Tag Archives: Mulholland Books

The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen

17th November 2011

*I read this book through Netgalley, courtesy of Mulholland Books, an imprint of Little, Brown.

Premise: Current time is somewheres about where we are now, and it is about to hit the fan and civilization will be semi-wiped out. Dude from future (which is perfect) is sent back in time to stop other dudes from future from messing with stuff, yo. Two different factions exist: one intent on leaving the end of modern civilization as it is and the other determined to avert disaster.

 I’m not big on time travel in books. It worked in Outlander. That’s about the extent of my time travel love. BUT. After I started The Revisionists, I would read a bit more and a bit more until I didn’t want to do anything else.

Which is why what I’m about to say will sound so strange:

I love the title. I love the cover. I did not love this book. I know it’s getting all sorts of crazy love out there, but I had the hardest time keeping track of the characters. There’s Zed who is from Present Perfect where everything is hunky dory, and the problems of the world have gone away in an ultra-controlled environ. Then there’s Leo, a spy, who for half of the book I thought was Zed because well, I just thought the characterization wasn’t great. There is also a whole host of other characters who play into the novel: Sari, a housekeeper for the Korean diplomat, Tasha, a young attorney whose brother was killed in war, as well as a young activist whose actions may lead to the end of the modern world.

Once I finally got into this book, as I said, I enjoyed it. Even so, the characterization and some of the plot twists felt rushed and ill conceived, so it wasn’t a total win for me.

This is a case, though, where almost everyone but me raves about this book. Maybe it just wasn’t for me? What do you think?

A Single Shot by Matthew F. Jones

19th September 2011

*I received an ebook of A Single Shot from Mulholland Books through NetGalley. A Single Shot is on sale today. Buy it from Indiebound.

John Moon is a dude with bad luck. His dad lost the farm before his time. His wife left with his kid. And while he’s out poaching on someone else’s land tracking a wounded deer, he shoots something rustling in the bushes: a girl, a young one. And it seems she wasn’t alone. John finds tens of thousands of dollars in cash wadded next to a sleeping bag, a teddy bear, and a photograph. As John frantically tries to undo the damage of that one shot, he realizes the girl’s companion won’t stop until he hunts down John..and the money.

A Single Shot has such a simple premise: down-on-his-luck guy makes a bad mistake, finds money, goes on the run… Except John Moon doesn’t run. He stays right where he is, in his trailer in the mountains. Why? Because it’s his land, and a man doesn’t leave his land, even if it technically isn’t his anymore. And as the town becomes more and more claustrophobic and the evidence of his mistake mounts, John is in terrible danger.

This book scared the crap out of me. I mean, you guys know I’m a scaredy cat already, but this book was petrifying because I live near backwoods towns like this one, and every brutality, every threat of violence is so real.

With books like Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (which scared me like crazy), you know there are sickos out there like that, but it seems a little…outlandish. A Single Shot? There’s probably dudes like this all over the place. They’ve probably sat in my classroom. Backwoods guys – they know how to work a hunting knife. Need I say more? This book had my palms sweating and raised my heartbeat, too. It just doesn’t stop. It’s graphic and dirty, and I felt like I needed a shower for much of it, but I also couldn’t help but root for John.

In his own way, he tries to make good out of the bad. At times, Jones seemed to be making him out as a smart guy (or smarter than he’s given credit for), and he’s not that. I mean, he doesn’t go to the cops about the girl. He doesn’t leave the money. He doesn’t warn his ex-wife to take the baby and run. I think, more than anything, though, it’s because of his guilt. It stymies him, and he absolutely has no idea how to get out of it. So you sit, and you watch it play out, and when it ends, it’s not redemptive. But Jones doesn’t insult your intelligence as a reader. The book ends the way it should because the bad guys are bad guys. The good guys, well, they aren’t so good. And no one has an out.

Read this: if you like Cormac McCarthy. Or stories of guilt. Or thrillers.