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THE SLUSH PILE BRIGADE - A NICK LASSITER NOVEL BOOK 1 #1 DENVER POST BESTSELLER (FICTION) AWARD-WINNING FINALIST BEVERLY HILLS BOOK AWARDS (MYSTERY) On his thirtieth birthday, Nick Lassiter has lost his girlfriend and his job, is wanted by the police, and has discovered that his unpublished thriller, “Blind Thrust,” has been stolen and turned into a blockbuster movie called S THE SLUSH PILE BRIGADE - A NICK LASSITER NOVEL BOOK 1 #1 DENVER POST BESTSELLER (FICTION) AWARD-WINNING FINALIST BEVERLY HILLS BOOK AWARDS (MYSTERY) On his thirtieth birthday, Nick Lassiter has lost his girlfriend and his job, is wanted by the police, and has discovered that his unpublished thriller, “Blind Thrust,” has been stolen and turned into a blockbuster movie called Subterranean Storm. Even worse, the movie is based on a soon-to-be best-selling novel by Australian thriller writer Cameron Beckett, one of the world’s biggest brand name authors. Rather than seek revenge through a financial settlement or public humiliation, Lassiter sets out for New York to obtain mea culpas from Beckett and his renowned literary agent, whom he is certain colluded with the Aussie in stealing his debut novel. Once in New York, Lassiter, and his three quirky fish-out-of-water friends who insist on accompanying him, instantly run afoul of the law and other powerful forces intent on thwarting them and their mission. As they encounter one thorny obstacle after another, the scope of their inquiries expands and they are soon in way over their heads, battling toe-to-toe not only against the mega-best- selling author and his agent, but a formidable army of antagonists, including the NYPD, Beckett’s Big Five publishing house security squad, and the Russian mob. Collectively, these adversaries present Lassiter with the greatest—and deadliest—challenge of his life. Unexpectedly aided by his CIA father, Director of the Russian Counterintelligence Desk, and his former girlfriend turned CIA-informant, Lassiter and his comrades take to calling themselves the Slush Pile Brigade. Outmatched and outgunned, they are foiled at virtually every turn but still they are determined to win. But will they find justice? Can they prove that Beckett and his crooked literary agent have stolen Lassiter’s blockbuster novel and are undeservedly reaping the success? And more importantly, will they solve one of the most important counterintelligence cases in CIA history and actually live to tell about it?


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THE SLUSH PILE BRIGADE - A NICK LASSITER NOVEL BOOK 1 #1 DENVER POST BESTSELLER (FICTION) AWARD-WINNING FINALIST BEVERLY HILLS BOOK AWARDS (MYSTERY) On his thirtieth birthday, Nick Lassiter has lost his girlfriend and his job, is wanted by the police, and has discovered that his unpublished thriller, “Blind Thrust,” has been stolen and turned into a blockbuster movie called S THE SLUSH PILE BRIGADE - A NICK LASSITER NOVEL BOOK 1 #1 DENVER POST BESTSELLER (FICTION) AWARD-WINNING FINALIST BEVERLY HILLS BOOK AWARDS (MYSTERY) On his thirtieth birthday, Nick Lassiter has lost his girlfriend and his job, is wanted by the police, and has discovered that his unpublished thriller, “Blind Thrust,” has been stolen and turned into a blockbuster movie called Subterranean Storm. Even worse, the movie is based on a soon-to-be best-selling novel by Australian thriller writer Cameron Beckett, one of the world’s biggest brand name authors. Rather than seek revenge through a financial settlement or public humiliation, Lassiter sets out for New York to obtain mea culpas from Beckett and his renowned literary agent, whom he is certain colluded with the Aussie in stealing his debut novel. Once in New York, Lassiter, and his three quirky fish-out-of-water friends who insist on accompanying him, instantly run afoul of the law and other powerful forces intent on thwarting them and their mission. As they encounter one thorny obstacle after another, the scope of their inquiries expands and they are soon in way over their heads, battling toe-to-toe not only against the mega-best- selling author and his agent, but a formidable army of antagonists, including the NYPD, Beckett’s Big Five publishing house security squad, and the Russian mob. Collectively, these adversaries present Lassiter with the greatest—and deadliest—challenge of his life. Unexpectedly aided by his CIA father, Director of the Russian Counterintelligence Desk, and his former girlfriend turned CIA-informant, Lassiter and his comrades take to calling themselves the Slush Pile Brigade. Outmatched and outgunned, they are foiled at virtually every turn but still they are determined to win. But will they find justice? Can they prove that Beckett and his crooked literary agent have stolen Lassiter’s blockbuster novel and are undeservedly reaping the success? And more importantly, will they solve one of the most important counterintelligence cases in CIA history and actually live to tell about it?

