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Book Review: Alliance of Shadows by Mike Kupari and Larry Correia

Alliance of Shadows by Larry Correia and Mike Kupari
Alliance of Shadows by Larry Correia and Mike Kupari

Alliance of Shadows is the third book of the Dead Six series.  It does a fantastic job of wrapping up multiple plot lines involving international conspiracies, global crime syndicates, and elements of the supernatural.

It still doesn’t displace my favorite of the series (Swords of Exodus), but it is nevertheless an excellent read.  There are some scenes of utter awesomeness, shared between teh two protagonists… oftentimes as they’re trying to outdo one another.

There’s also a fantastic bit of character development and growth.  The last book saw one of the characters sent to a very horrible place, with any number of questions about his survival.  The agonies he goes through and the tortures he experiences are portrayed in a way that shows his humanity stripped away.

Yet he comes back from that… and in a way, the story about how he does that is some of the most touching writing I’ve read in years… and it’s all the more raw for the fact that it comes from two very damaged people forgiving each other and themselves.

Of course, that description doesn’t do the book justice.  There’s explosions, gunfire, criminals throwing themselves to their deaths, more gunfire, more explosions, struggles to save the lives of millions, and still more gunfire.  There are sudden but inevitable betrayals and there is true-blue dedication from unexpected places.  This is a page-turner, once I started I couldn’t put it down… but that’s no different from the other two books.

Oddly, I think my favorite thing about the book is that it comes to a final conclusion and wraps the story up.  Too often anymore book series drag on, with the heroes facing ever greater odds… or worse, becoming trapped in a loop of growth to regression, where they run the same character arcs or stories over and over.  In Alliance of Shadows, the authors have brought the characters to their conclusions.  They’ve achieved their goals, they’ve become the heroes… and they get their much deserved rest.

Read the entire series, you won’t regret it.

Book Review: Swords of Exodus by Larry Correia and Mike Kupari

51tvoi5njtlSwords of Exodus picks up with the characters from Dead Six in dire straits.  If you haven’t read my earlier review for Dead Six, you can read it here.

This is my favorite book of the series.   In fact, this is the book I read first in the series, then I went back and read Dead Six.  From the first pages it reels you in.  You see the growth of Lorenzo as he becomes more than an assassin, you see the start of Michael Valentine becoming a leader… and you get a grasp of something bigger in the world, something possibly supernatural.

The various conspiracies and plots from the first book also take a bigger role.  In the first book, the main characters were on the edge of things, not even caring about the greater repercussions.  In Swords of Exodus, we get a chance to see them faced with those repercussions and we see them become heroes.

The other rewarding aspect is that we see Michael and Lorenzo fight on the same side.  They don’t really like one another, but that just makes it even more fun.  These are two of the most lethal people in the world and you can tell that while they respect one another, there’s a professional rivalry and a bit of wanting to see who’s the better killer.

All in all, Swords of Exodus is a fantastic book in a series that was great on its own.  I highly recommend it, particularly if you’re a fan of conspiracy-theory near-future thrillers.   I can’t recommend it enough.

Book Review: Dead Six by Larry Correia and Mike Kupari

51ttz7guinl It’s not often that I’ll say something like this, but Dead Six is a book that disturbed me on a lot of levels.

It’s not that it isn’t a fantastic book.  There’s plenty of action.  There’s drama, there’s brilliant characters.  Lorenzo, in particular, is simply amazing, the rogue with a heart of gold written in a way that you can’t help but love him… and know that he’s an evil bastard at the same time.

What disturbs me is that the near-future setting of this novel is a bit too close for comfort.  Destabilized nations, corrupt politicians, and terrorist organizations whose goals are the destruction of everything the main characters know and love.

To make matters worse, the main characters aren’t in the know.  At the start, they’re actually in opposition to one another, which makes things hard.  Both of them are caught up in the schemes of some very bad people… and unfortunately a lot of good people get killed in the process.

The cover has a motto: Abandon All Hope.  In some ways you really have to do that at the start.  Dead Six hits the deepest fears of many veterans: abandonment, betrayal, and isolation.  It doesn’t pull any punches, either.

That said, it’s still a fantastic book.  Great humor, excellent action, and a fast-paced plot that keeps you turning pages.  Even better, it isn’t a book that holds your hand and explains everything going on.  The characters don’t know or don’t care about some of the issues that the reader may want to know.  It is up to the reader to figure those things out.

All in all, Dead Six is the start of a dark masterpiece.  A modern military thriller with far more soul than you would expect.  Check it out, read it, enjoy it, and know that the sequels only get better.