Friday, 15 April 2016

Book Review: No Name by Bryan Nowak

27230997

Synopsis

The soul of a rapist and murderer, killed by the young brother of one of his victims, is resurrected in an environmental disaster. This, part human, part dirt, part chemical, creature morphs into an unstoppable force. The, now older, boy, Dale Edwards, is somehow psychically linked to the creature and starts having nightmares as it focuses on its first victim, Allie. The girl proves to be far more difficult to kill as she demonstrates the resourcefulness taught to her by her adoptive family, and outlaw biker gang. 

Allie, Dale, and her outlaw biker uncle Red, must out think, out plan, and out run a beast that can move around regular bullets, change its shape at will, and has almost limitless strength. The three take up a life on the run while trying to find its weakness. 

Ultimately the three lure the creature to a location for a final showdown. Content with the idea that it will either be them or it, they prepare for a final battle.

Review

4.5 stars rounded up to five.

"And Allie," J.D said, "bolt the door. No one comes in without Red or me."

- J.D, either being very optimistic or completely deluded.

Reading a new author can either be a rewarding experience or a case of 'I'll never make that mistake again.'

So any authors' first work can receive a hell of a lot of scrutiny. Although nicely presented with an engaging cover and strong synopsis, you might me thinking 'pfft! another zombie story....move along, nothing to see here...'

Except that No Name is a remarkably stylish and well written thriller, whose key strength is through the dynamic of the main characters Allie, Dale and J.D.

"I really like it when an author gives us the basic premise then allows our readers brain to process and decode it"

Then, there is the mysterious No Name of the title, though you can probably guess his role in the story. And that's part of the fun. Author Bryan Nowak gives us quite a bit of narrative, which in a lesser talent might have been a chore to work through. Fortunately, the set up is so good that when the characters use 'functional dialogue' it works because...this is thriller with a mix of sci-fi horror dropped on it in considerable quantities.

What is most pleasing about No Name for me is the way that the adult scenes are handled. The violence is well described without ever being over the top. I really like it when an author gives us the basic premise then allows our readers brain to process and decode it. When an author writes, 'so they went down the stairs and opened the door and then went outside' et cetera it is like 'why are they telling me all this worthless nonsense?'

No Name is just about the perfect length, taking the reader through a number of shocks and spills before coming to a satisfying conclusion.

I hope if the author returns to this world, that some of the other characters can be further developed.

Nicely done, Bryan Nowak!