30 review for The Slush Pile Brigade

  1. 4 out of 5

    AW Bermingham

    Slush Pile offers readers insight into an exceptionally gifted and creative literary mind. I was surprised to learn this is Samuel Marquis’s first book. Each page has literary or and historical references.... There's no way you can keep up with them all, but I mean that in the best way. I think every teacher of literature will be scrambling to ensure their students (and they themselves) know each of these references. This book seems to have been written by three people: a geologist, a librarian, Slush Pile offers readers insight into an exceptionally gifted and creative literary mind. I was surprised to learn this is Samuel Marquis’s first book. Each page has literary or and historical references.... There's no way you can keep up with them all, but I mean that in the best way. I think every teacher of literature will be scrambling to ensure their students (and they themselves) know each of these references. This book seems to have been written by three people: a geologist, a librarian, and a former CIA spy. I also mean this is the best way – the book excels at details and thus was likely researched over many months or perhaps even several years. A very skeptical eye is cast upon the cutthroat publishing industry. Literary agents everywhere — and particularly those in midtown Manhattan — will soon be checking their consciences! Overall, a very fun, fast-moving read and well-earned kudos to Mr. Marquis for launching his writing career with the kind of narrative typically years in the making for writers. I fully recommend this Russian doll of a thriller and look forward to many future titles from this author.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    What an enjoyable read. An action thriller/mystery that has you wondering how a novelist could start an international incident. Nick has discovered that his manuscript has been published by an Australian writer and is being made into a blockbuster movie. He's convinced that legal recourse won't help so with the help of his CIA father, his quirky friends and an ex-girlfriend they get involved with the Russian mob, a secret CIA organization, the NYPD and the publisher's security squad. Funny and a What an enjoyable read. An action thriller/mystery that has you wondering how a novelist could start an international incident. Nick has discovered that his manuscript has been published by an Australian writer and is being made into a blockbuster movie. He's convinced that legal recourse won't help so with the help of his CIA father, his quirky friends and an ex-girlfriend they get involved with the Russian mob, a secret CIA organization, the NYPD and the publisher's security squad. Funny and action packed this is a great book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    A must-read for anybody who has fought against or lived in the world of publishing. Nick Lassiter's life is every new author's worst nightmare. Fun read from Denver to Manhattan! Evil uber-successful author and literary agent in cahoots...but will Nick beat them at their own game with his quirky team of friends? A must-read for anybody who has fought against or lived in the world of publishing. Nick Lassiter's life is every new author's worst nightmare. Fun read from Denver to Manhattan! Evil uber-successful author and literary agent in cahoots...but will Nick beat them at their own game with his quirky team of friends?

