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Koko Takes a Holiday Paperback – June 10, 2014

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books (June 10, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781168601
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781168608
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #630,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Set five centuries into the future, this first novel begins in a resort complex, the Sixty Islands, where elite brothel owner Koko Martstellar narrowly escapes an assassination attempt. Fleeing to the orbital community known as the Second Free Zone, Koko is astonished to learn that her old friend, Portia Delacompte, is behind the assassination. While Koko is trying to figure that out, Portia is trying to figure out something just as baffling—why she ordered the death of her friend—for her memories concerning the hired hit seem to have vanished. This futuristic wild ride starts out quickly and doesn’t really slow down until it’s over. You would think such a breakneck pace wouldn’t leave much time for character development, but Shea skillfully weaves characterization into dialogue and the thoughts and actions of the people in the novel. The use of the present tense certainly helps make the story feel urgent and immediate, too. We get caught up in Koko’s predicament and are carried along with her as she desperately tries to keep herself alive until she can track down her would-be assassin. Great fun and a fine introduction to an author with a distinctive style. Expect more from Shea, perhaps in several genres. --David Pitt


"If you’re looking for a fun, violent, blood-and-gore sci-fi romp, you should check it out." - Pixelated Geek

"Shea just keeps the action and plot hooks coming." - Hey Poor Player 

"Kieran Shea's first novel is action-packed, fast-paced, violent, and full of cyberpunk fun. It's a brilliant ride that makes for a quick read, perfect for summer vacation." - Daily Crate

"Personally, I can’t wait to see Koko Martstellar in another book soon. If it’s even half as good as Koko Takes A Holiday it’ll be another hellacious ride I want to take." - Pop Cults

"The sheer breakneck speed of Koko Takes a Holiday, and the pseudo-cyberpunk posturing of Shea’s prose, are more than enough to propel you through this book cover to cover." - Giant Freakin Robot

"Plenty of explosions, bullets, wise cracks, and surprises will leave you wanting more. And the best news is that Koko the Mighty will be out in Summer 2015. Yippee-Ki-Yay… this book completely rocks." - Geek Dad

"An extremely fast-paced chunk of science fiction space operetta with attitude...Shea is a name to look out for, and I can only see his work getting better and better." - Adventures in SciFi Publishing 

"Fans of far out there science fiction works similar to what movie fans would expect from a Quentin Tarantino flick will feel right at home." - BGG Magazine

"It’s no secret that I loved Kieran Shea’s debut." -  My Bookish Ways

"This book looks absolutely bonkers, and it’s one that we’re itching to read." - BuzzFeed Community

"Koko Takes a Holiday is a nonstop, bloody thrill ride with the all the subtlety of a rocket launcher, and I loved every minute of it. And the ending? Well, you’ll see-it’s a jawdropper. Kieran Shea will blow you away, promise. More Koko please!!" - My Bookish Ways

"Reminiscent of Takeshi Kovaks from Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon with a dash of Tank Girl attitude, Koko is memorable character. The violence is quite extreme, so the squeamish should probably look elsewhere, but this is a fun gender reversal of your typical shoot-em-up" -Library Journal  

"Wild ride....breakneck pace...great fun"  – Booklist starred review  

Customer Reviews

They can be wrong like anybody else.
R. A. Barricklow
The first chapters are a bit rough, but then the story smooths out.
Jalon Q. Zimmerman
I enjoyed this book thoroughly; finished it in an afternoon.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Js Banks on June 17, 2014
Format: Paperback
Such promise here: a kinetic plot and strong female character, and yet, the list of sins grows. Four stars for forward energy, two stars for a load of flaws. Paradoxically, I am going to go on about all this because in some ways I like the book a lot. Thanks, Mr. or Ms. Shea, and I apologize, but next time, have friends read the first draft and give you some tough love.

Koko is on the run, chased by the Bad Lass for some unknown transgression. A good basic plot and what's not to like about that?

