Hunting Zero (Agent Zero #3) ★☆☆☆☆

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Title: Hunting Zero
Series: Agent Zero #3
Authors: Jack Mars
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 293
Words: 102K



Synopsis:

From the Publisher

“You will not sleep until you are finished with AGENT ZERO. A superb job creating a set of characters who are fully developed and very much enjoyable. The description of the action scenes transport us into a reality that is almost like sitting in a movie theater with surround sound and 3D (it would make an incredible Hollywood movie). I can hardly wait for the sequel.”–Roberto Mattos, Books and Movie ReviewsIn HUNTING ZERO (Book #3), when CIA operative Agent Zero finds out his two teenage girls have been kidnapped and are bound for a trafficking ring in Eastern Europe, he embarks on a high-octane chase across Europe, leaving a trail of devastation is his wake as he breaks all rules, risks his own life, and does everything he can to get his daughters back.Kent, ordered by the CIA to stand down, refuses. Without the backing of the agency, with moles and assassins on all sides, with a lover he can barely trust, and being targeted himself, Agent Zero must fight multiple foes to get his girls back.Up against the most deadly trafficking ring in Europe, with political connections reaching all the way to the top, it is an unlikely battle—one man against an army—and one that only Agent Zero can wage.And yet, his own identity, he realizes, may be the most perilous secret of all.

My Thoughts:

I am so done with this series now. Agent Zero acts like an angry dad without one ounce of professionalism and breaks every rule even though he knows the rules are his best bet. He acts stupid, emotional and the man I read about would never in a million years have become a top agent of the CIA, or an agent for anything other than a Jihad. His emotionally driven reactions reminded me EXACTLY of jihadi’s in other books I’ve read.

So goodbye Kent Steele, you’ve wasted enough of my time with your lying ass claims to be a secret agent. You’re a dumbass, that’s it.

Rating: 1 out of 5.
  • Not Even Going to Link to the Other Books So You Don’t Waste Your Time On This Garbage

Dead Silence ★☆☆☆☆

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Title: Dead Silence
Series: ———-
Authors: Stacey Barnes
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 319
Words: 109.5K



Synopsis:

From the Publisher & Me

Claire Kovalik is days away from being unemployed―made obsolete―when her beacon repair crew picks up a strange distress signal. With nothing to lose and no desire to return to Earth, Claire and her team decide to investigate.

What they find is shocking: the Aurora, a famous luxury spaceliner that vanished on its maiden tour of the solar system more than twenty years ago. A salvage claim like this could set Claire and her crew up for life. But a quick search of the ship reveals something isn’t right.

Whispers in the dark. Flickers of movement. Messages scrawled in blood. Claire must fight to hold on to her sanity and find out what really happened on the Aurora before she and her crew meet the same ghastly fate.

Turns out everything was caused by a machine put on board the ship by a rival company that was supposed to make everyone feel dread and uneasiness. The ship used a new alloy and the interactions between the machine and ship drove everyone insane.

Claire survives as does her loverboy and they get rich and own their own shipping company. The end.

My Thoughts:

I went into this with very high hopes. Both Mogsy and Maddalena had reviewed it and while there were some little things that niggled at me, what they wrote sounded fantastic.

Things started out really great. I’m talking Event Horizon levels of great in fact. Which is exactly what I wanted and was looking for. Then I find out the main character is insane, so I can’t trust a word coming out of her mouth, then the whole “scary” situation gets “scyenzesplained” to me and THEN romance right at the end where the man knows exactly what to do and what to say like he’d read the main character’s insane mind and was pretty much the perfectest man ever.

It blew my mind. In a bad way. I was pretty angry in fact. To go from people ripping their own eyeballs out to scyenze to romance was more than I could take. Stacey Barnes took a space elevator ride straight to my Authors to Avoid list with this book. What gets me is that it DID start out so fantastic. WHY did she have to go and change things and ruin everything? I could smell the hotdog. I could see the hotdog. Then the author gave me a celery stick and acts like it was that all along. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

So if you want a scary story that is ruined by scyenze and romance, this is definitely the book for you. If I cared more, I’d cross post this review to all sorts of other platforms just to give people fair warning. But in about 10 years nobody will ever remember this book, because it truly is that bad. I’ll step aside and let Time be the author’s executioner.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Calamity Town (Ellery Queen) ★✬☆☆☆

