Kill Switch by Jonathan Maberry

Disclaimer: I received an eARC from NetGalley. In addition, I have previously participated in fundraisers by the author that resulted in me getting some cool books and swag.

Twitter Summary: Pulse-pounding, weird science popcorn thriller.

Affiliate Links: Kill Switch

First line: Where were you when the lights went out?

The Joe Ledger series is a study in what would happen if you took beat cop Steven Seagal and put him in a world where he has to deal with weird science cryptid versions of such staples as ape men, vampires, and aliens. I don’t really like vampire or zombie novels. This (and Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles) is my largest exception.

This is owed in a large part to the author’s penchant for, to put it bluntly, beating the crap out of both the protagonist and the world he lives in. By this point, eight books in, the world Joe Ledger inhabits is far different than our own. Ledger’s world has a LOT less infrastructure remaining.

Having covered zombies, vampires, beastmen, aliens, and other such staples, this time the author delves into the Lovecraft mythos, using that as a baseline for putting the world and Joe Ledger through some more heinous crap. My favorite setpiece is a NASCAR race.

Trust me, you do not want to be at a Jonathan Maberry NASCAR race.

The first line of the book, immediately informs the reader that there isn’t going to be much downtime in this book. The pace of the story isn’t just fast but breakneck, hurling towards the end. This isn’t slap dash “throw it against the wall and see what sticks” though. Maberry skillfully builds the tension, throwing in a couple of false climaxes and a few twists, while maximizing the payoff. In true action movie fashion, there’s not much rest for the wicked afterwards, either.

Final Verdict: Highly Recommended. I have preordered each since the 3rd, and I see no reason to stop.

Other recommendations:

Supernatural thriller novels: Gemini Cell by Myke Cole and Seal Team 666 by Weston Ochse

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Kill Switch by Jonathan Maberry

The “Sin du Jour” series by Matt F’n Wallace

Twitter Summary: Cutthroat Kitchen mixed with Dragonlance and Soldier of Fortune.

Amazon Affiliate Links: Envy of Angels: A Sin du Jour Affair, Small Wars: A Tor.Com Original (A Sin du Jour Affair), and Lustlocked: A Sin du Jour Affair

Note: Small Wars is also available for free Here (I bought it anyway).

Matt Wallace has been taking up space in my head since I started his first novella series Slingers. That ****er is too damn good at the cliffhanger, probably something to do with his background in wrestling, and day job working in TV. Or he just wants to make sure you buy the next one. One of those I’m sure.

Envy and Small Wars are self contained stories, but Lustlocked’s ending caused me to string together many expletives. Thankfully the next one, Pride’s Spell, is out in June.

If you’ve watched Alton Brown’s Cutthroat Kitchen on the Food Network, you’ll have a good idea of the kind of humor in these novels, though it gets a little bit more fantastic than that. Ever wanted to know what an angel tastes like? Or why chicken nuggets are so addictive?

Sin du Jour is the name of a catering company that caters to the fantastical, from elder demons to goblin royalty.But of course, such palates don’t enjoy mortal fare, so in addition to chefs and pastrymakers, the company also has a group of elite warriors as their procuring department.

Fight scenes are incredibly polished, as you’d expect from someone that has taught law enforcement officers and been a law enforcement officer. One story features a mercenary magazine sponsored knife tournament. When I asked him what the chances were that he’d participated in such a thing , his answer was “High”.

This series manages to successfully weave together dark humor, gourmet cuisine, and monster fights. What are you waiting for?

Final¬† Verdict: Thoroughly Enjoyed, have pre-ordered the next book (Pride’s Spell: A Sin du Jour Affair), and Envy of Angels is on my Hugo nominations list.

Other Recommendations:

Tor.Com Novellas: Genrenauts by Mike Underwood (link is my review), Sunset Mantle by Alter Reiss, The Builders by Daniel Polansky, Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

The “Sin du Jour” series by Matt F’n Wallace