Series: The Last Line #1
Genres: Urban/Paranormal Fantasy
The War on Terror is changing, and nobody expected monsters to turn up in broad daylight.
When a terrorist attack hits London and the survivors say that the attackers were not human, Major Thom Usher must lead the Special Forces team Empire One against the Feral, a force of berserker rage that has awoken from our distant past to destroy us all. Their fight will take them from the burning sands of the Middle East to the frozen arctic tundra of Svalbard.
They are our last line of defence against the horrors in the dark.
The traumatized soldiers of Empire One are getting used to monsters trying to kill them.
Get in, get the job done, get home alive, that’s their motto.
Oh and don’t get eaten.
Easier said than done.
The Feral is a military fantasy novel set in the contemporary world of terrorism, espionage and modern warfare, where myth, magic and monsters are horrifyingly real.
He took a few beatings for it, his drunken father calling him a wastrel, but Isaac knew life was about beatings and tempering, like hardening steel.
Isaac did not understand how in modern time people managed to put an invisible barrier between themselves and horror using nothing but a smartphone, but it seemed to work in countless tragedies of recent times.
As long as you’re watching it on a screen it isn’t real.
As they desperately mumbled some final pleading prayer to the lord of whatever gospels they followed, Usher usually gave them his own ‘good news’ with both barrels.
After so many years of deniable missions, compromised morality and putrid violence, Usher’s conscience was a battered and starved legionnaire, broken down and rebuilt from scratch, who did not usually speak until spoken to.
It severed two of them in half with one swipe, spattering the gleaming walls in dark gore, and spilling metres of intestines onto the floor like discarded rubber tubing.
This is super hard for me to write. There were parts of this book I really liked, and there were parts I didn’t. It was such a swing from one side to another that I ended up just bumping up my rating. It could’ve gone either way, honestly.
Boiled down storyline is about some bad guys from another realm trying to infiltrate our world. The good guys try to stop it.
I thought is was refreshing to get an urban/paranormal fantasy where the character is not some lone wolf or detective or go it alone cop. It’s a branch of the military specifically there for the supernatural and we follow a team as they go about trying to uncover what the bad guys are up to. Some of the creatures in here were great. And some of the action scenes simply amazing. I love gore, and this book delivered some tastefully drawn death scenes and fights. It felt realistic, which I loved. The first two action scenes were a nail-biting good time. Actually, I adored the first quarter of this book. I was getting some good character building and action in at once. It was great. Then …
I can’t peg what exactly lost me. I will say there were thoughts that seemed redundant. I felt we were getting to really know two characters and then all that development waned. The team we were following didn’t get fleshed out enough for me in the beginning. There were some parts toward the end that really gave some insight, but receiving it so late did little to regain my love. There was some head-hopping. Nothing too jarring, but when most of the chapter is with one person and a few paragraphs skip, it always pulls me right out of the story. I wish we would have been with the character during a couple scenes, forgoing that omniscient PoV.
There was a wide range of characters in this book. As I said, in the beginning I was really getting into Isaac’s character, but then I lost him. Usher had promise, but I never connected with him. And the others took too long to draw me in. I will say Ariel was a great character. The instant we were in his PoV, I got him. He felt the most developed to me, a scared scientist thrown into an undercover situation. He had all the right emotions, and they were explored perfectly.
I must say that what I enjoyed the most were the bad guys. They were hard to beat, which made the action scenes awesome. The good/bad guy in this was incredibly fun.
There were a few proofreading errors and some odd comma usage. The typos are not abundant, so they never bothered me. However, the odd comma usage took me a while to adjust. For example, there were no comma’s around names, so it threw me occasionally.
As far as pacing goes, I’d say the entire book read long. There was action, but some scenes felt drawn out and really slowed down the story. I admit I did a bit of skimming here and there in order to get to the good parts. When it moved, it moved. But a lot felt slow. Especially in the middle. I always feel that way, though, if I haven’t latched on to a character. It makes a book hard to pick up.
Overall, I love the military angle and the bad guys and the gory action scenes. However, I wish I was entrenched with the characters more. With such a mixed outlook, I’m walking away indecisive.