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Title: Calamity Town
Series: Ellery Queen
Authors: Ellery Queen
Rating: 1.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 198
Words: 80K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia & Me

Ellery Queen moves into the small town of Wrightsville, somewhere in New England, in order to get some peace and quiet so that he can write a book. As a result of renting a furnished house, he becomes peripherally involved in the story of Jim Haight and Nora Wright. Nora’s father is president of the Wrightsville National bank, “oldest family in town”, and when the head cashier Jim Haight became engaged to his daughter Nora, he built and furnished a house for them as a wedding present. That was three years ago—the day before the wedding, Jim Haight disappeared, the wedding was called off, and the jinxed house became known as “Calamity House”. Ellery rents it, just before the return of Jim Haight, and the wedding is soon on again. Ellery finds some evidence that Jim is planning to poison Nora and, after the wedding, she does display some symptoms of arsenic poisoning. But it is Jim’s sister Rosemary who dies after drinking a poisoned cocktail. Jim is tried for the murder and it is only after some startling and tragic events that Ellery reveals the identity of the murderer.

Haight had gotten married after the original wedding didn’t happen and his wife wouldn’t divorce him. So he married Nora and she found out that he was now a bigamist and it drove her right off the mental tracks. She planned everything and killed Rosemary, who was actually Haight’s wife and Jim escaped prison with the help of his real sister and killed himself by driving off a cliff in the escape car. Nora gives birth and dies. Happy times for everyone.

My Thoughts:

Why people think something like this story is fit entertainment, to be written OR read, is beyond me. But I am done with “Ellery Queen”. I didn’t like this and I haven’t liked any of the previous books, so kaput, I’m done.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Morningside Fall DNF@55% Unrated

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Title: Morningside Fall
Series: Legends of the Duskwalker #2
Authors: Jay Posey
Rating: Unrated / DNF@55%
Genre: SF
Pages: 192 / 350
Words: 78.5K / 143K



Synopsis:

From the Publisher

The lone gunman Three is gone.

Wren is the new governor of the devastated settlement of Morningside, but there is turmoil in the city. When his life is put in danger, Wren is forced to flee Morningside until he and his retinue can determine who can be trusted.

They arrive at a border outpost to find it has been infested with Weir in greater numbers than anyone has ever seen. These lost, dangerous creatures are harboring a terrible secret—one that will have consequences not just for Wren and his comrades, but for the future of what remains of the world.

New threats need new heroes . . .

My Thoughts:

I was not enjoying my time reading this and so I stopped. I don’t care enough about Posey anymore to figure out if this was him or me. Doesn’t matter. Won’t be reading any more by him.

The Gathering Flame ★☆☆☆☆

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Title: The Gathering Flame
Series: Mageworlds #4
Authors: Debra Doyle & James Macdonald
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 371
Words: 136K



Synopsis:

From the Publisher

The Mageworlds are plundering the civilized galaxy. One planet at a time. First, their scoutships appeared above the outplanets. Raiding parties followed, then whole armadas bent on loot and conquest. The Mages break the warfleets that oppose them. They take entire planets. Who can stop them?

Not Perada Rosselin, Domina of Entibor. She’s the absolute ruler of a rich world and all its colonies, but Entibor’s space fleet is too small to mount a defense. And Perada herself, just back from school on distant Galcen, is almost an outworlder in her own court.

Not Jod Metadi, the most famous – or notorious – of the privateers of Innish-Kyl. Jos can fight the Mages and he can best them one on one, but his preferred targets are cargo vessels, not the dangerous and unprofitable ships of war. Metadi stays clear of the Mageworlds’ battle fleet – when he can.

Not Errec Ransome. He understands the Magelords better than anyone. But there are some things he’ll never tell – and some things he’s sworn to himself that he’ll never do again.

Now, the Mages have attacked Entibor. That was their first mistake…

My Thoughts:

Overall, I enjoyed this prequel about the parents of the characters in the previous three books. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy it as much and in some ways I was very disappointed.

Perada’s two sons aren’t Joss Metadi’s. They were conceived for political reasons. In fact, one of them is Eric Ransome’s and Metadi just shrugs it off. I REAAAAALLLLY disliked both parts of that.

By the end of the book Entibor is a slag heap and the mages did it by using hundreds of mage circles on Entibor to move the tectonic plates and thus destroy the surface of the planet. It was pretty cool if you think about it.