  4. 4 out of 5

    Fred Forbes

    First, apologies to Samuel Marquis and Andra Maguran (she is part of the marketing firm he uses). I accepted this book in exchange for an honest review and it has taken me months to get around to it. I stopped accepting books for review when my "to be read" got too high and this was one of the last ones under the wire. Not that it is not a quick and easy read, just gathered dust for far too long leading to my unconscionable delay. It would get 2.5 stars if that were possible. I hate to disparage First, apologies to Samuel Marquis and Andra Maguran (she is part of the marketing firm he uses). I accepted this book in exchange for an honest review and it has taken me months to get around to it. I stopped accepting books for review when my "to be read" got too high and this was one of the last ones under the wire. Not that it is not a quick and easy read, just gathered dust for far too long leading to my unconscionable delay. It would get 2.5 stars if that were possible. I hate to disparage the work of a hard working author (after all, he has actually written a novel, I have not) but this book came across to me as over-written, simplistic, predictable and full of just about every cliched action and stereotypical character from the action/thriller genre. It tends to be repetitive and contains situations that truly stretch credulity. Indie published books tend to be under edited and copy read. This is no exception given the usual typos (wrap for rap, accept for except) that can't be picked up by word processing programs. The dialogue tends to be loaded with references to pop culture and branding which will date the book in coming years. Do I really need to know the brand, model number and specs of a pair of binoculars? Do I really need to know the title of two songs written by John Lennon which pops up when describing the Dakota in New York where one of the characters lives? How about being given the name of a nurse as shown on her name tag and having it referenced to a song by the Grateful Dead? Literary, movie and product allusions abound so if this is your thing, you will probably have a great time! One line "Jesus Christ he was sweating buckets-his goddamned Ermenigildo Zegna was soaked!" sent me to google to find out that is a reference to a designer who sells $3,000 suits. Oh, yeah, lots of profanity in thought and speech which seems to fit the vernacular these days which is not something I feel comfortable with. Not that I'm squeamish but because overuse of the terminology lessens the impact when it might truly be appropriate. You are familiar, I am sure with declamatory sentences, given when a character is surprised or mystified. Get this one, a true classic. Character is awakened by his father coming in late at night after thinking "I heard a noise in the hallway." and returns wearing his trench-coat and carrying a gun. His son remarks, after being told to go back to bed - "Go back to bed? How on earth can I do that when you're wearing a trench coat, a French beret, reflective sunglasses, and have a bulge signifying the presence of a handgun in your pocket? A bulge so prominent, in fact, it resembles the prodigious testicular Battle of the Bulge on the cover of my favorite Traffic album "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys. I say, did you just go for a stroll through Central Park? It can't be very safe at three o'clock in the morning -even with a gun." Pretty realistic dialogue, right? Great candidate for the "It was a dark and stormy night ..." bad fiction contest. Speaking of a lack of realism, the entire premise that a young author from Denver finds out his book has been plagiarized, sold millions of copies and has been made into a high grossing movie heads to New York to get what? An apology! That's all. No money, no punishment, just an apology. Sure, folks. In this day and age, even the most idealistic will admit that is a bit tough to swallow. This book has a number of Goodreads reviews (most of them startlingly high). When I went to post on Amazon, the only thing available in this title is an advanced readers copy selling for $400 and 4 reviews, all 5 star. Well, if it can't be bought on Amazon, maybe it has not done that well, even with it's Denver Post #1 sales rank and an award from the Beverly Hills Book Awards. What, did folks buy it from the author's website? Did not see it at my local Books-A-Million or Barnes and Noble. Anyway, those who love the bashing of the literary and publishing establishment will probably get a kick out of the story. Sorry, again for the delay.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brigid Hughes

    I LOVED this book. I read to escape and to be entertained and this fit the bill. After a long day, I want to engage in something interesting -- a thriller, a mystery, something funny -- and this book is all of that. Right from page one, the reader is introduced to the literary world and how difficult it is to be a writer and then Chapter One you are introduced to Nick Lassiter and his madcap group of friends -- three crazy guys that have known him forever. It becomes apparent that Nick's book he I LOVED this book. I read to escape and to be entertained and this fit the bill. After a long day, I want to engage in something interesting -- a thriller, a mystery, something funny -- and this book is all of that. Right from page one, the reader is introduced to the literary world and how difficult it is to be a writer and then Chapter One you are introduced to Nick Lassiter and his madcap group of friends -- three crazy guys that have known him forever. It becomes apparent that Nick's book he has written has been lifted by a famous author, published and made into a blockbuster movie. He and his friends -- the Slush Pile Brigade -- travel from Colorado to New York City to merely get an apology and end up on the ride of their life. I don't want to give anything away but somehow the book weaves bad cops and the Russian mob into literary security forces and the CIA and incorporates his old girlfriend. It's a tale about friendship and love and scary forces and chasing through the city. Interspersed throughout are great historic morsels about New York City and restaurants and fancy clubs and really great food. It is a page turner but sometimes you have to put it down to laugh or to make yourself a delicious meal. I've never read a thriller that had so much humor in it. Wacky characters and an intricate plot make it a great read. I can't wait to read more books from this highly imaginative author. I started to get a little sad when the book was ending!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Frank Pularcheck

