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Bookmarks: Rapid-fire read

19 April 2014 By Laura Antonucci, Columnist No Comments

The first of five novels, “The Electric Church” is a thrill ride. Author Jeff Somers doesn’t coddle the readers by softening the world in which he puts his characters, the language they use or way they live. It’s a harsh, caustic and unapologetic introduction to the main character of Avery Cates, and the fun is just beginning.

Dystopian is a nice way of describing the world Avery Cates functions within. Post-apocalyptic despotic police state would be more specific. However, I prefer to call it a conglomerate hellhole. Something happened to the world and now major cities have been flattened and rebuilt haphazardly by gangsters, poor people and apathetic government. It’s a place where the rich take what they need and kill whoever gets in their way. Everything is destitute unless you’re filthy rich and the entire eastern seaboard is all referred to as “New York.” That being said, Avery Cates makes his living as a gunner, or a gun for hire. He has made a reputation for himself by being a mercenary with honor, skill and always managing to be in the right place at the right time.

Cates’s contracted kill in “The Electric Church” is the head of the largest religion on the planet. That isn’t much of a spoiler, because the real surprise is what that head of the religion has become. Surprises, plot twists and unexpected appearances are Somers’ forte, and progressing through “The Electric Church” begs the question, “what else could POSSIBLY happen?” Discoveries about who and what people really are – spoilers – prevent the book from losing the rapid-fire pace Somers sets from page one. Overall, the book is a great read and you are sure to be exhausted by the time you put it down.

What I liked most about the Avery Cates series is that first, it’s reasonably priced. Each book is less than $10 at Barnes and Noble. Second, it’s a short series. All five books are out so there’s no waiting for the next installment and each one is its own adventure. You don’t need to know a lot of back story to pick up any of the books.

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