Then there were the 2 women who I thought were just friends. So that line got crossed and put the authors on my to avoid list. Honestly, I’m almost glad that happened so I didn’t have to muster up some fake enthusiasm to continue on with the rest of the series.

While this series started really strong for me, it has gone downhill with each successive book and with this one stepped right off the cliff face. Well, time to go find another series to try.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Flashman ✬☆☆☆☆

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Title: Flashman
Series: The Flashman Papers #1
Authors: George Fraser
Rating: 0.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 231
Words: 100K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org

Plot introduction

Presented within the frame of the discovery of the supposedly historical Flashman Papers, this book chronicles the subsequent career of the bully Flashman from Tom Brown’s School Days. The book begins with a fictional note explaining that the Flashman Papers were discovered in 1965 during a sale of household furniture in Ashby, Leicestershire.

The papers are attributed to Harry Paget Flashman, the bully featured in Thomas Hughes’ novel, who becomes a well-known Victorian military hero (in Fraser’s fictional England). The papers were supposedly written between 1900 and 1905. The subsequent publishing of these papers, of which Flashman is the first installment, contrasts the public image of a (fictional) hero with his own more scandalous account of his life as an amoral and cowardly bully.

Flashman begins with the eponymous hero’s own account of his expulsion from Rugby and ends with his fame as “the Hector of Afghanistan”. It details his life from 1839 to 1842 and his travels to Scotland, India, and Afghanistan.

It also contains a number of notes by the author, in the guise of a mere editor of the papers, providing additional historical glosses on the events described. The history in these books is largely accurate; most of the prominent figures Flashman meets were real people.

Plot summary

Flashman’s expulsion from Rugby for drunkenness leads him to join the British Army in what he hopes will be a sinecure. He joins the 11th Regiment of Light Dragoons commanded by Lord Cardigan, to whom he toadies in his best style. After an affair with a fellow-officer’s lover, he is challenged to a duel but wins after promising a large sum of money to the pistol loader to give his opponent a blank load in his gun. He does not kill his opponent but instead delopes and accidentally shoots the top off a bottle thirty yards away, an action that gives him instant fame and the respect of the Duke of Wellington.

Once the reason for fighting emerges, the army stations Flashman in Scotland. He is quartered with the family of textile industrialist Morrison and soon enough takes advantage of one of the daughters, Elspeth. After a forced marriage, Flashman is required to resign the Hussars due to marrying below his station. He is given another option, to make his reputation in India.

By showing off his language and riding skills in India, Flashman is assigned to the staff of Major General William George Keith Elphinstone, who is to command the garrison at the worst frontier of the British Empire at that time, Afghanistan. Upon arrival, he meets a soldier who relates the narrow escape he made in November 1842, on the first night of the Afghan Uprising. After Akbar Khan proclaims a general revolt which the citizens of Kabul immediately heed, a mob storms the house of Sir Alexander Burnes, one of the senior British political officers, and murders him and his staff. The soldier, stationed nearby, manages to flee in midst of the confusion.

This tale sets the tone for Flashman’s proceeding adventures, including the 1842 retreat from Kabul and the Battle of Jellalabad, in the First Anglo-Afghan War. Despite being captured, tortured and escaping death numerous times, hiding and shirking his duty as much as possible, he comes through it with a hero’s reputation … although his triumph is tempered when he realizes his wife might have been unfaithful while he was away.

My Thoughts:

The byline by one paper’s review (on the cover but probably illegible at that size) is “Villainy Triumphant”. That is the most apt description for this book.

This was a vile piece of filth, a vomitorium of trash, something so wrong that it left me sputtering because I couldn’t finds to express my utter disgust and horror that something like this could exist.

Flashman lies, cheats, murders and rapes his way through this book and is not only unrepentant but glad he did everything he did. He also considers anyone not looking out exclusively for themselves as idiots of the first order. While Flashman might be a fictional construct, the author thought this up and I trust he will be judged in the end for having created something so vile.

Evil and vile are the two words that spring to mind. I am sickened and appalled that someone would write something like this for entertainment.

This month is not turning out well for me and books.

Rating: 0.5 out of 5.

