So to start what I have been calling my Balticon 2012 book tour hehe. I am going to talk about and review a few books in the weeks to come. Why associate these with Balticon you say, well I met these authors at this years Balticon(man I can’t say this year for much longer huh?). These authors are John Mierau, Paul Elard Cooley, and P.G. Holyfield. There will be some more authors added to this list and most likely they will be Nathan Lowell, and Mur Lafferty only issue is it’s been awhile since I read the books I want to review and they both did 5 book series that were just amazing, so going back to read them will take sometime. Well With out further here is stop one on this tour of mine, Enemy Lines by John Mierau.
I am well a hard and easy consumer of books to make happy. how can I be hard and easy at the same time you ask well it all hinges on the balance of action in the story. This said I had my doubts about Enemy Lines being able to deliver the goods. Yet this story is many things all rolled into one, intense, thrilling little story. Showing I was very, very wrong in my doubts. It gave me action, from a genetically engineered super human(from space) that a win in my book. Aliens which is another win, and evil corporations and government cover ups win and win. Oh and did I mention gun fights, explosions, that both take place on earth and in space plus Yakuza and international thieves? So if you haven’t rushed out and got this book or downloaded the podcast, i will give you a quick run down of the plot.
This is the tale of a group of people coming together to benefit the human race. To guide it with the help of some interstellar beings into prosperity one scientific discovery at a time. Now the government obviously wants to know whats the deal with the little grey men as is always in such stories. while the giant corporation wants to monetize the discoveries and utilize the best for there own gain and acquisition of more Alien inspired tech. Pretty boiler plate from the sounds right? Well on the surface I would agree with you whole heartily but as the old adage goes “the proof is in the pudding”.
The story as many crime films/government conspiracy films are, is told from different point of views. Yet blends then together and constructs a patch work of intrigue that I personally didn’t think it would. This multiple points of views style however gets a bit muddled in the beginning because of a time jump that was needed to progress the story. A reader can not honestly think an author is gonna write several years of scientific research, meticulous planning and conspiracy can you, not unless you want to be snoozing by page 50 of a 2000 age book lol. I simply wish it was bit more defined one minute we are with our cast of characters at the start of somethings, then boom its some years in the future. A little more transition would have helped this though I again openly admit this was needed to progress the story and to get into the meat of the story.
The development of characters is done well, you get to know them, you feel for them, and you hurt for them during there times of lose and pain. In this story you want them to win against their opposition. this is something different from a lot of stories I have read and films of this nature I have seen. The beings your reading about feel just like that empty being vessels to push the plot while Enemy Lines makes you love these guys and Mr. Mierau has no issues with killing folks let me tell.
Your probably reading this and wondering why I haven’t talk specific of characters, well I feel this would take away from the story by helping to give insight into the story that is revealed through the well done development. Now I did find some parts of this story to be a bit slow but with these type of stories you tend to get slow bits because of the mass amount of information needed to be given. Also the love story in this was very plane and obvious, I personally felt it wasn’t needed at all. also some characters though developed were not flushed out as much as others one of which is the bodyguard of our international thieves. He grows a bit and develops some but is still left well in a shroud that separates him form the reader which made me think he could die or live and it wouldn’t really touch me as much as some others. which is a shame because he is a fun character not your typical bruiser.
All in all Enemy lines delivers the intrigue, fun, and action that one gets when Xfiles meets Jason Bourne, sprinkled with some space battles and intergalactic micro worm hole travel you got the recipe for a good book. Plus Mierau gives you hope for a sequel. An when it comes this guy will be reading and or listening to it immediately. So go check out Enemy Lines, its good stuff.