Monday, May 29, 2017

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 5/27

Sometimes I dream of the perfect books-in-the-mail week: I get exactly the books I'd want to read next, and precisely as many books as I'd read the next week. Since the universe is infinite, it's theoretically possible, but since even I don't know what I'll want to read three days from now (or what will affect my reading time and inclination), it's practically impossible.

But, some weeks, I get just one book, and it's practically begging me to jump the queue and read it that's pretty close.

(In case you're confused: I review books, so publishers send me books to review. Fewer now than in the past, since blogs are pretty 2006 these days, and my traffic is not setting the Internet on fire. But free stuff is a wonderful thing in any circumstance, so I celebrate those books every Monday morning.)

This week, that book was Nothing Left to Lose by Dan Wells.

It's the sixth novel about John Wayne Cleaver, and, I suppose, the end of the second loose trilogy. (Each book is a standalone, like a mystery novel, but they tend to cluster.) John is a teenage sociopath -- diminished emotional affect, urges to kill, voices in his head, the whole bit -- who has tried his whole life to keep himself controlled and good. Unfortunately, John lives in a dark-fantasy universe, where a group of people got supernatural powers thousands of years back and have been predating on humans ever since, in various horrible and unpleasant ways. John has been tracking and killing these monsters for several years now, since they wrecked his young life back in the first three books. Along the way, he's lost just about everything but himself, and all of his hopes for anything else.

John has a great voice, and Wells lets him tell the stories directly -- they're compelling, page-turning stories that move well and and bleakly excellent. See my reviews of the first trilogy, The Devil's Only Friend, and Over Your Dead Body for more details.

Nothing Left to Lose is a trade paperback from Tor, coming on June 6th. It may be the end of John's story.

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