Sharpe’s Prey ★★★☆☆

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Title: Sharpe’s Prey
Series: Sharpe #5
Authors: Bernard Cornwell
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 246
Words: 103K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org

The year is 1807, and Richard Sharpe is at a very low point in his life. His beloved aristocratic lover, Lady Grace Hale, has died in childbirth, along with their newborn son. Her family’s lawyers then took all of Sharpe’s wealth (loot he obtained fighting in India), claiming it was Grace’s and that it now reverts to her family. Destitute and relegated to the menial job of quartermaster, Sharpe is on the streets of London, contemplating leaving the army.

First though, he revisits the foundling home where he was raised to get his revenge. He robs and kills Jem Hocking, his childhood tormentor.

Then a former commanding officer, Major General David Baird, finds him in a pub. Captain John Lavisser was assigned a bodyguard for a secret mission to Copenhagen, but the bodyguard was killed, supposedly by a common footpad, and a replacement is needed immediately. Baird persuades Sharpe to take the job. Lavisser does not want a bodyguard since he already has a huge servant named Barker, but orders are orders. Lord Pumphrey of the Foreign Office gives Sharpe a contact in case he runs into trouble.

Denmark is neutral, but has a powerful fleet. Napoleon wants to replace the ships France lost at the Battle of Trafalgar, and Britain is equally determined to see to it that does not happen. Lavisser’s task is to bribe the Danish crown prince to hand over the fleet for safekeeping. (Lavisser’s grandfather is the prince’s chamberlain, and they are also related by marriage.) If that fails, the British will have to seize the ships by force.

When they go ashore in Denmark, Sharpe narrowly escapes being killed by Barker. He walks to Copenhagen and goes to see Ole Skovgaard, the emergency contact. Skovgaard turns out to be the main spy for Britain in Denmark. Meanwhile, Lavisser defects to the Danes and “confesses” that the British have sent an assassin to kill the crown prince. Skovgaard reads this lie in the newspaper and locks Sharpe in a room to await Lavisser. Sharpe escapes just in time. Lavisser turns out to be in the employ of the French; he and his men torture Skovgaard for the names of his contacts throughout Europe. Sharpe manages to kill some of Lavisser’s henchmen and drive the rest off. During his stay at Skovgaard’s house, he and Skovgaard’s beautiful widowed daughter, Astrid, become attracted to each other. They eventually sleep together, and Sharpe contemplates settling down in Copenhagen with her.

When the British besiege Copenhagen, Sharpe joins them. The Danes refuse to surrender their fleet, so the British bombard the city. Sharpe, by now knowing the general layout of Copenhagen, guides a small force to the Danish ships, which have been prepared for burning in case the British break in. The men hide aboard the ships and safeguard them against burning. Meanwhile, Sharpe goes to Skovgaard’s, only to find he has been captured and tortured again by Lavisser, who obtains the names of the British spies. Sharpe rescues Skovgaard, kills Lavisser and Barker, and gets the list of names. The city surrenders, and the Danish fleet is captured intact.

Skovgaard will no longer work for the British after what they have done to his city. He also orders Astrid to break up with Sharpe, which she does. Lord Pumphrey has Sharpe sent back to England, as he does not want the rifleman to learn that he must have the Skovgaards killed; they know too much.

My Thoughts:

My issues with Sharpe and his behavior continue and as such I think I’m going to call it quits. I also really disliked that Cornwell, the author, kills off a woman and child to propel Sharpe on his continued path of anti-hero. Just like I discussed last month in the “Project X – V” post, villains are bad, and anti-heroes are not much better in my eyes.

So while the writing is great, the over all story is engaging and very interesting and I like reading these adventures, the in your face immorality of Sharpe and Cornwell’s philosophy of anti-hero’ness are too much to overcome.

If neither of those things bother you, then I would recommend trying out this series if you want some action packed historical fiction. If you would like a more positive set of reviews, Jenn at Eternal Bookcase has been reviewing the Sharpe books as well.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Hangman’s Holiday ★☆☆☆☆ DNF@55%

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Title: Hangman’s Holiday
Series: Lord Peter Wimsey #9
Author: Dorothy Sayers
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 234 /DNF@120
Words: 63K /DNF@32K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia:

Lord Peter Wimsey stories:

