Friday, April 5, 2013

Phoenix Rising (Cynthia Vespia)

Phoenix Rising
Cynthia Vespia
Orignal Cyn Advertising
Fiction, Thriller
***+ (Okay/Good)

DESCRIPTION: Former military sniper John Phoenix only failed one job in his life: the day he missed the guerrillas who nearly wiped out his unit in Afghanistan. Discharged and drifting, he stumbled into a life as a freelance killer for hire, rationalizing his job by only taking hits on truly despicable people. The Army trained him well, and he trained himself even better. He's never missed a shot in his career.
Waking up in a pool of his own blood in Las Vegas, with no idea how he got there, doesn't bode well.
John has no time to brood or recuperate; he's on a job, and something's clearly gone very wrong. Worse, it seems an old girlfriend may be involved: Victoria, the one woman who almost lured him from the life of a hit man. If he gets her back alive, he may just leave this job for good... assuming he survives a mission that's already nearly killed him once.
A Kindle-exclusive title.

REVIEW: I figured I could use a change of pace, so when I saw this offered as a free download, I decided to try it. The story starts fast, rarely slackening its pace as John races to put the pieces of his shattered memory together in time to save his own life. Bullets fly, knives slice, blood spurts, and bodies fall at a prodigious rate, as John proves that sheer grit and testosterone can overcome medical science and even the laws of physics. The plot itself, involving gun runners and kidnappings and shady deals gone bad, does its job, if not in a stunningly original fashion; even though I don't read many thrillers, I saw one of the biggest plot twists coming a mile away. Actually, the whole book reminded me of a pilot episode for an action series, the sort of lone soldier-of-fortune show one doesn't see on the airwaves much anymore. It read fast, and was enjoyable for what it was, but I lack the testosterone levels to be fully absorbed by this kind of story.

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