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The Spartak Trigger Paperback – 14 Mar 2014

2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Bedlam Press (14 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1939065593
  • ISBN-13: 978-1939065599
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

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Format: Kindle Edition
A copy of The Spartak Trigger was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author Bryce Allen in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Bedlam Press.

Anyone who visits the blog regularly will know I love to discover new authors, to me, especially when it is their first book. I liked the sound of this one when it was sent in and decided to give it some reading time. I got a surprise with this book. A pleasant one.

Shane Bishop has had his day as a cop. The job was taken away from him in disgrace. He now works for a firm as a professional set up artist. Firms hire him to go undercover, set up and disgrace an employee of theirs so they can fire them. There are many reasons for these requests. Bishop doesn’t really care as long as he gets paid.

His most recent job has gone wrong. His mark was killed but not by him. He is now caught up in an international web of industrial espionage that threatens to destroy the World Wide Web and plunge today’s society into technological darkness.

He is being blackmailed to help a tech firm get their hands on a years old microfilm to assist them in their quest. His prize is simple – be cleared of a murder he didn’t commit. Or is it as simple as he thinks?

Okay, I had a few problems with this book. Problem number one – how to classify it. Which genre to put it in to. I still have no idea. A thriller? A techno thriller? A – I don’t know really. It’s so mixed up.

Problem number two – how to deal with the confusion I felt while reading it. It sort of jumps about all over the place and was a bit hard to follow at times.

Problem number three – the way it is written.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This sounded like an exciting Leverage style thriller but an awkward narrative device where the protagonist is aware of the narrator and editor of a (different?) book based on the events in this book totally turned me off. Added to the main character's misogyny and racism this had me requesting a refund quarter of the way through. Maybe it's some clever parody I was too dumb to understand but I disliked this book in every regard. I appreciate it's poor form to review a book you've not finished but I couldn't read another page.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 16 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars all you can want in a spy thriller 2 Nov. 2014
By The Minter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a must-read and Bryce Allen definitely should be a bestseller (I am wondering why this doesn't occupy a higher spot, but there a no vampires, werewolfs, or two boys fighting over an idiot girl). Allen manages to write a Mission Impossible-Style spy thriller that permeates humor all the way through. The main character Shane Bishop is a cocaine-loving, hooker-banging amoral who barely seems human until an emotional scene involving his adult daughter. The plot can be a bit esoteric at times , but definitely does not keep you from enjoying it thoroughly (and laughing your butt off at the many comical scenes). The invisible narrator that follows bishop around like a shadow is a stroke of genius. I would recommend this to anyone 17 or older.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the red brick road to paranoia 22 May 2015
By Phillip T Stephens - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Add two quarters Kerouac and three quarters Pynchon and you have Bryce Allen’s The Spartak Trigger, a novel so paranoid it conspires to make a whole out of five quarters.

A novel so rambling that Allen not only gives us stream of consciousness, but a meta-narrator and his editor as well. A novel so paranoid Allen tosses in not one global corporate mega-conspiracy, but two. A novel so paranoid, Allen not only steals from Pynchon but Joseph Heller, whose hero Shane Bishop comes close to finishing one suicidal mission only to find himself continually strong-armed (à la Catch-22) into another even far more dangerous.

In order to unlock these treasures readers may have to slog through the the first quarter of a novel that is a slough of jarring profanity, not to mention racist, mysoginist and homophobic invective, and even typographical errors and occasionally plodding prose. Just when you want to complain about the state of indie publishing, the meta-narrator, or editor (or yet another of the spurious voices running parallel commentary in Bishop's narrative) makes the reader aware that they are also aware of the sad state of the prose as well. From that point on the prose improves, if not Bishop’s attitude toward his fellow human beings.

The plot is simple, for an overblown global dueling corporate mega-conspiracy. Shane Bishop’s job is free-lance conspirator. His clients pay him to bribe people to sell out their companies. Unfortunately for Bishop, his latest contract actually frames him for murder. His only way out is to take on another job for the Feds, who turn out not to be Feds at all and each new contract takes him deeper and deeper into a game to find the Spartak Trigger.

The Spartak Trigger was designed by the Russians during the Cold War at the beginning of the ARPA net, and holds the root code to shut down all global communications. Every government agency and the two major global communication corporations want it. The question is, is it real or mcguffin? Each new mission takes Bishop either closer to or further away from finding it, forces him to switch allegiance, frames him for yet more murders and ultimately upgrades him with new bio-ware.