  • “The Image in the Mirror” – Wimsey must help a man with situs inversus, who believes he is going mad after being haunted by a doppelganger.
  • “The Incredible Elopement of Lord Peter Wimsey” – A man studying Basque culture enlists Wimsey’s help in saving an expatriate American woman whom the villagers believe is bewitched.
  • “The Queen’s Square” – Wimsey attends a fancy dress ball during the Christmas season, where several people dressed as chess pieces become suspected of killing a female blackmailer.
  • “The Necklace of Pearls” – Wimsey tries to avoid scandal when a fun-filled Christmas Eve at Sir Septimus Shale’s house turns into an uncomfortable affair after a priceless pearl necklace goes missing.
  • Montague Egg stories:
    • “The Poisoned Dow ’08” – Mr. Egg arrives at a client’s house to find him dead, and the police in need of evidence about a shipment of bottles Mr. Egg delivered earlier.
    • “Sleuths on the Scent” – Mr. Egg uses his knowledge of various professions to flush out a murderer hiding in a pub.
    • “Murder in the Morning” – Mr. Egg finds himself one of those suspected in the murder of a client, and gives evidence at inquest.
    • “One Too Many” – Mr. Egg’s knowledge of the train ticket system helps the police find an absconding banker and his secretary.
    • “Murder at Pentecost” – While trying to win a bet against an Oxford University student, Mr. Egg discovers the motive and opportunity of a very clever murderer.
    • “Maher-Shalal-Hashbaz” – After helping an impoverished child sell her cat, Mr. Egg discovers the cat has run away from its new home and in tracing it back discovers the brutal murder of more than fifty cats and an elderly man.
  • Other stories:
    • “The Man Who Knew How”- A man becomes obsessed with finding and stopping what he believes is a serial killer.
    • “The Fountain Plays” – A man being blackmailed tries to figure out how to rid himself of his tormentor, but finds himself at the mercy of a second blackmailer.
My Thoughts:

This is the book where Sayers and I part ways. I realized it was her, and her writing style, that grated on me and not necessarily the character of Lord Peter Wimsey. I figured this out because half this blasted book wasn’t EVEN ABOUT Lord Wimsey. I felt cheated and tricked.

When Sayers can be bothered, she can tell a great story. The problem is that she messes up her stories by making it all about the mystery and the process instead of the story itself being the central point. I don’t want to solve the mystery or have every blasted detail etched into my brain. I want a good story. Apparently Mrs Sayers disagrees with me and I’m forced to believe that so do her adherents.

Be that as it may, I’m done. This wasn’t the first LPW book that I wished was finished quicker, but the fact that I simply quit after the second Montague Egg story was enough. Enough is enough is enough.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Department 19 (Department 19 #1) ★✬☆☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Department 19
Series: Department 19 #1
Authors: Will Hill
Rating: 1.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Pages: 379
Words: 133K



Synopsis:

From the inside cover

Jamie Carpenter’s life will never be the same. His father is dead, his mother is missing, and he was just rescued by an enormous man named Frankenstein. Jamie is brought to Department 19, where he is pulled into a secret organization responsible for policing the supernatural, founded more than a century ago by Abraham Van Helsing and the other survivors of Dracula. Aided by Frankenstein’s monster, a beautiful vampire girl with her own agenda, and the members of the agency, Jamie must attempt to save his mother from a terrifyingly powerful vampire.

Department 19 takes us through history, across Europe, and beyond – from the cobbled streets of Victorian London to prohibition-era New York, from the icy wastes of Arctic Russia to the treacherous mountains of Transylvania. Part modern thriller, part classic horror, it’s packed with mystery, mayhem, and a level of suspense that makes a Darren Shan novel look like a romantic comedy.

My Thoughts:

I went into this hoping for a rollicking good ride of monster killing. Instead, I get the following:

  • there was no profanity EXCEPT taking God or Jesus’ name in vain. It was a constant barrage of breaking the 4th Commandment. It had me close to dnf’ing on that alone
  • whiny 16 year old boy “knows things” (not even psychically, but just because he said so) so they must be right and everybody acts on it, even when they say they won’t
  • He’s never fired a gun in his life and has been physically bullied by other teens, but once he’s had 24hrs of training, he’s a vampire killing machine that sets a new record in the “simulation”
  • a vampire girl is supposed to kill him and then lies and deceives him for her own purposes, but she really loves him and they make out, so she’s all ok
  • a 200 year old super secret military organization just lets him requisition troops, guns, helicopters, whatever and ignores him instead of locking him up whenever he throws a teenage tempter tantrum “because of his mom”

