Posts Tagged ‘Thriller’

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http://www.amazon.com/Silent-Cats-Deadly-J-D-Wallace-ebook/dp/B0153POH9Q

Silent Cats: Deadly Dance by J. D. Wallace tells the story of two international super spies, Alyn “Kat” David of the Israeli Mossad, and Marcus “Pantera” Sinclair from the American CIA.  I don’t feel like I’m spoiling anything if I tell you that Kat and her two daughters are dead within the first ten pages, especially when that is mentioned in the back cover description.  Marcus, her husband, is told the news and immediately rushes to identify the bodies of his wife and children.  Once he is by their side, he remembers exactly how he and Kat met sixteen years before, as well as the better part of the first year that they knew one another.  It’s these memories that make up the largest part of Silent Cats: Deadly Dance, and they take the reader on a roller coaster of emotions.

This book is a high-octane thriller from the the start.  Military and covert action scenes are described with an intensity that comes from a writer who seemingly knows exactly what he’s talking about.  That familiarity with the material really allows the reader to trust Wallace as an authority to this secretive world where few can be believed, and even fewer can be trusted.  The other part about this novel that I really enjoyed is the building of the relationship between Kat and Pantera.  It doesn’t go as one would expect, and it is certainly not perfect from the start.  Each of them has to work to gain the other’s trust, and that is a long, bumpy, and often painful road for both.

There were two minor issues that I had with this book.  The first is the plot structure.  As this is supposed to be the first book in a series, I understand why the ending was effectively the first part of the story, however, I don’t think it was necessary.  It leaves the novel with a slight feeling of being incomplete because the narrative starts with this major catalytic event and then drops sixteen years into the past to tell the story of how the two main characters met, without giving anything of what happened over that span of more than a decade.  I can’t say too much without spoiling the story, so unfortunately I’m going to have to leave it at that.  My other issue was the chapter breaks.  Wallace does a decent job in this respect, but I feel like some of the breaks just happen at odd times, in the middle of scenes.  The novel has 114 short chapters, plus an epilogue.  I feel like many of those chapters could have easily been combined together to make more cohesive scenes without some of the odd interruptions.

Despite the two minor structural issues, I really enjoyed this novel and had a great time reading it.  I would highly recommend it for fans of thrillers, spy stories, and romance.  You won’t be disappointed.

Silent Cats: Deadly Dance can be purchased on Amazon.

The Verdict for Silent Cats: Deadly Dance:
4 out of 5

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Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

 

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So in sticking with the theme of summer horror/thriller for the time being, I was asked to review the novelette Unknown Sender, by author Ryan Lanz.  Will the chills of this short story keep you up at night?  Find out below.

Unknown Sender tells the story of introverted college student, Jessica, who has started receiving strange and sometimes frightening text messages from a blocked cell phone number.  As the texts become more personal, Jessica grows increasingly paranoid, and things start to spiral further and further out of control.  The story boils to a climax when she tries to get away from everything for a weekend, but she learns that there’s only so far she can run, and some things are simply inescapable.

In this story, Lanz crafts an impressively twisted narrative.  One where I was eagerly anticipating what new message Jessica’s mystery contact would send her.  As a character, Jessica is deep, and interesting.  You feel her fear and vulnerability as the text messages get increasingly personal, knowing things that only she should know.  The story feeds on her fear of being observed by unwanted eyes, which can be an absolutely terrifying thing for an introvert who essentially just wants to be left alone.  After Jessica, I felt the mystery sender was the second most interesting character in the story.  The texts arrive at just the right time to stir up certain feelings and emotions for the main character, which works really well to increase the tension and push the plot along.  Other supporting characters in the story are somewhat one dimensional, but that’s to be expected in a short story where only so much attention can be devoted to secondary characters, so it doesn’t take away too much from the overall story experience.

The story itself is one that all of us can relate to.  Who hasn’t gotten a phone call or text message from a number that they didn’t recognize?  Unknown Sender takes that idea and runs with it to its extremes, like daring to ask the question, what would happen if the person on the other end of that number knew things about you, things that no one else should know?  Lanz plays on that fear and paranoia well and draws it to a genuinely surprising conclusion.  I didn’t see the ending coming for two reasons.  The first of which is because it was unexpected, which is a great thing.  The second is because it came completely out of left field, with minimal foreshadowing, so it almost felt somewhat unnatural.  It wasn’t unrealistic enough to be bad, but I felt like there should have been more hinting at it throughout the story, just to give the effect more shock, and a little less confusion.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this story, my minor issues with the secondary characters and ending aside, it genuinely kept me on the edge of my seat wanting to read more, which is perhaps the best compliment I can give to an author.  For 99 cents on Amazon it’s an absolute steal.  You can, and should check out Unknown Sender for a quick summer thrill read at the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/Sender-Ryan-Lanz-ebook/dp/B00YZZ0K0Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433598133&sr=8-1&keywords=ryan+lanz

The Verdict for Unknown Sender:
4/5 – I can dig it.

Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

Upcoming reviews:
Ultimate End #2 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Ghost Racers #1 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Weirdworld #1 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Secret Wars: Journal #2

East of West, Volume 4: Who Wants War TPB
March of the Crabs, Volume 1: The Crabby Condition