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Death's Head Paperback – May, 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
There are two protagonists in the book, Stoney and Jarrat, officers in NARC. They are like futuristic sci-fi versions of the DEA. Keegan is obviously a sci-fi aficionado, the descriptions of the high-tech weaponry, armor and spaceships were very illustrative and added a lot to the story.
The plot - and subplots - were well done. The main plot involves bringing down a drug-running crimelord, Mavvik. Jarrat starts the story out undercover, and of course everything that can go wrong goes wrong, and the heros have to help each other out of various scrapes. The other major plot is the relationship between Jarrat and Stone. The tension between the two was great for most of the book. It kept me waiting and excited about when they finally get together, and was one of the reasons I kept turning the pages. The payoff in that regard was good but not as climactic as I was hoping, although I'm not sure I can put my finger on why. Maybe it should have waited until book 2 (which I haven't read yet but fully intend to), just because it would have built anticipation even more, and in a way distracted from the plot.
The most well done character was, in my opinion, Evelyn. She is a minor character who serves a critical role, and seemed to be the most realistic, well-drawn of the bunch. The most relatable, perhaps. The dynamic between her, her younger brother, and each of the characters she interacts with was tangible.
The sex scenes were explicit, but did not overwhelm the story.Read more ›
Other than that I would really love to see alot more novels like this one with strong central gay male leads and you know an actual story that's fun!
The origin story for the NARC series, Mel Keegan uses this novel to introduce the main set of characters, the background of the narcotics squad, NARC (the RC is riot control) and the premise for the empathic connection between the two main characters, Jarrat and Stone. This will be the "bumpy ride" Bette Davis's Eve told you to fasten your seatbelt for -- the intricacies of the plot, the thoroughly thought out world building, and the complex characterization not only of the main players in the book but the many lesser yet no less vital characters that enrich this exciting story, all combine to make this a book you will not be able to put down until the breathless end.
A criminal organization, Death's Head, is spread a highly addictive and deadly narcotic called "Angel". It takes over your brain and senses and gives you what you perceive as perfect joy. But in little time it ravages your body and mind, and you die. Jarrett and Stone are officers on the NARC starship from very different backgrounds, but they have one thing in common - well, two - their dedication to NARC and the fact that each is secretly really into the other. They are on the planet Chell to look into the source of Angel. When Stone goes undercover he is captured and made an Angel addict. Jarrett goes in search of him, finds him more or less a simpleton at a controversial neurologist's compound, and agrees to let his mind be empathically l inked with Stone's as the only way to break the addiction. In and around the exciting, frightening, and violent story you become acquainted with how the two men can communicate automatically and serve as rescue beacons for each other. One of the things they learn right away is how they each feel about the other.Read more ›
The narrative style is uneven, but improves somewhat towards the end of the series - the author tends to forget that the reader is not inside his head and privy to his thoughts.
The two narcotics agency enforcers and co-captains of space carrier 'NARC Athena', Kevin Jarrat and Jerry Stone, are lovers. In a high-tech, inter-galactic society they fight and crush 'Angel' cartels, Angel being a devastatingly lethal drug. Each of the books of the series deals with the eradication of a cartel on a colony world; the final book with a cartel on the home world. The books are written over a sort of template, which can become somewhat tedious and repetitive.
There are interesting, even likeable, characters in the books and loads of action. There are too much emphasis on guns for my taste, but that could just be me.
I like that the sex episodes are not over the top and fits naturally into the story line.
I am in doubt whether to give three or four stars, but as I bought all five books and read them with some enjoyment, I think three stars would be a bit harsh, so four it is. Could I, like Mel Keegan, use 3 1/2 I'd do that.
I have trouble reconciling myself with the fact that this is the author of 'Fortunes of War' (1995); 'Fortunes' being far the better book, in my opinion - I even included it in my listmania on Amazon.com. But Mel Keegan's authorship is very uneven, encompassing books that are downright annoying and amateurish, at least to me.
NARC 1: Death's Head 1991
NARC 2: Equinox 1993
NARC 3: Scorpio 2004
NARC 3 1/2: Stopover 2007
NARC 4: Aphelion 2007
This book is bought by me as paperbacks on Amazon.co.uk
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The only other Mel Keegan I have read was The Deceivers which was WOW. This, NARC, etc, was well written probably because that's what the man does. Read morePublished on July 19, 2010 by Candice E. Frook
I'm not quite sure just how old this book is (I never did check the date is was published). While there are a number of interesting characters and unique ideas, there are also many... Read morePublished on January 9, 2009 by banadan
This is a fast-paced, very sexy SF adventure set in the 23rd Century. Co-captains in the paramilitary force NARC, Kevin Jarrat and Jerry Stone hide their secret desire for each... Read morePublished on July 13, 2005 by Paul Jaques
Once you start, you are in for an exciting roller coaster ride. I just could not put it down and finished it in a day. Read morePublished on January 11, 2003 by Niki
I like sci-fi and fantasy novels with strong characterizations. After reading this book and the sequel "Equinox", Jarrat and Stone seem like living, breathing... Read morePublished on September 27, 2000 by Suzanne Tolbert