I think that’s enough. I knew this was Young Adult (definitely not middle grade due to the graphic nature of some of the violence) but I was kind of hoping it would be Monster Hunters International for teens. Nope. What I got was Anakin Skywalker (mommy issues and all) hunting vampires. The final nail in the coffin (because a book this bad needs at least one good/bad joke) was how Jamie kills the boss vampire in the end. Now, you have to remember that vampires have been shown, IN THIS BOOK, to have super hearing, are super fast and strong and can survive being dropped from an airplane and crashing headfirst into the ground. So Jamie uses a crossbow to pull a big cross onto the most powerful vampire in the world and the vampire doesn’t realize what he’s doing, doesn’t hear the cross creaking and falling, nor does he move out of the way and once it brains him, he just lies there, dead. It was the most ridiculous thing I had (almost) ever read.

I don’t recommend this for Christians because of the blasphemy, I don’t recommend this for teens because of the graphic violence and I don’t recommend it for adults because of how stupid it is.

So much for this series!

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Hard Day’s Knight (Black Knight Chronicles #1) ★☆☆☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Hard Day’s Knight
Series: Black Knight Chronicles #1
Authors: John Hartness
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 230
Words: 62K



Synopsis:

From the Publisher

Children are missing.

The police are stumped.

Halloween is coming, and an ancient evil is on the horizon.

The vampires are the good guys.

This is not your ordinary fall weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina. Vampire private detectives Jimmy Black and Greg Knightwood have been hired to save a client from being cursed for all eternity, but end up in a bigger mess than they ever imagined.

Suddenly trapped in the middle of a serial kidnapping case, Jimmy and Greg uncover a plot to bring forth an ancient evil. Soon, they’ve enlisted the help of a police detective, a priest, a witch, a fallen angel and a strip club proprietor to save the world. This unlikely band of heroes battles zombies, witches, neuroses and sunburn while cracking jokes and looking for the perfect bag of O-negative.

My Thoughts:

Ranting and theological oriented stuff ahead. Read at your own rist.

This type of book is the EXACT reason I don’t read much urban fantasy. If imams were portrayed the way most priests are, you can bet your bottom dollar there would be riots and violence and other imams going full on mufti and screaming out death notice fatwas faster than you could eat a porkchop from Willie Jewels Barbeque! In fact, the author would be in danger of having his head cut off or being gunned down at his business (just look what happened to the Charlie Hebdo publication in France!) Heck, if Hartness had written it that way and gone to Malaysia, the government itself might just cut off his head, or at best beat him until he promised to not write like that anymore. But do you see hordes of roman catholics beating down Hartness’s door, or Cardinals (the guys just lower than the Pope) sic’ing the Jesuits on him? No, you don’t. What you get is bloggers like me sighing and rolling their eyes at the absolute stupidity and lack of knowledge exhibited here.

The older I get the more I care about how Christianity is portrayed in fiction. Not because it bothers me personally but because of how many people take their cue from fiction. If you were to ask the average Joe or Josephina on the street if a priest who was truly devout would have a comparative religions breakfast with the leader of a coven of witches every month so they could genially compare theological notes, they’d probably wonder why that would be a problem at all. And that is the least of the things I had a problem with in this book. For that example, it wasn’t that the priest was friends with a witch. He should be. You can’t show Christ to people if you refuse to be their friends and don’t interact with them. But it was the “comparative” part coupled with the truly devout. On matters of theology, a Christian is not going to come together with people of other faiths and claim that they’re all equal. Only one of those faiths is genuine and since the Bible declares itself to be the Word of God Himself, a devout Christian is going to treat it as such.

Then you have stuff like demons vs fallen angels vs angels. There were no angels in this story. Just a couple of demons and a fallen angel. Who ends up being allowed to go back to Heaven “because he just had to ask”. I barely even know where to start with what is so wrong with ALL of that. Angels and demons are not just amped up humans with a pair of wings of either dovelike or batlike appearance. You cannot ascribe human emotions and reasoning to them because THEY ARE NOT HUMANS!!! That’s just the tip of it for that issue and I’m already holding my head in my hands (which is quite a feat as I’m also typng this!). I think that is enough from me. Any more and I’ll just start upsetting myself and there’s no need for that.

In conclusion, I won’t be reading any more in this series and I’ll be avoiding Hartness as an author in general.

Rating: 1 out of 5.