James Bond: Kill Chain
Bond traces down a rogue MI6 operative and journeys down a path that reveals someone framing MI6 organisation of such crimes that may reawaken the presumed dead Cold war.
Ian Fleming’s renowned son James Bond has had many faces, stories and personalities. Like many others, I too used to prefer Sean Connery as the definitive Bond. He did action (but never too much), he had class (martini and all those things) and most importantly he had so much sass. It was much much later when I read Bond novels and comics (drawn by legendary John McLusky’s) and realised what Bond truly is like. He is a ruthless agent with a dash of class and minimal sass.
Kill Chain is Andy Diggle’s love letter to Fleming and it shows. Occasionally I smirked at references but at the end I was left in awe of the brutality. James is merciless, bloody and a kill machine when required. The tension was high and the finishing was bombastic. Rarely have I come across graphic novels so good that I feel like re-reading it just after the first read. Only hiccup is that some pages are a bit too filled with dialogues.
But the real star for me is Luca Casalanguida. I was not just reading the comics with my eyes; the action, the mellow, the silence – I was almost experiencing every bit of the artwork. No jump-cuts, no shortcuts; the pages look like actual storyboards of action movie.
A must-read for 007 lovers and action junkies.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Wytches Vol 1
Take all of one’s deepest darkest fears, with blood of course and stir them well for handful poignant pages while enjoying an unopened bottle of artistic masterpiece.
You know, when a comic’s cover contains this-
it’s gonna be good, goood, goooooood!
Snyder take a bow and Jock take my left hand and teach me how to draw like that.
All your fears are hear. Sailor is a teenage girl accused of murdering her missing classmate. Her family moves in a new town to start a new life only to realise, they have entered a one-way hellhole of horror. The more Sailor tries to run the more ‘they’ come. Everyone wants something and ‘they’ only want some
thingone in return.
A bloody triumph in horror genre. Horror is already polluted and cramped yet this is so new. So unique. It scores everything out of the park. Wytches is graphic, bloody, meaty and spooky to the best. Synder’s story and Jock’s art fit each other so well that its class is set even before the end.
I suggest reading this before sleeping to get perfect graphic nightmares.
Darkly Dreaming Dexter – 5 very bloody stars
Dexter the oddball. Forensic Analyst by day and Killer of Killers by night. Our lovable friendly neighborhood serial killer! No one knows the secret that he vanishes the murders slipped through fingers of law. But what if some one knows who he is or who he was? Will Dexter discover himself or destroy?
Jeff Lindsay is an incredible writer. Using simple words and exceptionally calm wordings, he can create suffocating suspense. Dexter, Debra, Harry – all are products of mesmerizing characterization. I can never stop reading this book over and over. Dexter is one of my top most favorite fictional serial killers (I know, I know. That is a very very odd thing to say). Never ever have I have rooted for a murderer this much. In my opinion never has the POV of a serial killer been explored like this before. But I am afraid that saying anything much about the book might be revealing.
So it is a humble request of mine that any thriller, suspense lover should read(taste) this.
PS. Separate your mind from the TV series to experience the true flavor.
Who Goes There? (The Thing) – 3.5 stars
Remember that weird bloody gory sci-fi movie that we all have watched once? Yes ‘The Thing’! Curt Russell using firebreather allover! Who Goes There is the book based on which The Thing was made.
An alien dead-body is found by some research works of a station at Antarctica. But little do they know that it’s not dead. It is a shape-shifter – human or animal doesn’t matter! There begins a bloody gore-some paranoia in the station.
The story is pure hunt or be hunted type with fantastic voids to be filled with readers’ imaginations. Sometimes the amount of blood and gore in a science fiction feels unnecessary but for this it doesn’t. All the killings and violently described situations are very very fitting in the novel. There can be two types of reception of this book depending on whether you have or haven’t seen the movie. If the movie is seen before reading the novel, it does feel a bit bland because the movie actually created much more visually enjoyable paranoia than the book (which is very rare in the history of cinematizations)! But if the book is picked up first then it feels like an immensely enjoyable novel that has stapled horror and science-fiction in spectacular manner. The only thing that stumbles is the narration; feels a little discontinuous or sudden sometimes.
