- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 681 KB
- Print Length: 400 pages
- Publisher: Headhunter Holdings Ltd.; 1 edition (9 Jun. 2013)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00DBEGIPI
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #312,746 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Kamikaze (SPECIAL X THRILLER Book 12) Kindle Edition
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The same can be said for Jay Clarke (aka Michael Slade.) From sheer brilliance in his first two novels tapering ever downward to the current lackluster offering here, it frankly resembles someone formerly vibrant and viable wasting away with terminal cancer.
If anything good can be said for Kamikaze, it is that it is slightly better than his last complete waste of time, "Swastika."
What's wrong? Virtually everything. The teaser on the back cover says Jackie Hett's father "has already been counted among the victims." In reality, the reader must wade through nearly 150(!!!) pages of mostly fluff history in this 381 page book BEFORE her father is ever dispatched...
We're given fleeting glimpses of "Executioner" Lyn Barrow and her "brother" Kamikaze every now and then, but anyone who's read Slade for any period of time immediately knows what to expect here. To make it even worse, the "plot hook" is resurrected from none other than the worst book in the entire series, EVIL EYE.
Then we're treated to numerous examples of the Michael Moore style anti-American propaganda that is all the rage with Canadian liberals for some time now. You know, how America is EVIL for dropping atomic bombs on Japan while it's perfectly okay for the honorable Japanese to sneak attack Pearl Harbor and any innocent civilians killed or maimed are simply an unfortunate cost of doing business. And how America is the cause of all problems in the world... Since Clarke himself professes great adoration for Moore on his website we shouldn't be surprised. HOWEVER, since his works have gone further and further downhill with each new offering over the past few years, I have to suspect that much of the blame for these failures lie with his daughter and co-writer, Rebecca who has clearly offered up nothing remotely approaching her father's original genius with Headhunter, Ghoul and a couple of more passable efforts before the franchise headed DUE SOUTH at a high rate of speed.
To make matters worse, the death of the main villian is done completely "off camera" and without the reader's knowlege until it reads like "Oh, and by the way, he's dead..." Huh???
But it doesn't stop there! As per usual, a "hero" from a previous novel gets maimed and is left bleeding profusely in the arms of his comrade with a massive groin/stomoch slashing and his eyes ripped out. As that scene ends, his partner is calling furiously for an ambulance - and Jay and Rebecca dance merrily onward and downward without ANY MORE INFORMATION ON THE CONDITION OF THIS MAJOR CHARACTER FOR THE REST OF THE ENTIRE BOOK!!! Book ends and we STILL DON'T KNOW if this character is DEAD OR ALIVE... Can you say "JUST PLAIN GOOFY!" boys and girls??? Okay. can you say "INEXCUSABLE"???
But wait! There's MORE! The ending of the book is so CONVOLUTED that they were apparently forced to add a special chapter called "WHO?" to try and technically explain with physiology and psychobabble the crux of what most readers already knew well before it was revealed near the end.
Tight deadlines or no, Slade OWES readers far, far better than what he's been turning out over the last five years or so. Worse still, he OWES it to HIMSELF.
Kamikaze is best served on a shingle.
Unfortunately, my favorite Canadian horror writer has been on a steady decline ever since, and his latest offering is the symbolic nail in the coffin. I keep reading Slade because I refuse to believe the genius who created "Headhunter," "Ghoul" and even "Ripper" has ceased to exist. Yet, with the disastrous "Kamikaze," my hopes are finally beginning to fade. Gone are the thrilling, labyrinthine plots and diabolical set-pieces that defined his earlier work. In their place are increasingly thin plots, overreliance on historical details, and a distressing lack of imagination. Slade's books used to have teeth, and with those teeth he would go for your jugular time and again. But with his latest and most disappointing project thus far, you can rest assured, your throat is in no danger.
"Kamikaze" is the most simple, obvious, and uninvolving of Slade's tales to date, and it bears only a fleeting resemblance to his no-holds-barred shockfests of the Eighties and Nineties. I don't know if this former master of terror has become bored, disillusioned, or has simply gone soft with age--but be warned: "Kamikaze" is in no way a measure of his skill. If you want to witness the full, devastating effect of Slade at his peak, do yourself a favor and pick up "Headhunter" or "Ghoul."
For me, this 12th book in the Special-X series is the mournful lament of a once-great writer.
The Mounties of Special X investigate deaths linked to urban terrorism, Japanese organized crime, and decades-old vengeance. Regular Slade readers will find familiar touchstones in KAMIKAZE, mostly through the continuing exploits of recurring characters. But it's advisable to check preconceived notions at the door--Slade has long defied pigeonholing, and here he offers anything but formula. Well-developed characterization and humanistic introspection neatly balance plot mechanics and technical descriptions. Still, the dread remains, and the cuts are deep. As Slade writes about one character:
"The glittering blade of his sushi knife had been shaped on natural stone, and he slashed it across the cutting board with flourishes that were deft, swift, and uniform."
That's a fitting analogy for KAMIKAZE, the work of an author who knows exactly what he wants and skillfully brings it to life. I immensely enjoyed the novel and heartily recommend it to any reader who appreciates refinement with his or her thrills.
Story involves Jackie Hett and Dane Winter (both from Swastika) and people and circumstances introduced in the last book. As the other reviews - and the back of the book - make clear, this is about revenge for World War II-era atrocities.
Problem is this: Slade's books are about completely insane, nasty killers, or, sometimes a few of them. There's always a great twist involving one or more killer's identity. I had this one pretty much figured out (although not entirely) and that disappointed me because I NEVER figure Slade out early. So - the book's great, but a little predictable. Plus, the development of the psychos in this one isn't as good...fun...exciting...appalling...as I've come to expect.
Theses problems aside, there are a hundred great things to say about the novel. Its just not his best.
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