    The Slush Pile Brigade is a fun, fast-paced read and an adventurous sprint through New York City. Marquis’s descriptions, historic detail and strong writing keep you running alongside Nick Lassiter and his “brigade” through many of Manhattan’s unique neighborhoods and historic icons. His characters are just that – a crazy crew of amateurs who somehow beat the New York Establishment and the Russian Mob at their own game through a combination of pluck, passion and a commitment to integrity. And hi The Slush Pile Brigade is a fun, fast-paced read and an adventurous sprint through New York City. Marquis’s descriptions, historic detail and strong writing keep you running alongside Nick Lassiter and his “brigade” through many of Manhattan’s unique neighborhoods and historic icons. His characters are just that – a crazy crew of amateurs who somehow beat the New York Establishment and the Russian Mob at their own game through a combination of pluck, passion and a commitment to integrity. And his plot line kept me gripped. I finished the book in a week and look forward to joining in on more Lassiter adventures. As a frequent visitor to New York, I thoroughly enjoyed The Slush Pile Brigade. Check out http://samuelmarquisbooks.com/ to learn more about Marquis and other upcoming books.

  7. 4 out of 5

    David Thomas

    I am not a fiction reader unless I am at the beach or on vacation with ample time to get lost turning pages. I got a copy of the Slush Pile Brigade and picked it up to pass some time. The book has a different flair in writing style from all the other fiction books I stopped reading long ago. The tone had a more modern and interesting style than others. Along with the storyline the writing kept me going. Marquis has found a way to enhance the fiction experience. The story builds and becomes more I am not a fiction reader unless I am at the beach or on vacation with ample time to get lost turning pages. I got a copy of the Slush Pile Brigade and picked it up to pass some time. The book has a different flair in writing style from all the other fiction books I stopped reading long ago. The tone had a more modern and interesting style than others. Along with the storyline the writing kept me going. Marquis has found a way to enhance the fiction experience. The story builds and becomes more intriguing as the chapters pass all the time keeping a comedic flair to lighten the load. I could not put the book down. I may just start reading more fiction again. Looking forward to the next Marquis book! Highly entertaining and highly recommended!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Link Nicoll

    New York City, the publishing world, and the CIA all collide in this fast- paced and adventurous book. There are twists and turns that propel the book forward in unimaginable and hilarious ways. Marquis builds his unique characters with quick humor and bold brush strokes of creativity. While Marquis pushes boundaries like Tom Robbins and weaves history though his passages like Doug Preston, but he seems to have created his own form of fiction. I hope this book becomes a movie. I want to enjoy th New York City, the publishing world, and the CIA all collide in this fast- paced and adventurous book. There are twists and turns that propel the book forward in unimaginable and hilarious ways. Marquis builds his unique characters with quick humor and bold brush strokes of creativity. While Marquis pushes boundaries like Tom Robbins and weaves history though his passages like Doug Preston, but he seems to have created his own form of fiction. I hope this book becomes a movie. I want to enjoy these Slush Pile Brigade characters again!

  9. 5 out of 5

    JR Welch

    At last a Monkey Wrench Gang for Millennials! Abbey's got nothing on Marquis. The Brigade's gripping romp through the pomp and deceit of the New York publishing industry kept me turning the pages. Humor, intrigue, insight, and moral indignation abound in this boldly entertaining debut novel. Marquis combines a professional researcher's art with a provocative storyteller's heart. The guy loves to think and write--and it shows. He's a new talent to watch. At last a Monkey Wrench Gang for Millennials! Abbey's got nothing on Marquis. The Brigade's gripping romp through the pomp and deceit of the New York publishing industry kept me turning the pages. Humor, intrigue, insight, and moral indignation abound in this boldly entertaining debut novel. Marquis combines a professional researcher's art with a provocative storyteller's heart. The guy loves to think and write--and it shows. He's a new talent to watch.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Feiler

    Loved this book! A real page turner which keeps the reader on the edge of her seat, it's a "just one more chapter" type of book. Set in New York City and Denver and featuring a group of guys who have been friends since childhood on an adventure to wreak havoc with a dastardly author and his publisher, it's hilariously funny with plot twists and turns throughout. The Slush Pile Brigade is highly entertaining! Loved this book! A real page turner which keeps the reader on the edge of her seat, it's a "just one more chapter" type of book. Set in New York City and Denver and featuring a group of guys who have been friends since childhood on an adventure to wreak havoc with a dastardly author and his publisher, it's hilariously funny with plot twists and turns throughout. The Slush Pile Brigade is highly entertaining!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marissa DeCuir

