Rob's Blog

Tag: William Johnstone

May 4th, 2014 – Book: ‘Blood Oath’ by William Johnstone.

by on May.05, 2014, under Books

Blood OathBlood Oath by William W. Johnstone

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is very grotesque book in that the descriptions of what the “bad guy” does is extremely graphic. Especially when realizing this book was written in 1982. I have to wonder why this wasn’t edited more to cut out what is clearly x-rated material. It’s not just one description. The crimes are repeated and the graphic description gets more and more horrid. This book is not for the squeamish. It is definitely not for children.

I need to judge this book’s story and how the above mixes with the plot. With that in mind I find the book to be good. As can be the case of Johnstone novels, the main characters are well drawn or drawn as needed to make the story more interesting or exciting.

This is a book early in Johnstone’s production that has me wondering, based on how it was written, if Johnstone was using ghost writers that early. ‘Blood Oath’ does not read at all like other books of that time with the Johnstone name on it. Similar crimes done in the books at this time, that I’ve read, have none of the extreme detail illustrated in ‘Blood Oath’. I believe he did use a ghost writer.

Something else different about this Johsntone book is that the ending is very well paced and satisfying. The ending is often wrapped very quickly in the Johnstone books I’ve read.

Botom line: I recommend it with the warning that this book is very graphic and not for children.

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April 29th, 2014 – Book: ‘Pursuit of the Mountain Man’ by William Johnstone.

by on Apr.29, 2014, under Books

Pursuit of the Mountain Man (Mountain Man, #9)Pursuit of the Mountain Man by William W. Johnstone
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Smoke Jensen series has been uneven as I’ve gone through the series in order. his one is one of he best. It helps a lot if the Smoke Jensen character is already known of, it seems to me. The crowd hot on Jensen’s trail makes far more sense with prior knowledge of the series.

Though, the bad guys are pretty standard bad guys, there are a set of other characters that are great additions. A set of surveyors and other government employees pop up as Jensen makes his way cross country trying to avoid the lynch mob.

As usual, the characters are well written and the story is paced very well. The story is basically a chase story, but well done. No big surprises, which would have been a nice addition.

Bottom line: I recommend this book.

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December 10th, 2013 – Book: ‘A Lone Star Christmas’ by the Johnstone Clan.

by on Dec.10, 2013, under Books

A Lone Star ChristmasA Lone Star Christmas by William W. Johnstone

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Am I ever surprised that i found a book worse than the last Johnstone book I read a couple weeks ago. This is the 4th out of the last six Johnstone books I’ve disliked, this one being the worse. This is one of the worse I’ve read in a decade. I better check reviews and be sure to dip into a good one of the Johnstone clan or it’s going to be real difficult to continue with so many books I still have ahead of me in the various series.

This book is atrociously written. One thing that writers are taught is to cover the who, what, why and how in a story. However, don’t actually use the words. This book is full of the ‘w’s and ‘how’s. Throughout the book the rhythm changes constantly. The ending is completely ridiculous as suddenly out of the 15 or so Johnstone books I’ve read, a supernatural silliness occurs. Then their are all sorts of historical issues involved.

This book raises questions for me such as how many writers were involved with the project? The book’s writing style swings from heavy romantic to violent gunfights. Neither of those two written the same way. There are many scenes that have other styles. The supernatural scene suddenly finds no one asking “who”, “what, “why”, etc, when then it just might fit. The dialogue of Smoke Jensen also changes throughout the book depending on scenes. Apparently this was a collaborative effort gone real wrong.

Was there a continuity check? The usual setting descriptions are nearly gone. The only character who seemed to stay the same as in other books is Sally Jensen.

The book appears to have been planned with an ending in mind that, based on the 15 books I’ve read, is a real easy , simplistic plot device, that has to have the reader wonder if there are other astral entities floating about in the series not yet revealed. Is Smoke so fast because he’s really an alien from another planet? Will that be a plot in a future Johnstone entry? When a series suddenly breaks out into fantasy, readers have to wonder what the heck is going on.

The underlying Christmas theme is spotty and otherwise dreck.

Something that may not be helping is that just before this book i was reading one of Nancy Atherton’s Dimitry series books that is beautifully written. Coming to this is a major let down.

I almost took a further step down. This morning I thought i would start Rite Mae Brown’s ‘Santa Clawed’. Got three pages in and realized that I was about to read something worse than ‘A Lone Star Christmas’ and, for the first time I can remember, put the book down. I’m pretty sure cats and dogs are not thinking such trite, shallow human thoughts as applied by Brown. Yuck!

I feel pretty cheated by ‘A Lone Star Christmas’. However, I’ve had fun in this past year tracking down the Johnstone series and don’t want to give up on it. The next book I read will be selected carefully and I sure hope for far better results.

Bottom line: Don’t read this book.

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