Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Don't Think About How They Make the Sausage

Christopher Farnsworth “Killfile” (Bonnier Zaffre, 2016)

Is Christopher Farnsworth a genre writer? Or does he just write genre adjacent work? I know that he has a whole series about a vampire who is also a government agent.  

And here is a thriller about a former CIA agent who can read minds.

The mini version of the plot is this: John Smith takes an industrial espionage job, only to have the Tech Billionaire try to kill him & then use his mad computer skillz to put Smith on the run.

Up front I want to say this:  this was a very fun read.  It was fast & action packed. It read like a crazy action espionage movie.

But man, it was really kind of stupid.  Here’s some high level stupidity:

Why did the CIA have Smith interrogating terrorists? Wouldn’t he have been used to read the mind of high level people like generals or world leaders? Or during trade negotiations? It seemed like a choice used to just make him more “regular guy” and badass (at the same time).

How could the tech guy wipe him out digitally in moments? I mean, that’s just not how that works.

Of course he’s paired up with a hot young woman.  And of course she eventually wants to sleep with him.

This is a fun summer read that you shouldn’t think about too much. The more you think about it, the less you’ll like it.

All He Wanted Was A Drink

Rafer Roberts & David Lafuente “A & A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong, Vol 1: In the Bag” (Valiant, 2016)

This is my first taste of Archer & Armstrong, though I’m aware of some positive buzz about the book for the last few years.  Jumping in with this volume, it felt a lot like trying out comics back when I was a kid.  In other words, I had to piece some things together. No one spoon fed me a ton of backstory, but I was able to keep up.  

Armstrong seems to be somewhere between The Doctor & The Master on the continuum of hero to villain.  He doesn’t really want to help anyone or save the universe, but neither does he want to conquer the world.  He’s immortal, but he’s also a drunk & selfish.

Archer is his companion.  He’s young & naive, & seems to have his own crazy back story.  He thinks the best of people, even when he shouldn’t.

This particular story is what happens when Armstrong decides to go into his Bag of Holding to get a bottle of booze.  It turns out that the bag is full of people who are a bit pissed that Armstrong has shoved them inside over the centuries. 

This book was a huge amount of fun!  It has action, comedy, betrayal, and more! It’s light & fun without being stripped of some serious character moments.

David Lafuente’s art is a wonderful fit for the tone of this book.  It’s expressive & conveys action and fantastical concepts without being overdone.  

My only complaint with this book is that it is too short!  I want more!