Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Review: Kill Zone

Kill Zone: A Sniper Novel Kill Zone: A Sniper Novel by Jack Coughlin

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This gets four stars because even though I thought there were problems with it, I couldn't stop reading it. And, by the end, I realized I'd liked it a lot.

Part of the problem, I think, was reader interference. Whenever you have a book that deals with politics, even tangentially like this one does, I can't help but try and decipher the unwritten (and probably unintentioned) messages. Does this author have a political bias? Do they lean in one direction or the other? What does it mean if they DO have a bias? The fact that I had to ask meant that it was pretty well hidden.

The other criticism I have is that there were some missing descriptions in the book. What did these people look like? Some of them were described pretty well. Others, I'm still not sure. I actually went back to where one character was first introduced because I thought I had missed the description. Turns out, it wasn't there (other than he was bald.) WTF does he look like, though? Maybe the authors don't feel it is important, but, trust me, it is.

Some of the conversation seemed stilted in a few places, but that can happen to even the best writers. It certainly wasn't an issue throughout the book. It just seemed like the authors weren't together and the gap showed in the conversation between two characters at that point. It always got back on track.

The action sequences were EXTREMELY good in this book. If I were writing a book and I needed to know how to handle things of an action nature (using contemporary weapons and techniques) I would use this book as a reference. Not a call to plagiarize, of course, but to see how things are done. Obviously, authors involved know what they're talking about and it shows. But, it is done in a way that is less "education" and more entertainment. Main characters are likeable, secondary characters are decent. Villains are.....villainous? And there are even some characters that are in between. It almost reads like an action movie, which can be good or bad. Your choice.

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