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Kat and Mouse, Guns For Hire (Kat and Mouse, Guns For Hire Omnibus Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Showing 1-5 of 7 reviews
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The description of the work is true to the story. Abner Senires doesn't hide anything from his readers. The author does a good job of creating a believable futuristic world. The characters are lovable but violent. Kind of like Bruce Willis in Die Hard, always shooting and blowing things up, but you still root for him.
Kat and Mouse are the baddest ladies in the ronin business. They care about making money, so no job is too small or too difficult as long as they get paid. Mr. Senires mixes in a good batch of humor with his tales of guns, biomods, treachery and deceit. My favorite character is Specs.
The pacing is fast, edge-of-your-seat fast. And if you're looking for a slow read you're going to get left behind and turned into aerodyne bait. I recommend forcing your eyes to move as quickly as possible. There were times that I became so lost in the story that I thought that I might actually get shot or blown up if I didn't read faster.
I don't think this is an instant classic or a work that is going to be discussed in book clubs. But I don't think that's the point. If you want to have fun and find yourself immersed in a shoot 'em up story with fun characters then I would highly recommend this for you.
I'm rating this as high as I possibly can.
Guns for Hire a collection of the "first season" of a web serial. As such, the individual segments (chapters) are structured like episodes of a tv series - largely stand alone, but with overarching elements and plots that slowly develop over the season. It works very well for the material and keeps the action moving at a nice, quick speed. Reading this as a collection has the drawback that establishing prose, such as Kat introducing herself each episode, becomes repetitive and slightly tiresome, but it's not excessive so can be easily overlooked.
There's a conversational tone to these tales which helps give a sense of Kat's personality and world view. She's not just relating events to us, she's telling stories about things that effected her and relates them appropriately.
Despite the somewhat cutesy name this series is on the edgier side. The world Kat and Mouse operate in is dangerous, the clients have secrets and there's no such thing as a "cake run." One of the great things about this book was the well developed supporting cast, who rose above the roles they fill and added a significant amount of depth to the larger story threaded throughout the season. Another highlight is the way the author integrates his worldbuilding elements. Terms, geography and social structure are all absorbed seamlessly while reading.
I was fully invested by the end and am looking forward to further adventures.
The writing style is fast, fun, and minimalist with a hardboiled aesthetic. It's a thrill ride as the sassy duo shoot and slice their way through mooks in Bay City. The fight scenes are fantastic; Senires doesn't get bogged down with explaining the cyberpunk weaponry as he leaves the best stuff to the imagination:
[Twenty meters before the onramp, the aerodyne dropped out of the sky right in front of us, a three-meter long, gray metal brick suspended in mid-air by four ducted vectorthrust engine pods. Its chin-mounted 30mm chaingun swiveled toward the Shelby's windshield.
[The muscle went for their guns.
A subvocalized command flooded my body with adrenaline stimulators and the world slid into slo-mo.]
The characters are lively and interesting. They're based off familiar types (slice-happy sidekick, support guy with Cockney accent, broken-English Russian barkeep), but they're instantly likeable and their interactions give off Joss Whedon vibes. The cast has a dynamic that works well, and I can see myself continuing to read the series for them.
While the writing and the characters are excellent, the world of Bay City and the episodic stories themselves need either more meat or flavour. Bay City is a standard big city with turf wars. It has a cyberpunk aesthetic as far as weapons and tech goes, but it isn't different from a gang-ridden city of today. The gangs and joyboys are cute, but they're run-of-the-mill Italians mafiosos and punks in biker leathers. There are punks in red leathers, but that's as colorful as it gets. I would love for Senires to make Bay City and its groups more unique and theatrical.
Some repeated information could be removed from the ebook edition. The episodes are standalones, but I found it distracting to be reintroduced to the cast half a dozen times. I wish there's more meat to the episodic stories themselves. I love reading frivolous pulp stories, but the ones here didn't grab me. I'm happy to read such stories if they're compensated with extra sensationalism, but Kat and Mouse doesn't push the envelope far enough.
Kat and Mouse is an entertaining read and I can see myself following their future adventures. I could easily give it more stars if it has a bit more sensationalism or substance in the story and world-setting department. There's a lot of great stuff here so I'm following Senires to see where he takes the series. While this review is critical in some respects, it's also a review from a potential fan in waiting.
I recommend this book if you're looking for some light pulp action fun with a cyberpunk/hardboiled aesthetic. It's an enjoyable read as long as you don't expect much else.
Note: a free review copy was provided by the author.