I review Gabriel’s Return and trip up all over myself

It has been a long time since I set virtual foot on my blog page that I almost tripped over the previous posts. Cleaning up is going to be a bitch, I see.

Well, on to the business at hand, shall we?

 

Writer Steve Umstead (whose book Gabriel’s Redemption I reviewed earlier this year…go ahead and read the review, it’s right here. I’ll wait) (Finished? Good, let’s continue) has done it again, another Evan Gabriel book, the dreaded sequel, Gabriel’s Return. Now I know what you’re asking yourself, “Mark, (which is strange if you name isn’t Mark) why do you say ‘dreaded’?” Good question and the answer is simplicity itself: Most sequels that I have run into suck the big banana.

Thank goodness that didn’t happen here. With nary a hitch in stride, Umstead returns with a slickly written story that is well paced and so well written I am starting to feel a little jealous here. I mean, whoda thunk that a self-published author could pop out a well edited, well crafted, well thought out book?

The Big 6 publishers certainly don’t want you to think they can. They would have you believe that quality work can only be produced through their efforts. Good thing that Umstead has the ability to prove them wrong.

Evan Gabriel and his team head off on a mission to save hostages from terrorists. Yep, that is the only spoiler I will allow, which is quite a lot for me. Now, down to the meat and potatoes of the matter; the characters are well written and believable, the dialogue crisp and well thought out as was the plot-line.

Yes, it is a good story well told and well executed. I hate, and I mean HATE giving books stars, or a numeric value based on my opinion. I mean hate it like I would hate wearing fiberglass underwear, so I will forego the pleasure of pigeonholing Mr. Umstead’s fine work with such base values. Instead, I will say this: this remarkable indie author writes like a young Ben Bova, full of verve and raw energy, without all the gratuitous swearing that many of today’s writers rely so heavily upon.

Good Job, Steve.

 

Now, you are probably wondering about me. Don’t blame you, I really am a fascinating fellow. In the last couple of months I attempted a little bit of a departure, called Unwilling Gate. It was an Urban Fantasy about possession, hate, greed, and redemption. Boy, did it suck. Not just the kind of sucking you get from a John Norman book, but the major, hurricane force suckage that Laurel K. Hamilton seems to indulge in these days.

I couldn’t tell you what happened, not for the life of me. I was grooving, in my Zen place just typing away and I decided to check out what I had written for the first 40k words or so.

Damn, it read like Roger Zelazny if he’d been a drunk pagan Goth with dyslexia and severe mommy issues. By the time my eyes had reached halfway through what I had written, I had to scrap the project. If not for my sake, then for the sake of humanity. THINK OF THE CHILDREN, MAN!!!

Ahem. Sorry…got away from myself. Where was I? Oh yeah, scrapped projects. The one good thing is that I am now writing, more successfully mind you, the third in the Kal Hakala BSI series, I left my haunt in San Francisco. Don’t worry, it doesn’t suck.

Until next time, dear readers…ciao.

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