Book Reviews: Two for the Price of One

Catching up on book reviews today, so rather than have two separate posts I figured I’d lump both here together. The first book is Alex Dolan’s debut novel, The Euthanist

euthanistThis was a novel I was looking forward to reading after hearing so much hype around it. The premise is brilliant, the story revolving around “Kali,” who volunteers her time to help those in need of “moving on” in life. Basically a self-subscribed murderer, but in a different sort than we’re used to seeing; Kali takes those who are suffering from terminal illnesses and aids them in ending their lives.

A lot of research went into this novel, and I appreciated the depth to which the idea of euthanasia was explored, especially seeing characters who cast opposing views towards it. The plot has Kali caught by an FBI agent posing as a dying patient, but instead of arresting her he has other ideas in mind.

This is a novel that continuously keeps you on your toes, wondering where it’s going, and Kali is one intriguing protagonist. There were a couple of missed opportunities in my mind, areas that could have been explored, but overall this was a tremendous read. Great pace, characters, a fantastic debut for Mr. Dolan. Highly recommended.

Next up is the fourth in a series of what I guess you could call “financial thrillers.”

saving jasonSaving Jason is the fourth book in the Jason Stafford series unfortunately falters into the “been there, done that” category. (Even the title is bland … blecgh).

Now let me preface this review by saying I love this series. Michael Sears has created a world that few authors ever achieve — highly original characters (from our protagonist Jason, to his autistic son “The Kid” to Skelly; list goes on and on) set in an intriguing backdrop (Wall Street / the financial world) with a breakneck pace and thrilling adventures. When I first discovered the first book in this series, “Black Fridays,” I told everyone about it; it was that good.

But this book sort of hit the neutral gear and coasted, to me. The setup wasn’t nearly as intriguing, the “villains” were downright ridiculous, and the novel was divided in that it didn’t know what it wanted to be. Part One and Part Two were almost completely different stories and the few things that tied them together didn’t really work. The conflict never felt real but forced and rather than a harrowing conclusion it all just felt way too easy.

I still enjoyed Sears’ writing style and quirky characters, but it wasn’t enough to redeem a book that probably needed a “Page One Rewrite.” I still would recommend the series to anyone who hasn’t yet read Sears’ work. Start with Black Fridays and work your way through, it’s definitely a series you won’t regret reading.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s