The Spartak Trigger Paperback – 14 Mar 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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!
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!
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!