Sunday, May 19, 2013

Review: Three

Three by J.A. Konrath

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Thriller
Reading Level: Adult—explicit sex scenes, sexual language
Recommended for: Those who like their books fast-paced and high-octane and don't care much for little silly details
Book Available: June 25, 2013 in Kindle and Paperback editions
Trigger Warnings: child abuse, incest, murder, carjacking, tasteless handicap jokes (made by a disabled woman)
Animal Abuse: a dog is hit with a gun and then shot (he survives); the president repeatedly threatens his wife's cat; a rattlesnake is stomped

My Thoughts: After reading the first two books over the course of slightly less than 12 hours, I sort of ran out of gas and this one went much more slowly. Part of it is that it involved so many people. Not only are there the three sisters and the Instructor, but there are also seven members of another Hydra team (Hydra Deux), Julie, and the new president, and sections alternate between all of them. Some of it felt a little padded, and much of the character development done in the previous books is done over again so that this book can be read as a standalone if you want.

There were a few inconsistencies I noted. Fleming had her legs rebroken by Malcolm, and her fingers broken by one of Hammett's people, but in this book this doesn't seem to slow her down in the least. Chandler dislocated her shoulder twice over the course of the previous two books (which in total took place over maybe three days all told), but in this book is complaining more about the pain in her leg, which I think was just a graze by a bullet. All three sisters had removed their tracking beacons, which were implanted in their duodenum, yet again this is not slowing them down. I've had “minor” abdominal surgery several times, and it definitely slows you down. Admittedly they are all trained to overcome pain, but I just don't see how they aren't being slowed down at all by things like broken bones, especially Fleming, whose legs were already held together by pins.

Don't misunderstand, this is another fast-paced, high-octane book that is so full of twists and turns and subplots that many people won't even be bothered by these things, but this is also a very long book and some of this stuff seems to just be completely ignored or understated just to keep things moving. I did really like Heathcliff and Bradley. Heath and Chandler had a real Spike/Buffy thing going on, and being a huge Spuffy fan, I really liked that. Bradley was kind of Too Stupid to Live, but he was an appealing character nonetheless.

Overall, this book was okay. It didn't blow me away, but it was entertaining enough. I think it was a little overwritten and probably about a third of it could have been cut, but for people who enjoy thrillers, who have read the series and want to finish it, it will be entertaining. It will be available June 25.

Note: Due to miscommunications, this was removed from my Vine queue, so this review cannot be posted on Amazon with the other Vine reviewers. However, it was provided to me by Vine.

Series Information: Three is the third book in the Codename: Chandler series.
Book 1: Flee read and reviewed 5/17/13, review linked here where formatting allowed
Exposed is a novella featuring Chandler, and may be read after Flee; I will not be reading it right now
Book 2: Spree, read and reviewed 5/17/13, review linked here where formatting allowed.
Note: Many of Konrath's books have characters that show up throughout his several series, and that includes characters in this series that show up in other books and series. It's very complicated, but I imagine he has a list somewhere on his site that outlines the best order in which to read them all to catch all the interconnected plots.

Disclosure: I received a paperback ARC of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: Time is running out for Chandler, the elite assassin whose mission to rescue her sister from a notorious black ops prison landed her at the top of the nation’s Most Wanted list. Burned by her handlers and forced to work with her mortal enemy in a race to preserve the very government that wants her dead, the living weapon has become a ticking time bomb.

In saving her sister, Chandler unleashed a power-mad American president dead set on controlling the world—no matter how many millions of innocent people he must kill to do it. To stop him, Chandler will go deeper than she’s ever gone before, pushing her body and mind to their absolute limits. All the while she is hunted by the one man who knows her every secret, her every hiding place—and her every weakness. Infiltrating the White House, crashing a bullfight in Mexico City, hijacking a blimp in Toronto… these are just the beginning of the end, as the Codename: Chandler trilogy races towards its stunning conclusion.

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