Hammer of Angels: A Novel of Shadowstorm Paperback – 26 Mar 2014
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"Action-packed . . . "Hammer of Angels" has all the elements of a perfect spy novel."--"All Things Urban Fantasy"
Action-packed . . . "Hammer of Angels" has all the elements of a perfect spy novel. "All Things Urban Fantasy""
Action-packed . . . Hammer of Angels has all the elements of a perfect spy novel. All Things Urban Fantasy"
"Action-packed . . . Hammer of Angels has all the elements of a perfect spy novel."--All Things Urban Fantasy
About the Author
G. T. Almasi graduated from RISD and moved to Boston to pursue a career as a graphic designer. While he built his design portfolio, he joined a band as the bass player, and wrote and designed the band's newsletter. Once his career as an art director took off, he continued to supplement his design talents by writing copy for his clients. As a novelist, his literary influences include Robert Ludlum, Neal Stephenson, and Hunter S. Thompson. He also draws inspiration from John Woo's movies and Todd Howard's videogames. Almasi lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts, with his wife, Natalie, and their lovably stubborn dog, Ella.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
But with this book, something different is going on. While undeniably escapist (I lost track of the cartoon-y body count) the heart of "Hammer" is deep and serious. For example, 1981 versions of Anne and Margot Frank -- the women they might have been, had Hitler actually been assassinated in 1942 -- play important roles. Justice, bloody and extreme, is served to a new version of the SS and Gestapo.
And our narrator, Alix Nico ("Scarlet"), through as quippy and deadly as ever, is coping with a serious case of PTSD. Her role in this outing is to disrupt the Greater Germany that has enslaved Europe since the end of WW II. She disappears into England and France, ready to rain vengeance on German slaveholders, yet still dealing with heartbreak over the loss of her partner Trick, and her father, "Big Bertha." She is damaged this time around, and it makes us care about her more.
As always, author Almasi's wordplay and humor help defuse the constant ass-kicking his team of Levels deliver. Yet underneath it all, I felt the soul of Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" -- the desire to deliver the justice that real history denied us. True, Alix sounds like no 20-year old girl I've ever known; but the silly romp has become surprisingly relevant , and I can't quibble with that.
I just finished the book, and I enjoyed it a lot. I would like to know why Almasi kept jerking us around with the release date, though, that date bounced around more than one of Alix's energized attacks hyped up on Madrenaline. >_<
Anyway, this sequel takes place almost immediately after the events of Blades of Winter, and Almasi doesn't really spend any time catching the reader up on what was explained about the world in the first book, or events from the first book, so, I STRONGLY recommend you read Blades of Winter, the first book, before reading Hammer of Angels, the second book. This isn't like Original Series Star Trek where each episode is its own contained story with very little continuity between episodes. This is like Deep Space Nine Star Trek, where you will be UTTERLY LOST if you miss a single episode (how's THAT for nerd cred! ^_^)
I still love Alix, and the book is still entertaining. I also still appreciate the go-go-go pacing of the story, and I think most of the main characters are fleshed out enough so that they aren't just clichéd cardboard props in an action movie story.
However, that being said, [warning, generic, mild spoilers] I disagree with the romantic decisions made in this book. I understand loneliness, and battlefield necessity, and also the strange circumstances that the characters find themselves in, but I think that ultimately it robs the first story from a lot of the impact it had. [/end: generic, mild spoilers]
I DO, however, STRONGLY approve of the toned-down violence in this book. Compared to the first book, this one is almost PG-13. There is one torture scene in the book, but it is of a gestapo Nazi, and while he is hurt, he isn't mangled or violated, and I have a HARD time feeling sorry for the Gestapo (shocking, I know).
Overall, the pacing of the book is excellent, the story is interesting, the characters are believable and funny, and the danger always feels real -- but not so real that you lose the enjoyment of the story. I grieve for poor Alix, as she has to endure so much, but I am also very proud of her. I want Alix to win, and I want her to be happy, and I also want her to be able to rest for a while, and heal. Hopefully, in book three, she will be coming off a nice long healing rest, and she will be able to kick butt again to maximum levels!
4.5 stars. This book was ALMOST a 5 star book, but not quite. The gripes I had with it weighed it down enough to deny it the perfect rating. 4.5 stars is still very respectable, though. I am only rating it 4 stars in Amazon's rating system, because I have to, but this is a solid 4.5 book.
Book Content Guide For Parents:
Sex & Nudity: [3/5] there is a scene where a female character takes her shirt off and stays that way for a while (in a non-sexual context) -- she comments on her nudity in her own internal dialog (fairly crassly), and several other characters also comment on it. Characters talk about sex, and sex is commented as having happened in very vague terms. If the nudity had been brief, I would say it was PG-13 stuff, but since it stays "on screen" for a while, I guess it is R-rated stuff.
Violence & Gore: [4/5] pretty standard PG-13/R-rated movie stuff. People get blown up, driven oven, shot, stabbed, have body parts ripped off, etc. Most of the fight scenes involve people being stabbed or shot to death. There is a mild torture scene in chapter 37, it is pretty brief, and it is a Nazi Gestapo officer being tortured. I do not approve of torture, but nothing grossly violent is done to the man, he isn't violated, and he isn't mangled/mutilated -- just hurt.
Profanity: [4/5] its bad, but not as bad as the first book. All of the "big 4" make it in to the book, along with quite a few liberal uses of M-Fer, and similar. Pretty much what you might expect from an R-rated action movie.
Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking: [4/5] its pretty bad in this department as well. Alix picks up smoking in this book to help her deal with stress, and several other characters smoke as well. Alcohol is abused liberally in the book. No illegal drugs (by United States standards anyway) are abused in the book, or even talked about as far as I recall.
Frightening/Intense Scenes: [3.5/5] there are quite a few intense scenes, but not many of them are frightening (aside from the brief torture scene in chapter 37). Alix has competently proven herself to be almost invincible by this second book, and she is also the viewpoint character for the book, so if she dies, the book ends. So, I was pretty much never worried that she would die, I was only worried the people she cared about might die. There are a few hairy scenes in the book where some very close calls happen, but that is the spice of life that makes these kinds of books so great!
There's plenty of action and the ongoing thread about Fredericks is really keeping me waiting for the next volume. This is a really fun read and even better if you've reade Blades of Winter. Can't wait for the next installment.
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