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Set to Kill: A Sean AP Ryan Novel (Convention Killings Book 2) Kindle Edition
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If you know what the terms "Puppies" and "Hugos" mean in combination you already know where you stand on that part of the story. If you don't, come for the slapstick. If you can use that term for funny high-powered violence.
I haven't read the A Pius Man trilogy, I'll have to check that out next.
You cannot POSSIBLY expect me to write a lengthy review of this thing. It would be like writing a detailed review of the circus. There is that much stuff going on, except I don't like the circus, and I did like this.
Now, NOBODY is going to read this book except the people who already know about Sad Puppies, Rabid Puppies, Puppy Kickers, Hugo Awards, and DragonCon, so I don't need to set things up. If you are on the Puppy Kicker side, you will have to have an enormous sense of humor to enjoy the book.
And based on what I know, that seems unlikely.
If you are a Puppy, you will enjoy the way the kickers are skewered. It just never gets old. You will ALSO enjoy the way that the leading figures in the non-Puppy Kicker field are portrayed as well. I phrase it that way, because I'm not sure if past leaders who have passed the baton are necessarily wearing the uniform anymore, and therefore, the non-Kicker designation is as far as I go; plus, I don't know that Ringo or Mad Mike ever could truly be classified in that camp.
Heehee. Mike Williamson is portrayed as a Freddy Mercury look-alike. Heehee.
I would like to correct a demolition error.
NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY, puts a land mine on a 30 second delay. The Bouncing Betty and derivatives like the American M16 mine had a 4 second delay, which allowed them the time to jump up in the air and spray shrapnel. That was automatic. And oh, yeah? The idea that a mine would arm when you stepped on it, and wouldn't go off until you stepped off? Nope. That's a useless mine. Kills one guy. The delay is so the guy CAN step off, which means the mine flies up and goes boom, wounding everybody in the area. So, Declan, POOT on that scene, EXCEPT for the fact that you HAVE to write it that way. It's a trope, or a meme, or urban legend or something. But the elf lives, anyway.
Now, about the characters, again: Mad Mike is Freddy Mercury; heehee.
The setting is Atlanta, and even though I was born on a dirt road in Macon, GA, I have lived in metro Atlanta for most of the past 42 years, with enough time spent in the downtown area to make the descriptions come alive. I read about the hotels, and think, been there. I almost got blown off my motorcycle by the winds going past the Hilton one morning on the way into work. Just added to the experience.
And as far as the killing? Too much violence? Well...nope.
Some stuff just never gets old.
So you want to know about Set To Kill by Declan Finn? Well that's a bit of a tale. If you've read the author's first published novel It Was Only On Stun! then you're halfway to understanding it. Me, I've read the book in question, and I'm not sure I fully comprehended the madness in these pages. What you're in for is a story filled with action, mystery, and more than a bit of comedy. That quote above is not even the most insane thing in the book.
After the events at the Vatican (long story), Sean A.P. Ryan is back in the protection game. Not only that, but he's working another con! Unfortunately, he soon finds himself in over his head as mercenaries, bounty hunters, crazed fans, stalkers, and just plain nutty people, assail him from every angle. Again! No wonder he doesn't like working at these things.
But it soon gets weird.
If there is one thing Mr. Finn excels at (there are a few) then it would have to be the action scenes. I'm hard-pressed to think of an author with so many details in their action scenes. Everything flows, the events are described clearly and fit together, and they are usually quite surprising. And funny.
Despite the action and the comedy there are several pretty good mysteries going on. Someone is killing guests at WyvernCon and it is up to the ever-overwhelmed Sean A.P. Ryan to put a stop to it. Oh yeah, and he has to make sure he stays alive with a several million dollar bounty (and growing!) on his head. That's kind of difficult with explosions, rifle shots, and assassins slipping in from every crevice, while he's trying to do his job. I'm starting to think he doesn't get paid enough for this.
Now if there is any complaint to note it is that there is a bit of inside baseball to some of the background elements of the story. Mr. Finn changes the names, but the events are very much based on a real "fandom" event. And it is just about as silly as he describes it as. I'm not going to explain it here because either you already know what it is or you don't care. Nothing I can say will add to it, so I'll just say that you might feel a little lost getting your head around the central conflict. Mr. Finn does his best to explain it at length, but it is what it is. Nonetheless, he does parody the events, and the players involved, quite well.
This is a hard book to really nail down. Would it be correct to call it something like if Dashiell Hammett wrote an episode Murder, She Wrote thinking it was a sequel to Commando? I'm just not sure. If you enjoyed the previous book in this series, It Was Only On Stun!, then you should enjoy this one more. Whatever it is, Set To Kill accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do.
Should you read this book? Only if you like wanton destruction and humor popping up in strange places. And, really, why wouldn't you like those things?
I can't wait to read the sequel. Surely by then Sean Ryan will have enough of a handle on the con experience to run his own. I could just imagine.
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From my review at injusticegamer.blogspot.com:
Set to Kill is bound to trigger anyone who is a devotee of Tor books, or...Read more