a seemingly normal Soccer Mom, Barbara Everette, decides to take a break from her family for a weekend to restore her sanity and discovers that she is actually a Believer who can help battle against the evil that is lurking in the Bayous beyond New Orleans. Book Two, The Necromancy Option, is Barbara’s first team mission to root out the evil that lurks at a Sci-FI/Fantasy convention (anyone who has ever been to a Con will find themselves laughing out loud on several occasions) and Book Three, Broken Sabbath, is a short but satisfying romp into how this Christian warrior manages to protect her family without truly revealing what she has been up to on the side.

For the rest of the review and a link to Baen’s FREE version of this book, check out the Book Hoarding Dragon‘s blog.

Teresaelectro’s CBR4 Review #2 – Saint City Sinners by Lilith Saintcrow

I’ve been steadily researching the paranormal romance/mystery genre for some time as I plot my post-MA writing endeavor. I breezed through Charlaine Harris’ True Blood oeuvre (yes, Deadlocked is in fact winging its way to my door this second) last year. In attempt to cleanse my literary supernatural palette, I delved into Working for the Devil, the first book in the Danny Valentine series by Lilith Saintcrow.Fast forward 6 months and I’m neck deep into the fourth book!

Ms. Valentine is a necromancer, bounty hunter and assassin if the money is right. She speaks to the dead to catch killers by hearing the story from the ghost horse’s mouth. She is also handy with a sword ala’ Black Mamba in Kill Bill.

Read rest of my review at:  Confessions of a Pop Culture Addict

Gabe3886’s #CBR4 review #6 Last Light by Andy McNab

Last light by Andy McNabNick Stone – deniable operator for British Intelligence – has been assigned to carry out an officially-sanctioned assassination. When he realizes who the target is, he refuses. But he is then given a chilling ultimatum: fly to Central America and finish the job, or the eleven-year-old orphan in his care will get killed.

Stone arrives in sweltering Panama close to breaking point. His life is in pieces, but things only get worse when he finds himself caught at the centre of a lethal conspiracy involving Columbian guerrillas. Hundreds of innocent lives are at stake.

Their only chance of rescue is Stone. But he has a critically injured friend to rescue, miles of dense rainforest to navigate and the toughest decision of his life to make…

Read the full review on my website.

Gabe3886′s #CBR4 review #5 Pacific Vortex by Clive Cussler

Pacific Vortex by Clive CusslerThe US Navy’s latest and greatest nuclear submarine is out on its test voyage in the pacific ocean when the underwater terrain changes and the sea bed rises in places which are not on their charts.  When the captain has a look out, he notices a mysterious fog patch in a place where, logically, there should not be one.  The submarine changes course to investigate the mysterious bank of fog, but things start to go wrong.  The sea bed rises faster than they expect and they find themselves stuck.

No trace was found of the submarine, and the Navy’s greatest technological vessel has been lost in what is called The Pacific Vortex.

Six months later, Dirk Pitt is relaxing on a beach when he notices something unusual in the water.  Being experienced with the sea, he ventures out very carefully to get it, but doesn’t realise how bad things are.  Once he finally struggles back to shore and opens the capsule he has a realisation of how important this object is and informs the Navy.  It appears there is a sign of the submarine after all.

To read the rest of the story overview, and what I thought of the first Dirk Pitt novel by Clive Cussler, read the review on my website.

Gabe3886′s #CBR4 review #4 Firewall by Andy McNab

Having become the legal guardian of Kelly, the child of his best friend who was murdered for knowing too much, Nick stone finds himself in desperate need of money.  Kelly is in therapy with post traumatic stress disorder after remembering in vivid detail the brutal manner in which her family has killed.  In order to pay for her therapy, Nick accepts a freelance job which requires him to kidnap a Russian mafia warlord.

When that doesn’t go as planned, Nick is recruited to help steal a computer program which can give the owner access to top secret communications.  This time, there is more money at stake, and there’s more than some angry Russians after it this time.

My full review for this is over on my website (opens a new window).

Later this week, I’ll review the first in the Dirk Pitt series of adventures by Clive Cussler.

Petalfrog’s #CBR4 #10: No Shelter by Robert Swartwood

This is the third book by Robert Swartwood that I have read (see a review for Man of Wax here), and I am seeing that his style is quite distinctive. So far it seems that there is some version of “hold loved ones hostage to make protagonist do something they don’t want to.” This is fine, since it certainly provides lots of action, but I would like to see him vary it up a bit.

This time our protagonist is Holly Lin, nanny by day, assassin by night. She is a kick ass, but deeply flawed character. We get some background on her as the book progresses, and get the sense that she was once the top of her field but events over the last couple years are causing her to unravel a bit. She’s taking risks where she normally wouldn’t and going off books too often. It’s this that drives the storyline.

Read the rest of my review here!

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