- File Size: 934 KB
- Print Length: 350 pages
- Publication Date: October 27, 2010
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0049P1OW0
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #834,449 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Subject 12 (Guild Files) Kindle Edition
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Our `hero'...we never really learn his name, and he doesn't get a superhero name or costume till almost the final chapter...can't be accused of that, though he can be accused of being less than an anti-hero and quite selfish with it. If you like your heroes dark, reasonably competent, with a bit of a vicious streak...this is a book for you.
Now, it's not perfect. The plot...meanders, to put it kindly, and nothing gets `solved' in this book. Or the next, which is set in the same world but has absolutely nothing to do with events in *this* book. And I think the author gave up on writing, since he hasn't put anything out in a couple years...
So, if plots neatly tied by the last chapter are your thing, you'll hate it. It's more a `slice-of-life' than an actual stand-alone adventure. Our hero progresses through the pages but...life goes on and problems are never completely solved, just like real life.
The world-building is decent, just enough revealed to give you a grounding without drowning you in all the how's and why's, all related in such a way to give you the feeling our first-person-hero is just hitting the high points of stuff you already know. Gentle reminders, if you will. I like that sort of casual communication; others may not.
Now, *my* main complaint is...the hero and his powers. Namely, their inconsistency. As he describes them and demonstrates them in certain scenes, this guy is Captain Cosmic....with a capital Don't-Mess-With-Him.
Until it's necessary to show his vulnerability; then he forgets everything he's done till now to do something completely stupid just so it can seem like there's a bit of dramatic tension. Seriously, he makes a *point* of mentioning...not once, but several times throughout the book...that since a heart beats, he can basically make it explode. He stops people from being able to breathe, yada yada yada. But he always has to go toe-to-toe, throwing hands, the old rough-and-tumble where he's literally in fear for his life. Um...okay...why? Instead of punching invulnerable bad guys in the face and hurting your hand and being afraid of the bad guy breaking you...why don't you...you know, like, stop his blood flowing to his brain so he passes out? Stop him from breathing? Or just blow up his friggen heart?
Yes, dramatic tension, I get it...but it's too obvious when our hero spends so much time knowing in his bones what he can do...and he *obviously* has no problem executing bad guys.
Finally, there's a few too many instances of our hero getting `railroaded' into doing something the plot calls for, but without any reasoning that fits. I could think of at least a handful of ways Jackhammer or other Titans could get him to a particular memorial/requiem that were *much* more in keeping with our hero's character and mindset. Basically, it's something like: JH: "You're going!" Our Hero: "Screw that, no way in hell!" JH (sternly): "I said you're going!" OH: "Oh, well, since you said it *sternly*..." Yeah, that scene is kinda painful.
Though to be honest, most of the `friction' with other main `good' characters are handled similarly. Our hero's reasoning is he kinda needs the Titans on his side to `protect' him from Alpha Zulu bad guys, Hero Guild bad good guys, and basically everyone and their cranky grandmother.
After the first three times the Titans screw him over, though...anyone as smart as our hero shows in other situations...well, he should be thinking with friends like them, nobody needs enemas. No worries about blockage in his lower colon because they're all about putting their boot in it. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me eighty seven times...I guess you're my best friends!
Anyway, don't let those hiccups stand in the way of a damn good read. And if Mr Douglas reads these: give us the *real* sequel!
Subject 12 is a fast paced book filled with action based in a world similar to our own where super powers, aliens, and magic are more than just pop-culture. The author does a very nice job of integrating what we consider reality with the reality of his world with just enough blending of history to make it plausible. The protagonist is an ex-merc on the run from his previous employer who is at a crisis point in his life. His progression through the story is organic and interesting.
The protagonist found himself falling back into old patterns even after he consciously understood they were wrong due to previous conditioning and habit instead of just doing the right thing from the moment he realized he needed to change. He slowly internalizes the changes that need to be made and starts to become a better person.
The action sequences were fast and gripping. The protagonists power was interesting, original and while powerful, had definite limitations.
The protagonist grows in both his power and character throughout the book.
The Protagonist is an ex-soldier, ex-mercenary. He was highly trained in all manner of small arms and explosives yet, he relied on hand to hand combat throughout the book, even when it was the riskiest method to accomplish his goals. Worse, we received no explanation for this odd behavior.
Some minor editing problems.
The next book in the series doesn't involve the original protagonist who was left with a cliff hanger ending in the previous book.
The author closes the scene on a intimate moment with a G rating then opens the next paragraph with a much more intimate encounter.
I saw the description, and I thought, "Really? Everyone's a hero? What's the point then?" But there is a point. Trust me when I say that in a world of ego-driven heroism, the embittered mercenary a-hole is definitely a character unique enough to make the story worth the read.
I like the way the author presents the story. It's not a perfect novel, no. There are some editing issues that could use some spice (I knocked off a star for that, sorry). I like that we can see these books, though, and I will forgive a LOT of grammatical proof for a great story. So I did. I read this, and I liked it, and I'm looking forward to the next one with a little more enthusiasm than is probably healthy for a well-adjusted woman in the modern world. :P
For a better sense of the other books that I like (to see if you have the same taste, maybe) here's a list you may recognize: Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, Patricia Brigg' Mercy Thompson series, Kim Harrison's The Hollows, John Conroe's Demon Accords, George Martin's Game of Thrones, Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series, Patrick Rothfuss' Kingmaker Chronicles....etc, etc, etc.