Local Reads: Nick Kelly’s
I’m going to do that thing that I hate when people do when reviewing books; I am going to tell you that this is soooo not the genre I normally read. Why do I hate when people say that in reviews? Nothing screams THIS IS A REVIEW FROM YOUR MOM more than that phrase. Seriously, who reads outside their comfort level except friends and family?
People reviewing books based on where the author resides, and not based on the stories the reviewer usually reads, that’s who. I’ll be reading a lot of books that I perhaps normally wouldn’t read, and opening my eyes to stories told in ways I hadn’t experienced before. So, when I say right up front that this isn’t my genre, is to let you know that this review will be based on the story itself and not how it holds up with all its cyberpunk brethren. I don’t know how it compares to other books of its ilk, I only know that as a story about one man’s struggle to remain human as the world–and his own physical being–becomes less and less so, this story majorly kicks ass!
In a future post-apocalyptic L.A. Leon “Catwalk” Caliber, ex-cop, current assassin struggles against mechanized monsters created by a madman, as he also worries about his own mechanics and how human he can remain as his body becomes more and more a machine. There is an insane amount of fight scenes that are expertly rendered to put the reader there, but not drag it out unnecessarily. It also has a really good back story that makes the struggle to keep his humanity very real to the reader. Also, there are a few kick ass women.
The only off putting thing, I found, was that the book is very closely locked into Leon’s head and he is smart and articulate. But when he opens his mouth to talk to other people, he sounds like Arnold Schwarzenegger with a head injury. At first it jarred me any time he opened his mouth–which he doesn’t do that often actually. He lives a very secluded and guarded life. And remembering that made me realize that his facade of ignorance is a defense he uses to fit in with his clientele, or to allow enemies to make an assumption that will wind up costing them their lives, or to put distance between himself and people who might want to get close to him. It made sense to me.
All in all, this is a fun, fast paced shoot ’em up piece with just enough angst, heart and drama for even readers like myself. I recommend it for anyone who likes cyberpunk or anyone who wants to try something new.
Nick Kelly is a Northern Virginia author of the Leon “Catwalk” Caliber comic & novels, beginning with 2013’s “Catwalk: Messiah.” It’s sequel “Lineage” came out late last year. He also is the co-author of the Urban Samurai series with Stacia D. Kelly, beginning with 2013’s “Ichi.”
Local Reads is a set of blogs I hope to do a lot of in the coming year. They will be book reviews from local authors that I’m either friends with, have met at a book signing, or have heard about through word of mouth. I think it’s time that I read and review the shelf of local author’s works I’ve collected over the last year. There is a wide variety of genres and talents here in the D.C./Virginia/Maryland area. I’m excited to be a part of it.
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