The depictions of violence (and guns) are almost pornographic--if you are into that sort of thing. Personally, I am not. Some ideas for improvement--The author might have made the Monster Hunters have some other solution (at least once) to all the problems the Undead bring then pulling out their guns (lovingly detailed) and blazing away--especially when most of the time the guns don't seem to have any effect. One of two vampires pretty well stomp the whole organization. For all the sprouting of right wing politics, hillbilly wisdom, and descriptions of guns, the heroes of this book are remarkably ineffective at killing monsters. Buffy would clean the Monster Hunters out during the beginning titles.
Use a thesaurus? Spend some time researching the subject instead of fondling his gun magazines? Figure out some original solution to a problem except shoot it? Quit having the hero get beat up in graphic detail (some of the depictions of beatings go on for 5 minutes or more). Even more bogus, the her miraculously revives and is ready for another beating in a few pages. Invent believable characters (really--a hick with a 167 IQ? a stripper? a token Black guy? a beautiful girl who is also an ace killer? I've seen Dungeons and Dragons dolls with more personality.
The delivery is ponderous and methodical. All the people sound the same (Southern, stupid).
Not really. I guess if you wanted to confirm most of your stereotypes about guys who confuse their guns with their gonads, this would do it. Having lived in the South for close to three decades, I object to this book on a lot of levels.
This book was the only one I had on my iPhone on a long trip--so I had to go through it. But when I pulled in the driveway the hero was having his final battle with the Evil Lord Machado and I didn't even care. Just pulled out the earphones and turned it off and for all I know or care the bad guys one. I can't believe that rule by vampires and the undead is worse than having these cliche-sprouting rednecks running around armed.
Other readers have said this is a mixture of thrills and humor. I have to disagree. The author can't make up his mind if this is a fantasy or a comedy, and the result is neither. The main problem is that if you have the author making ironic judgments (like a villain is a 'badass') then the reader is in on the joke, but we all know it is going to come out in the end, so why should we worry if the enemy is a fallen angel or a Celtic god or whatever. If we can't be scared or worried, then the character has to hold our attention--and he really isn't much beyond a caricature. There are other problems. The character is supposed to be centuries old and very wise, but talks like a slacker trying to be pass for cool. The author panders to cheap laughs or silly adolescent gags (like having the hero trying to think about baseball when around an attractive woman) which are out of character. This is a book that has very limited appeal and no potential for character development or world building. One book might be tolerable, but the character and the plots won't sustain a series for anyone with imagination and a developed sense of humor
This is a fun book to listen to if you like English country-house mysteries. There is a lot of interesting characters, a romance, and a likable and intelligent detective.
She has great voices--it is very easy to tell them apart, and she has the class accents down pat. Her reading is exceptionally clear and coherent.
The plot is convoluted and improbable, and it moves very slowly. There are whole chapters that go by with nothing advancing the story. The problem with having a laconic cowboy type as a hero (as every good Western writer recognizes) is that because dialog is rare and terse, you need a lot of action. Moreover, you really can't have the hero be a wimp---taking abuse from people, getting beaten up, etc. Beyond that, the real problem is the author is not sure if he wants to write a book or a political tract. The characters are always going off on rants, usually about Washington and liberals, gun rights, and other talk show topics. Very un-cowboy, all this whining and crying. If I wanted to listen to some loudmouth ignorant reactionary, I could go down to a bar. When I buy a book, I expect some effort to develop characters and plot. This book has neither
The narrator has a limited number of voices, and many are more caricatures than characters. He has the obligatory Clint Eastwood voice for the tough hero, the 'dude' accent for all the young people (regardless of region or class), the women are variations of impatient, angry, or ditzy. But there is not much you can do with dialog when the author's only technique for moving it along is "He said" or "she said" even if they have been talking for a minute and it is pretty well clear who is speaking with who. I counted the "he said/Joe saids" in a one minute period---7!
Nate the special ops guy. Really, this is such a trite cliche. But the here, Joe, is not much. He is a game warden that doesn't seem to even notice the environment, never goes out in to the field, seems to have minimal outdoors skills, etc.
Box needs an editor
A disappointing, formulaic, and implausible story that marks a further deterioration of the Swagger saga. The first three were good, the subsequent ones indicate that Hunter is trying for Rush Limbaugh's demographic. Hunter can't even be bothered creating his own characters, he seems to have lifted most of them out of supermarket tabloids. The book is filled with filler--no one can mention a weapon (and all his characters talk about weapons all the time--to the point that pages/minutes go by with no advancement of the plot) without a long digression on model, caliber, ammunition, trigger guard, finish, and so on. It often reads like Hunter wrote this book with only two sources: a gun catalog and a thesaurus. No modifier can ever be singular, it must be added to, supported, supplemented, justified, explicated, explained, enhanced, and so on and on and on. Really--why doesn't Hunter just select the correct word the first time? This book could easily have been 2/3 its length with a decent editor. There are gaping holes in the plot that any one who knew the federal bureaucracy would spot. Without being a spoiler, there is one incident in which the New York Times (which is trying to destroy the career of a patriotic FBI agent) is revealed as a part of a great conspiracy after it prints a picture of a rifle that wasn't in existence when the picture was allegedly taken! This allows Hunter to vent for 5 pages on how stupid the mainstream media is and how smart the gun owners are. Great. Except that any reader who knows anything about the federal bureaucracy knows that the whole issue would have been resolved 200 pages earlier when the accused produced an alibi. The reader is asked to believe that a senior FBI agent assigned to the Washington bureau can disappear for weeks from his desk, keeps no records of trip expenses, doesn't keep a calendar, had no meetings with anyone during this time and--best of all--in the weeks of NY Times persecution no one in the FBI thinks to ask him (nor does he think to produce) an alibi for the dates. Hunter was a journalist for years, so one can only assume this and other howlers are due to his being either lazy or untruthful. Buck Schimer is no great reader--he does Clint Eastwood, bureaucrat, arrogant whiner, and Steppin Fetchit and that is about it. I gave up on the book 2/3 of the way through--and I am sure glad I only paid $5 for it.
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