Is It A Book? A Short? Heaven Knows It's Fast, That's For Sure!
Mar 18, 2014
The boomtown that is so much of electronic publishing continues to churn out one new adventure after another in every genre conceivable. Despite there being a glut of good, bad, and ugly fiction and non-fiction out there available on Amazon and beyond, I’m all for it: I think authors in this day and age have a terrific opportunity to reach out and touch someone – that someone being a new reader. So long as these budding novelists turn out respectable but high-quality yarns, then the more the merrier!
DEVIL’S DUE: THE CARDS IN THE DECK is precisely the kind of short fiction one would expect to find a foothold in today’s consumer-friendly market. It’s a quick read – a perilous adventure set on the high seas – where action remains front-and-center, and it’s easy to distinguish the good guys from the bad. The premise is that former NSA operative Scott Evers captains the Sea Shepherd, and, while carrying out the mission to disrupt Mediterranean fishermen, the boat comes under heavy assault from ‘unfriendlies’ …
… and, basically, that’s it.
While this statement is not meant as any insult, DEVIL’S DUE is hardly anything approaching a novel. To be accurate, it’s a short story – one whose intent is clearly to entertain – and, solely on that level, it kept my interest. Granted, it isn’t the kind of thing I’d normally pick up – I’m all for tales of crisp action and lethal derring-do, but I tend to prefer something with a greater personal investment. There’s little characterization here – in fact, I suspect some of that may be due to the fact that its author (Robert Stanek) has a series of works exploring Scott Evers’ life in print – and I always find it hard to sink my teeth (and brain) into something that’s driving intent is to serve up one action sequence after another.
Who knows? If this is only one piece of a greater work, then that’s all well and good. I suspect that Evers has miles to go before he sleeps (as goes the old saying), and the way he conducts himself here certainly is the stuff similar to many military-style thrillers I’ve read throughout my years. Evers could prove himself a force to be reckoned with, but, in this short slice, it’s hard to see from what mettle he’s been truly fashioned.
But as the kind of thing one could purchase and read, say, on a short plane ride from one city to the next? Why, I’d imagine you could do far worse than DEVIL’S DUE.
One thing’s for sure, and that’s that author Stanek ratchets the excitement up as high as he can in DEVIL’S DUE. As a selling point, it certainly works.
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the author reached out to me via email, asking that I obtain a free copy of DEVIL’S DUE via Amazon solely for the purposes of completing this review. His request has influenced my review in no way, shape, or form.
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