A bloody (pun intended) well written scary sci-fi to be read again from to time!
The Mark – 3.5 stars
Buying a book just because it is cheap due to some offer was a huge gamble for me but the good news is I won!
It was a huge surprise when the book turned out to be a smooth crime thriller as promised in its catchy premise – “Right as I’m about to die, I realize all the myths are fake. There’s no white light at the end of a tunnel. My life isn’t flashing before my eyes”!
Henry Parker is a newbie journalist waiting for a snoop to catch. One night he tries to help a man form being physically abused and -poof- he becomes a snoop with the Police and killers on his heels with zero idea of what is happening.
Mentioning anything more than that might spoil parts of the story. SO all I am gonna squeak is that this is no historical or mythical or sci-fi or fantasy thriller. It is a plain hardcore good guys-bad guys thriller set in urban city with us, the people. Without any all-knowing or action-crazy hero Jason Pinter has written a gripping book.
You may not be toppled down or marked forever(pun intended) with The Mark but it is a sweet thriller which will keep you guessing!
The Martian – 3.5 stars
While leaving the planet on an emergency, Mark Watney is accidentally left on the surface of Mars by his crew of Ares and he is assumed to be dead. With no way of contacting anyone and with limited supply of food and shelter, he has to survive.
“Intelligence is based on how efficient a species became at doing the things they need to survive.”
― Charles Darwin
The Martian is a marvelous diary of a survivor. I am a student of Physics and it gave me more than enough pleasure to read a space-science-fiction novel with ‘Science’ that may really come true in a few upcoming years. I loved the book like a dear brother who speaks up ambitions which makes you proud. But it also contains a lot of things which almost made me throw it from rooftop. I felt like a bi-polar person loving and hating it so much the same time. To make it simpler, let me put it in pros and cons.
There are two types of sci-fi, one which jumps a long way and shows us a new kind of advanced world and another which just goes out for a little walk out of the boundary of actual possible world of today’s science. The Martian is of the second kind. It speaks of a very smooth fictional Mars expedition without ever going over the top. One after another disasters and problems are thrown at our hero and he tires overcomes those with the best weapon a man has – intelligence. The book balances thrill and tension very well to keep up the readers on their toes. Descriptions of the farming, rovers, hub, space station and NASA are so realistic that it makes one wonder if this is a fiction or fictionalized form of real events. Andy Weir has studied like a mad man for writing this book.
It really hurts me to write bad about this book. Biggest problem of the book is it’s language. Our hero is left alone in a stranded planet and he makes fart jokes, boob jokes and puns in his log all the time. While doing some of the most complicated chemical and mathematical calculations he jokes around like a 12 year old. It just blunts the importance of critical situations if a hero constantly says “Booyah, Yeeay etc” throughout the whole book. And most surprising of all – there is literally zero emotional effect on him. He is alone on Mars with almost no chance of survival and he is cool; so cool as if he has gone trekking alone. A man stays frigging alone on a whole frigging planet for more than a year and he never even has one emotional breakdown. What the hell??? This is Andy Weir’s debut novel and it badly shows. Most of the conversations among NASA’s topmost scientists feel tacky, cinematic and forceful to make it funny. It might make some readers smile with all the casual language, jokes and funny situations but let it settle and you will see how unnatural it feels.
It is painful to love a book so much while hating the author at the same time. Even with all the problems this is one of the most entertaining science fiction I’ve ever read. If only it had chosen a less funny and more sentimental approach, it could have been a masterpiece in all aspect. But at the end of the day, who won? Science won! Yeah!
The Cause – 4 stars
In a near distant future, America along with the whole world is at the edge of financial and economic disaster. The rich has got rich while the poor has got poorer. With NSA watching over all, the government has made individual freedom an enemy to be chocked ruthlessly. In a black-ops training camp Isse Corvus, a hacker learns something that contains the fate of U.S. He discovers the leaders are revolutionaries seeking to return the U.S. back to its Constitutional roots. With a gun pointed on his head Corvus learns that if he doesn’t join ‘The Cause’ and help them hack the NSA’s servers, it could mean his life. If he joins, he becomes part of a conspiracy to overthrow America’s financial oligarchy.
