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Book Review: Sleepers Run by Henry Mosquera

sleepers run henry mosquera 199x300 Book Review: Sleepers Run by Henry Mosquera

Most readers have dealbreakers, and for me its flawless, superhero-esque protagonists and typo-riddled pages. Unfortunately, Henry Mosqueras debut Sleepers Run'has both in spades. The concept is a good one, if this book is to be made market ready its in dire need of both a structural and a line edit. Im not usually so harsh as to point out these issues in the first paragraph of a book review, but when the reading experience is seriously undermined by incessant typographical woes and clunky plot points, its hard not to foreground the issue.

Eric Caine is a military veteran who boasts the following: a black belt in every form of martial arts known to mankind, fluency in half a dozen languages, the ability to hack into the worlds most secure computer systems, and a way with women. Needless to say, when he wakes up having been knocked out in a bar fight, what ensues is a whole bunch of Bruce Lee-style fightingoh, and assassinations of Venezuelan presidents. Caine, it turns out, is not just a kick-butt military dude, but hes a sleeper agent as well.

Action-lovers may well enjoy this, as the pace never lets up, and nary a page goes by when someone isnt being beaten up, shot at, exiled or double-crossed. Caine zips around the world (a great excuse to show off his linguistic facility) being tough and vengeful, and as the page count rises, so does the body count. But though there are interesting snippets here and therediscussions of the Venezuelan economy, or intriguing depictions of Qatartheres very little space given to developing characters, setting or mood, and this made it hard for me to become fully immersed in the story.

One of the biggest issues of the book lies with Caine himself. The first person protagonist (you get to spend a whole lotta time with this guy) is distinctly unlikeable and this, combined with the fact that hes able to McGuyver his way out of whatever situation he finds himself, in makes for some oddly uninspired reading despite the fast-forward pacing. This guy is guaranteed to succeed in any situation, no matter how arcane, and as a result, even the highest stakes seem much, much lower. If this guy were to buy a Tattslotto ticket, you know hed win. Twice.

In addition to the problematic protagonist, the plot itself arises as an issue for the reader. It seems unfocused, with the first half of the book diverging vastly from the second. Once Caine goes Rambo on us, things become quite confused and hard not so much to follow, but to believe. In part this is to do with the careless and disjointed writing, but its also due to the fact that the various characters motivations havent been fleshed out. Caines randomly appearing allies and just as random enemies seem to conveniently crop up whenever a fight scene or escape situation is neededwhich makes for some sloppy plotting.

Finally, on a prose level this book could do with a bit of a reworking. The frequent typos and formatting issues detract significantly from the reading experience, and the uneven style makes for a bumpy ride.

Im afraid that this one wasnt for me, but action lovers may enjoy it.

Rating: star Book Review: Sleepers Run by Henry Mosquerahalfstar Book Review: Sleepers Run by Henry Mosquerablankstar Book Review: Sleepers Run by Henry Mosquerablankstar Book Review: Sleepers Run by Henry Mosquerablankstar Book Review: Sleepers Run by Henry Mosquera (serious flaws)

Purchase Sleepers Run from Amazon | The authors website

With thanks to the author and Meryl L Moss Media relations for the review copy

Your turn: Caine is an unreliable narrator. Whats your take on books where not everything is as it seems?

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