    Indie fans unite!!!!! Nick Lassiter takes on big publishing in this page-turning indie read. I don't use the word "indie" lightly here - this truly is a GREAT, quality indie book about an indie crusader! You won't want to put it down, and you'll be happy there are more books planned in this news series!! I'm ready for book 2!! Indie fans unite!!!!! Nick Lassiter takes on big publishing in this page-turning indie read. I don't use the word "indie" lightly here - this truly is a GREAT, quality indie book about an indie crusader! You won't want to put it down, and you'll be happy there are more books planned in this news series!! I'm ready for book 2!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Peter Frautschi

    A fun look at the publishing industry, and New York City. And a great cast of characters made this book easy to read. Its hard to believe nobody stole one of Marquis' manuscripts previously (at least that's his claim in his Author's Note). I notice there is no such claim that the character Austin Brewbaker was not a CIA operative... A fun look at the publishing industry, and New York City. And a great cast of characters made this book easy to read. Its hard to believe nobody stole one of Marquis' manuscripts previously (at least that's his claim in his Author's Note). I notice there is no such claim that the character Austin Brewbaker was not a CIA operative...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rich Guess

    The Slush Pile Brigade is an intriguing story laced with the perfect amount of detail. Mr. Marquis does an excellent job of setting the stage, his descriptions of the surroundings make you feel like you are standing there watching. The characters are interesting and the story has several twists and turns. The consummate underdog story, an entertaining ride!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Annzo E

    What a delightful romp through the life of Nick Lassiter. It kept me reading, on my toes and had enticing twists to the plot. Wonderful characters, good research, thrilling plot and held me until the end. Samuel Marquis has the expertise, the drive and intelligence that makes him a first rate author. Congratulations. Annzo Phelps

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mark Sperry

    The Rocky Mountains and The Big Apple collide in Marquis's debut novel. A modern day suspense thriller filled with unpredictable characters that thoroughly entertain and engage the reader as they navigate the deceptive waters of the ever- competitive publishing world. A must read for anyone who wishes to be on the edge of his/her seat. The Rocky Mountains and The Big Apple collide in Marquis's debut novel. A modern day suspense thriller filled with unpredictable characters that thoroughly entertain and engage the reader as they navigate the deceptive waters of the ever- competitive publishing world. A must read for anyone who wishes to be on the edge of his/her seat.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brad

    A tremendous read. It's action-packed with intriguing twists and turns throughout the plot. I really enjoyed the vast array of characters- from the loveable yet quirky slush pile brigadiers to the despicable Russian mobsters. There's something for everyone in this book. Be prepared because once you start reading it you won't be able to put it down. A tremendous read. It's action-packed with intriguing twists and turns throughout the plot. I really enjoyed the vast array of characters- from the loveable yet quirky slush pile brigadiers to the despicable Russian mobsters. There's something for everyone in this book. Be prepared because once you start reading it you won't be able to put it down.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carey Romer

    This action packed book is full of surprises. There were so many twists and turns in the plot and the author has an interesting way of inserting historical facts and history into the story. The characters were well developed and I loved how they were all such good friends and took care of each other. I enjoyed the book very much.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dbilello

    Reminiscent of a modern day Monkey Wrench Gang. The twists and turns are as crazy as they are unexpected and keeps you glued to the story as Nick seeks out a small measure of justice in the big city. First novel I have ever read that also takes a shot at the publishing world, warts and all. Fun read!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    In fascinating, absorbing prose, Samuel Marquis weaves a masterful story of intellectual theft, a high-stakes mission, and an absolutely thrilling power play between an unscrupulous mega-author (and Big Publisher) and a literary underdog you'll want to cheer for. An incredible debut from a breakout talent--and I loved BLIND THRUST as well! In fascinating, absorbing prose, Samuel Marquis weaves a masterful story of intellectual theft, a high-stakes mission, and an absolutely thrilling power play between an unscrupulous mega-author (and Big Publisher) and a literary underdog you'll want to cheer for. An incredible debut from a breakout talent--and I loved BLIND THRUST as well!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Will

