Saturday, December 19, 2009

Book Review: Blown Coverage

Yes, it's the sequel to Monday Night Jihad: Blown Coverage by Jason Elam and Steve Yohn. Though a sequel, it's probably not too hard to pick up the plot if you avoid MNJ even though Elam and Yohn do tend to avoid most of the tiresome brief prequel exposition that mars other books (see, e.g., Harry Potter-by Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire, the first 100 pages were tiresome if you'd read the previous books). Consider that, if you will, a judgment on the intellectual challenge involved in reading the book.

So, how is Blown Coverage? Well, if you read MNJ because of the football hook, that won't get you into this one, as Elam seems to have dropped all of his inside football jokes in the first book. There is a little bit of football-related involvement, but it's on the periphery and not part of the plot. Blown Coverage is, rather than a football thriller, simply a thriller novel. It maintains MNJ basic quirks-hardly a damn or blasphemy in site, plus characters talk more about their relationship with Jesus and praying than most thriller characters. But, those are relatively easy to ignore, and you're instead left with Blown Coverage as a thriller. A thriller that, while better than MNJ, has cookie-cutter characters, hardly any character development, and not particularly interesting of a plot. There's apparently a third book coming out in the series; I'm at a loss to explain why, as the loose ends from the previous book are mostly wrapped up and nothing worthy of a third Riley Covington novel seems to need wrapping up. But, nevertheless, there is. When it comes out, you'll have to let me know how it is. Lacking Elam's football insights, Blown Coverage is judged as a thriller, and while I've read plenty of bad and mediocre thrillers over the past decade and a half-plus, I do now try to avoid the mediocre to bad ones, and this certainly qualifies. Not particularly recommended, aside from people willing to read any thriller, preferably one with a library that, like mine, has this one.

No comments: