Tag Archives: detective

Forevermore by Jim Musgrave

ForevermoreForevermore by Jim Musgrave

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As usual, I received this book because somebody gave it to me for free. In this case, the author approached me directly with a copy of the whole trilogy as one volume. Despite this kind consideration, I give my candid opinions below, as will quickly become self-evident.

Firstly, a few general comments and a readers recommendation. It is suggested that you read this book in the following manner: read the first chapter and allow the oddness of it to roll around in your head for a few moments. Then sally you forth unto Wikipedia and read the real events as recorded by history. Smirk bemusedly at yourself for a few seconds and then continue to read the rest of the novel. Anything less enigmatic than that is left as exercise to the reader.

On the positive side, our author has picked an fascinating episode of history for his target. Saying more than that will spoil the fun but it is my considered opinion that historical fiction is best when it starts out with some reality that is abundantly screwball in its own right and expands upon it in a realistic way. I won’t go so far as to say that this book is a potential truth of the matter, but the thread of the tale has a pleasant glow of vague plausibility to it that fits well with the genre. Furthermore, the book is easy and accessible but still endeavors to expand the reader’s knowledge of history (and vocabulary) without any significant missteps. The author has done his homework, despite what other reviewers may say to the contrary.

On the negative side, the novel does suffer from some fairly significant editorial woes. At times it’s difficult to tell who the narrator of a given passage is and transitions in time and place are sometimes hard to pick up on. The text is rife with historical references but at times so rife that they feel rather forced. I appreciate the author’s research but one doesn’t have to stuff everything he knows about 19th century life into one book. Lastly, during our dramatic climax the book reads more like an Abbott and Costello routine than a serious mystery novel. As a reader I’m happy to accept either but it is generally preferred if the author picks one or the other and sticks with it.

In summary, this is a very well conceived novel but it must be remembered that readers of the mystery genre especially are punctilious beasts that will pick apart every detail of every sentence you write. They have to because they must find the answer before the end arrives. That’s rather the point of reading a mystery novel. So while this novel is generally good, it’s not quite up to the standards of its chosen genre. As a first novel it’s a brilliant initial step though and I look forward to the next two in the series.

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The Undead Kama Sutra – Mario Acevedo [2008]

The last time I went to a library book sale I found myself near the end of my stay browsing around in the science fiction section. I’ve learned from long experience that doing this is a mistake as inevitably I will find myself filled to maximum carrying capacity with random novels that “look interesting.” The Undead Kama Sutra is a novel that I obtained in just this way by force of the “What the … is that?” factor alone.

Sadly, Acevedo’s novel is like a gluttonous man at a buffet who cannot make up his mind and merely has a little bit of everything. The novel is rife with gratuitous sex, deep personal violence, large-scale mechanical violence, vampires, private detectives, bikers, aliens, government conspiracy, industrial exploitation and even a hint of military action. One is left not entirely knowing where the plot could possibly go next or who might be introduced but always can rest assured in the knowledge that wherever the novel goes it won’t necessarily make a lot of sense given what has come before.

As plot lines go it’s fairly straightforward. The protagonist, Felix Gomez, is an Iraq war veteran who was transformed into a vampire during the war. He’s returned to the states and is now a private investigator. He’s sent on a case by the ruling vampire “government” for lack of a better word, to stop a group of aliens who have come to come to Earth in order to sell the entire female population (with the help of the US Government) as pets back on their respective home worlds. (For those of you who may be familiar with my writing, you may be assuming at this point that I have resorted to farce. Let me assure you that the summary I provide is, in fact, absolutely factual.) In exchange for enslaving Earth women, the alien’s have provided miracle pills which enhance certain male and female physical characteristics and general… performance. Of course in the end all the bad guys are taken care of and everything is fine but not until a lot of people got really large penises out of the deal. What happier ending could there be?

Quite frankly, it is with some reticence that I wrote about this book at all. Like someone who spent far too long on the sofa watching the Jerry Springer show, I’m more than a bit embarrassed to admit that I read this thing, that I frittered away even a tiny amount of time bludgeoning my mind with this awful tripe. That said, one is left with a sort of terrible anticipation at a certain point to know exactly what hopelessly idiotic thing is going to happen next. So… now you know. You’re welcome. Another book you need never read. Or consider reading. Or think about ever again.

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