With each new switch of allegiance and upgrade, Bishop becomes more confused as does his narrator and editor, until everything melts down in a climactic firefight deep inside the former Soviet Union.

Four stars or five? Tough call. If Allen worked with a publishing house, I would definitely say four, because I would have hoped an editor would have talked him out of some of the sloppiness (however intentional) and excesses of language. But Allen’s an indie author, and out there on his own, with no one with better sense to serve as a filter between him and publication. And it is only a star.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! 2 April 2014
By Robert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This was one of those stories that are hard to put down. I got sucked into the main character and the plot twists kept me wondering what would happen next.

I don't know this author. Just enjoy reading indie authors and picked it off his site. But I do hope the author puts out more fascinating stories. Bryce, you have a lifelong fan with me!

I'll be recommending this book to all my family and friends, as well as random internet people.

You definitely should buy it. Now!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone, but a wonderful read! 12 Jan. 2015
By Kelly Smith Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Number one, calling Shane Bishop a degenerate is being oh, so kind to the lead character of The Spartak Trigger. Half the time, I was hoping that somehow, someone would shoit him right where it hurts! His disgusting ways are actually half of what makes this book so great: he's the perfect character you love to despise.
The second thing that makes the big stand out isn't the plot (though it's awesome), or the secondary characters, but the style in which it's written. It's supposed to be from Shane's perspective, yet he keeps taking about a narrator and an editor, changing and talking about his story, as you're reading the story! At first I was confused, but after a while I understood what the writer was actually doing and I applaud him. It is an innovative approach to narration and storytelling that I hope people pick up on and appreciate it for the genius that it is.
As I said, the plot was awesome: fast-paced, mysterious and dangerous. You don't know who's good, bad, alive or dead! Like the nameless and faceless narrator and editor, this is Shane's story and you're just along for the ride!
I do, however, have one criticism, and that's the fact that, though Shane is old enough to have an adult daughter, at times he talks far too young, using current slang that no middle-aged cop would. It is a bit confusing and then seems too pretentious for the character. Most of the time, though, everything is spot on, from dialogue to description.
All in all, a great book. Just not for everyone. Some will definitely be too sensitive to read this, but I think most people (mostly men, unfortunately, no offense to the female readers, but there's a lot if sexism, racism and other various forms of bigotry in here that most likely will offend most women) will enjoy this depraved ride just as much as I did!

4/5--in a league of its own!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great mystery read! 5 Dec. 2014
By feedmeinbooks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Mr. Allen sent me this book for an honest review and I have to admit I was a little weary at first (this isn’t usually my genre), but I gave it a go anyway and was slightly surprised with it. I read up on the reviews for the book and it was given high remarks so I was even more excited. Now this book is VERY different. The tense used is everywhere. first, second, third, hell I think he even made up some tenses but truthfully it made the book even better. Now lets start with this Narrator person. We never learn who he is and honestly I’m thinking Mr. Bishop has a split personality or a strong imagination, as there is never anyone with him at the times that the Narrator is speaking/thinking/describing things. I do believe Mr. Bishop is losing touch with reality. (Ah and Mr. Allen, I HATE how you portrayed cops in this book. I take it as a personal offense. BUT I’m not here to talk about that,.. just an FYI we aren’t ALL fat, sloppy, or crooked.) This book is really fasted paced and it drew me in quickly. I loved all the mystery and surprises throughout the book. When Bishop was set up I knew it was coming by the way his boss was acting. It was bound to happen and for a man who used to be a cop? He’s pretty stupid at times. Bishop got on my nerves throughout the whole book if it hadn’t been for the writing and mystery to the story I would have dipped out. I mean what “older” man talks like that? And calls every woman he sees/meets a whore? A bitch? Come on now. I was over that 2 chapters in. As a woman I can only take so much downgrading from a chAracter before I throw in the towel. But other than my hatard for the main character it was a pretty good read. I got pretty upset when “The Wizard” is shown with his head cut off. I even shed a tear. I liked him, but at the same time thought is he really dead? Because so far everyone believed dead is still alive and kicking,..

All in all I give this one a 4. The writing and mystery is all you need! Pretty impressed for a first time writer! Make sure you check this one out! And keep a lookout for this author! Allen did an amazing job and gave us a new twist we never saw coming in almost every chapter!
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