But Koko is a retired Merc, and inexplicably, some kind of super-soldier. I say inexplicably because this petite be-studded person drinks, drugs and smokes, and stopped working out years ago. Ah, but when she is attacked by a super-star of a bounty hunter, "her instincts kick in" and also, she has seems to have a very sharp elbow. That is the extent of our information about her only hand-to-hand fight in the book, which is described after the event. The women hunting her are described as amazingly capable, but none of this shows in the brief fight scenes.

I'm up for violence. Heck, Josh Bazell's "Beat the Reaper" is one of my favorite books. But action scenes are a major flaw.After a fetishistic description of obtaining, naming, and cinching on a plethora of weapons, fights can really be described as "Koko shoots and hits her mark while her opponents miss". Whenever a weapon does its work, there is ALWAYS bisection or explosion or decapitation or pulping-- also blood and intestines.

Nobody in this story is particularly likeable. Most critically, Koko is a conscienceless murderess. At one point she shoots two maintenance workers who get in her way (turning them into pulp, of course) and her reaction to remonstration is to say: "like I should care?
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Caleb Jennings on June 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
First off, whoever gave this book a 2-star rating needs to be conked in the head with a shovel, because this book is exactly what it says it is: a bat guano crazy ride through some weird kind of futuristic hell unlike anything I have ever seen or read or could have even imagined. This is a 5-star book all the way. Don't listen to that 2-star giving jack-wagon, this book is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for anyone who loved the films: The Fifth Element or Blade Runner. This will be a blockbuster sci-fi movie one day I guarantee, and you can always look back and say your old pal Caleb Jennings told you so.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By MyBookishWays on June 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Booze! Orgiastic simulated mass slaughter! More sex than you can shake a, er, stick at, and just about any way you want it! All of this and more can be found at the very adult playground of The Sixty Islands, a manufactured tropical resort. It’s here that Koko Martstellar can be found tending bar and tending her stable of boywhores, as well as enjoying the affection of her favorite, Archimedes. It’s an unorthodox life, but Koko is happy, and glad to be out of the mercenary for hire business. She’s abruptly yanked out of her island idyll when her bar is stormed by a band of ruthless killers, and they seem to be after one thing: Koko. Luckily, Koko hasn’t lost her touch, and she wipes the floor with this pack of predators, but not before racking up plenty of collateral damage. She’s also shocked to find out that the person that’s put out a hit on her is none other than her old mercenary comrade in arms, and, she thought, friend, Portia Delacompte. It’s time for Koko to say goodbye to her bar and run, and she does, with the help of an escape pod she built herself and has managed to keep hidden from her overseers at the CPB (Custom Pleasure Bureau.) Her pod takes her to the Second Free Zone, and eventually she makes her way to a residential barge called the Alaungpaya, and into the orbit of former security deputy Jedidiah Flynn. He could be the key to her survival, and she’s going to need all the help she can get, because a team of hitwomen have been set loose, and they’ve been ordered to terminate Koko once and for all.

You’ll most likely want to set aside a few uninterrupted hours for this one, because if you’re like me, once you start it, you’ll want to read it straight through.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steve Weddle on July 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Full disclosure: Kieran Shea and I are represented by the same literary agency. He's a nice guy and I consider us pals. That's great for me, but causes problems when I want to review his book. If I didn't like it, I'd probably just not review it online. But as a fellow writer, I appreciate so many of things he's doing in this book that I have to mention them. So, you know, keep in mind that I'm writing this about a fantastic book by a guy I know personally. Grain of salt, pound of salt -- whatever. OK. Here we go --

One of the things that Kieran Shea is so good at is kicking expectations in the crotch. Koko Takes a Holiday opens with a shoot-out in a bar. On display is Koko's skill with weapons. The killing and all. Ba,. Etc. It's vivid, clear, and exciting.

Koko escapes. Here comes some bloodbath, right?

Nope. Koko ends up having to ditch all her weapons before the next stop.

It's the little stuff like this that shows Kieran Shea's skills -- on full display. Show your character is a master at something, then take away that strength. See what's left. It's a stripping away to get at, well, at the character of the character. It's brilliant.

Fast-paced and clever, this is the book you want.
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