Saturday, March 8, 2014

Deadly Dee Reviews "Reaper: No Mercy"

Reaper: No Mercy by Sean Liebling
Book Summary
Reaper: No Mercy is the beginning of a standalone series based on the characters and environment from the Blood, Brains, and Bullets series by Sean Liebling.

Captain Jason Scott had retired from the United States Marine Corp as a Force Recon sniper with the 1st Marine Division. Now a hard-working family man, his life revolved around his wife, children, and grandchildren. Upon arriving home after working third shift on the day the undead rose, he found his entire family slaughtered. Berserk with rage, he killed every zombie in sight using any means at hand. They truly died under his wrath, and he survived. It was then that he realized the Lord had a new mission for him.

Now Jason Scott is known as the Reaper: the coldest, deadliest killer in the new world of the Apocalypse. He once again dons his old tools of the trade—the tools of a Marine Corps sniper—and sets out to eradicate the spawn of Hell. Along the way he encounters Jay Scarmon, the interim Governor of Michigan, and together they make a safe haven for a large group of survivors in the town of Newaygo.

The Reaper saves hundreds of people, kills thousands of the undead, and even participates in a raid on a secret shadow government fortress – against the very people who engineered and released the virus that almost entirely destroyed mankind.

However, the Reaper knows that there is more to be done than simply rebuild and protect those under his charge. Evil is afoot in the land; they must contend not only with the reanimated dead, but also with the forces of the shadow government. There are also plenty of bad men who are ready and willing to take advantage of the weak.

The Reaper’s mission is clear – he must fight the Lord's fight and take the battle to the evil minions of Satan, both living and undead. He needs to help the survivor groups band together into cohesive assemblies better able to survive this new world, and finally, he must scout westward into Colorado in order to recon the shadow government's stronghold there.

Follow the adventures of the Reaper as he travels to the city of Paris, Missouri. There he meets several disparate groups of survivors. He also learns of a band of marauders who are ravaging the countryside, killing those that stand against them, and enslaving the rest. The older folk and the young children are killed outright; the rest of the prisoners are treated brutally, forced to live and work under the most inhumane of circumstances. The women are repeatedly raped and beaten.
The Reaper must convince the survivors to band together and take their town back from the marauders – all whilst fighting the hordes of undead, their mutual distrust of one another, and their fear of the overwhelming numbers arrayed against them.

Who will prevail? Only the Reaper knows.

Deadly Dee's Review

The Reaper was a well written book with a very strong "masculine" feel to it. There was a lot of emphasis on military procedures, weaponry, jargon, etc. There is also a strong religious undercurrent that runs through the book - the main character, The Reaper (who also goes by other names - it can get a little confusing if you aren't paying close attention) is a retired Marine sniper whose entire family is killed by zombies, and he believes that he is on a God driven mission to purge the world from the zombies and other evil. (...and there is quite a bit of serious evil in this book - not zombie evil, but bad men evil. Liebling doesn't mince words, and his bad guys are rapists, pedophiles, name it.)
There are a lot of side stories woven throughout the book, and it wasn't difficult to keep track of the cast of characters at first, but by the end of the book there were just too many people, and too many p.o.v. Sometimes I think it's better to concentrate on fewer sidelines. I did enjoy the majority of the stories and characters, they were well written and "real."
There's a lot of action in the book, but I found myself skimming past the majority of the military stuff (too boring and went on and on way too long for me...I really didn't feel the book needed pages of background, and I really didn't care!) and I felt there was TOO much religious emphasis. I don't mind hearing that someone feels a higher calling... I just don't need to be reminded about it over and over again. It makes me feel like the author thinks that maybe they want me, the reader, to get a different message, and quite frankly, that's not what I'm reading your book for. I got that I needed to know about it to understand the character, but the constant reminders were saying something else to me, and it was unnecessary.
So, my personal feelings are this: From what I understand this book was a stand alone and gives some background story to some characters in a series that Liebling writes. If the series isn't as heavy on the military jargon and all the reminders about why the Reaper is, well reaping, then I would check out the series.
If it's the same as this book, I'll pass. It's not that Liebling isn't a good writer - he is. Just not for me.

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