First thing first, this is a bomb blasting début! It sticks to a reader’s hands and keeps him/her curious all the way. The best thing about the book for me is the atmosphere. The book balances itself at a very unique position of having all the tension of dystopia novel but without being one. It controls the chill and tension-in-the-air just as the premise promises. There are many surprisingly well written characters with Isse Corvus becoming just the hero everyone wants to be. The book may feel a tiny bit slow at the beginning but once the ground is set, it gives one hell of a ride to the last page. Government Conspiracy has always been a hot topic for thrillers but Mr Vincent has made a new approach throwing sci-fi in the pile because sometimes conspiracy thriller without an all-knowing-hero feels really good to read.
I must mention another thing – analogy. Personally I am not a literature person and I avoid symbolic analogies. So I was really surprised when I liked symbolic quotes and writing placed in a sci-fi thriller! The lines are really deep and compliments the writing greatly.
The only thing that bothered me was the cinematic approach at some places. Quite a few dialogues and situations felt pushy and stiff like movies. I am not saying that is bad because some may like it, some may don’t.
I would recommend this to anyone who loves action packed thrillers with little bits of science fiction mixed in excellent manner and a warm thanks to Roderick Vincent for providing me a copy to review!
Spiral – 4 stars
When respected and beloved Nobel laureate Liam Connor is found dead and his death is declared as suicide, search of a virus hidden since World War II is ignited. Soon Liam’s collaborator Jake, Liam’s granddaughter Maggie, and Maggie’s nine-year-old son Dylan find themselves in a conspiracy of bio-warfare spread over the world and decades of research. With an assassin, an infamous Japanese criminal and US military also in the same race, the only chance of survival of human live over the world depends on who gets to the virus first.
A fantastic debut. Paul McEuen is a nano scientist and has written a sci-fi thriller with an excellent mixture of science and fiction. Fast pace and continuous twists are what makes this book worthy of praise. Whenever I felt ‘I know what will happen now’, the book had something exactly different like it knew what I was thinking! And that really kept me glued to it. I am a science student and all those nanao-science and DNA coding stuffs just fascinated me. But none of those are hard to understand. Actually the book has so much base in real research, it never felt stretching or unbelievable. With just one step crossing the line of real science, Paul McEuen has written a great novel.
The actions and logics looked a bit thin sometimes but otherwise I really loved it. It has some invisible hook that pulled me towards the last page so fast. A well written sci-fi thriller with a healthy dose of science in it.
The Last Ember – 4 stars
Jonathan is an american lawyer who has a nice profile for case related to relics because he was once a doctoral student of classics at Rome. But when he is called back to Rome for a simple case related to an ancient stone piece, he finds a message encrypted in it. With help of a few friends from the past that he had left behind, he discovers a conspiracy so hidden and ancient that no one knows or believes it. But little does he know that the terrorists are also trying to destroy every trace of it which may cause an unrepairable damage in Jewish-Christian history. With a shoot-at-sight on his own head and terrorists at his heels, his only way to survive is to find it first.
This by far the most underrated novel I’ve ever read. Dan Brown, Steve Berry, Sam Bourne and numerous authors have made “Treasure hunting” a highly popular genre among today’s books and as too many writer are writing, one starts to notice some clichés and to get bored with same formats and pitch-perfect characters where no one forgets anything they ever had read or done. And that is where Daniel Levin has entered with a a very very fresh take.
Daniel Levin himself is a lawyer and if read carefully, it can be felt who the hero Jonathan is a traced on. The writing is fluid and the book doesn’t give headache with unnecessary infos(
take that David Gibbins). But what I liked most about this book is that the characters are not perfect. Not as good or bad, I mean no one is a perfect professor(don’t get me wrong, I like Robert Langdon but still sometime he feels like a computer) or assassin or collector and everyone has their shortcomings and lacking. Thus they feel very realistic and grounded. With some little poke in religions and a very nice threat hanging over head, Mr Levin has written a stupendous book.
Nothing feels forced or too much complex in the Last Ember and that simplicity is what makes this very enjoyable. As a début novel, this really strong and others really have to watch out if Daniel Levin develops more.
I highly recommend this book to any mystery, thriller, treasure loving readers.