    Slush Pile Brigade is a great fun read! From the moment I started until I read the very last word I could not put it down. Every page kept you involved and you never knew what was going to happen next. I can't wait to read many more of Sam's upcoming books!!! Slush Pile Brigade is a great fun read! From the moment I started until I read the very last word I could not put it down. Every page kept you involved and you never knew what was going to happen next. I can't wait to read many more of Sam's upcoming books!!!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Craig Stolz

    A must read for anyone who loves a page turning mystery within a mystery combined with science and humor. I especially enjoyed the interaction between the slew of misfit characters. A truly unique and refreshing story plot. Marquis brand of story telling is top shelf.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Charles Fial

    Sam hits it out of the ball park with The Slush Pile Brigade !! Each chapter leaves you wanting more and you get it in each and every chapter. I real page turner that I could not put down- A new author is born!!!

  23. 4 out of 5

    John

    Review available on IndieReader Review available on IndieReader

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tim Romer

    Great characters. Intriguing plot twists and turns. Very enjoyable read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ex Aberporth

    Wicked read loved it What a great book I'm not very good at writing that's why I read a lot but had to say something about this book please keep up the good work and keep them coming I for one will pay for them all this was a great read and I am sure all the feast will be as well Wicked read loved it What a great book I'm not very good at writing that's why I read a lot but had to say something about this book please keep up the good work and keep them coming I for one will pay for them all this was a great read and I am sure all the feast will be as well

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lara Gray

    Very Refreshing! I have really enjoyed reading this novel. The storyline was unlike anything I have read before and was great! A must read for suspense fans.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    Way too many big words and boring emotion

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rocky Rachal

    Fun and Exciting A fast-paced story with fun and interesting characters. Some might find the storyline farfetched, but it is a fun read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Veronica Flowers

    A must read This is a very well written spy book. I can't wait to start the second book for the excitement and suspenseful thrill of it! A must read This is a very well written spy book. I can't wait to start the second book for the excitement and suspenseful thrill of it!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Paul Franco

    An Australian novelist, said to be second most popular author in the world, steals a manuscript from the slush pile in his agent’s office when he has writer’s block. He picks the right book, because he turns it into a best seller, but more importantly he picks the wrong book, because three years later the writer who was plagiarized comes looking for an apology, setting into motion a chain of events that brings death and destruction to everyone’s world, especially the agent’s. The protagonist lo An Australian novelist, said to be second most popular author in the world, steals a manuscript from the slush pile in his agent’s office when he has writer’s block. He picks the right book, because he turns it into a best seller, but more importantly he picks the wrong book, because three years later the writer who was plagiarized comes looking for an apology, setting into motion a chain of events that brings death and destruction to everyone’s world, especially the agent’s. The protagonist loses his job and girlfriend–she actually brings a new guy to same restaurant he always took her to–not cool, girl. He snaps and is forced to run from the police to Noo Yawk, where he plans to confront the agent, and the author who happens to be in town. Before it’s over his deep-CIA father, a Russian mobster, his three best buds, and the girl from his past that got away are sucked into the conflict as well. Though Noo Yawk is one of my least favorite cities, the author showcases it lovingly, citing some old famous buildings as well as plenty of Central Park; my favorite was the walk through the dinosaur area in the museum, which fit the conversation perfectly. Big twists abound, like when he find out his father’s involved in the whole mess. The first half is more comedic than anything else, and it’s fun to read the shenanigans, in a butt monkey kinda way. But then it gets serious spy in a hurry, with people dying or being maimed, and some maybe dying or maybe not. There was one part that annoyed the hell out of me. Not wanting to spoiler—is that a real verb?—suffice to say that the protagonist finds himself in trouble that wasn’t foreseen, but ends up surviving it differently than we were led to believe. Perhaps the author merely wrote in the wrong body part that exploded, but how he survived wasn’t explained, and as you can see I’m still irritated about it. Some of the dialogue by the lesser members of the brigade is somewhat over-the-top, but mostly it’s well-written, with some descriptions shining, like, “But it wasn’t really like laughter at all. . . more like Kodiak bears groaning while shitting.” I do hate the author for that last twist, though. . . 3.5 pushed to 4/5

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