Thursday, February 14, 2019

Steven Hamitlon: The Second Life of Nick Mason

Steven Hamilton introduces readers to Nick Mason who is about to start the second chapter of his life, just not quite the second chapter he was hoping for;

Nick Mason has spent the past 5 years in prison when an offer comes that he cannot refuse, he can get out 20 years early. For Nick this means h can once again be part of his daughter's life, he can try to be a new man on the outside. Nick doesn't fully understand the terms of his release until the first call comes in, he has to follow the orders, there is no yes or no answer he must do what he is told. He is now being controlled by  Darius Cole who is a criminal mastermind and rules his organization from his prison cell. Nick is forced to commit even more serious crimes than the one that he was originally put away for, but he cannot renege on agreement. He wants to go straight but in order to do so he has to risk everything and become ruthless in the process.

I really enjoyed this book it was fast paced and gritty with interesting main character. What stands out in this book is that Hamilton did not shy away from the grit that needed to be in this book to make this book not only believable but also unputdownable. This is fully a character driven book, yes there is some mystery as to why Nick is being asked to complete these tasks and who is this Darius Cole guy (he is explained in the book) but it more about Nick readjusting to being outside, trying to stay there and adapting to his new life and the tasks he is asked to complete. Now with many books where the main character is released from prison there are some cliche found here but even though they are cliche I think they hold a ring of real world truth, like the wife divorcing him and wanting to remarry or regretting the choices he made that landed him in prison. Sure similar books have this too but I think this just adds to the realism of the book.

Mason is an interesting anti-hero. He is willing do to anything to protect those he loves (he's loyal to a fault) and that includes murder, yep you read that right straight out murder, but he tries to keep to a certain type of rules and code to. Obviously this code/rules is hard to stick to when someone other than himself is giving the orders. The one thing that I did not get out of Nick’s personality was he goes from thief/robber to cold blooded murderer. Maybe Cole saw something in Nick that we as the reader are not aware of but it just doesn’t fit his previous profile. However, it is intriguing to see how much Nick does change from the beginning to the end of the book and it was quite a ride.

I’m extremely happy this did not have a cookie cutter ending where everything works out, if it did not only would I have liked the book less but in the scheme of the plot it would not have made sense to be tied up nicely in the end. I’m really looking forward to continuing on with this series.

Great start to a series. Nick is an awesome character who really is the main focus of this book and Hamilton does him justice in his development and story. I will unqestionalby be picking up the second book in this series.

Enjoy!!!!
If You Like This, 
Check These Out Too:
http://j9books.blogspot.com/2010/10/richard-kadrey-sandman-slim.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2015/08/dennis-lehane-drop.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2015/01/michael-koryta-those-who-wish-me-dead.html

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Amanda Stevens: The Visitor

This is the fourth book in the series so you will want to read the first three (The Restorer, The Kingdom and The Prophet) in order to understand Amelia her powers and rules as well as how her relationship with Devlin developed. Plus The Restorer is a great read and interesting story and I highly recommend it.

Amelia Gray is known as The Graveyard Queen for a reason; she is a professional graveyard restorer, restoring lost and abandoned cemeteries and cemeteries is where she feels most at home. When legend of the Krill cemetery enters into Amelia's life she knows that she needs to solve the endless amount of puzzles that it holds as it is unlike any cemetery she has ever been in before. However, unravelling the secrets that this cemetery holds will come at a terrible price and hit closer to home than Amelia ever thought possible.

I will be the first to admit that it has been many years since I have read the first three books in this series but other than a few relationship events with Devlin, that I could not quite remember, I did not find that I was lost in the content of the story as Stevens did a good job of reintroducing information and Amelia, her ability, the rules and the ghosts without feeling that she was rehashing the previous three books.

I have not read a ghost based story in some time and I was re-enthralled with this series, I really enjoyed this book. It had twists, turns, ghost, suspense and mystery all thrown into it and fit did not need a recent body count to achieve this (though not for lack of trying at times this book is more centered on the mass sucided that ocurred decades ago. With this there were some fairly dark elements that are slightly glazed over at times, that you may blink and miss them, but I appreciated that they were there. I think that Stevens did an amazing job with showing that it is not just the ghosts and demons that cause all the pain and suffering but there is a human element to it all as well. I also was not able to figure everything it with all the twists and red herrings that Stevens has throughout the plot so when I am unable to figure everything out I always enjoy the book more.

The previous two books have hinted that Amelia has more power that she knows, but this book really sets that in to motion. Amelia finally feels ready to accept these gifts and additional powers even if it means giving up the rules that she has lived with her whole life. I cannot wait to see what additional "powers" that Amelia has. Devlin and Amelia's relationship struggles quite a bit in this one and I will say that this is something that all readers of this series knew was going to happen eventually as they has such different points of view. I'm glad that Stevens decided to address it sooner rather than later in the series.

Although it has been a few years I really am looking forward to continuing on with the next book in this series to see where Stevens takes it. Stevens has re-hooked me into this series.

Enjoy!!!!

If You Like This,
Check These Out Too:
http://j9books.blogspot.com/2011/04/layton-green-summoner.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2016/04/christopher-moore-dirty-job.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2012/03/ruth-barrett-base-spirits.html