Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Billion Ways to Die~Chris Knopf | Review/Thoughts

Title: A Billion Ways to Die (Arthur Cathcart #3)
Author: Chris Knopf
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Publication: November 2014
Length: 272 pages
My Rating: 4/5 Stars

I received this as a first reads giveaway on goodreads. These are my honest opinions.

Brief Synopsis
Some time previous to the beginning of this novel, Arthur Cathcart's life was turned upside down when he came home to a man with a gun to his wife's head. Arthur and his wife were both shot through the head; he survived with extensive brain damage. She did not. 
Now Arthur and his partner/lover Natsumi Fitzgerald are living in exile aboard their boat the Detour. The two believe themselves safe, if outcasts of society, until they are roughly kidnapped, tortured, and nearly killed. Their life of exiled bliss comes to an abrupt and violent end. They embark on a mission to find their attackers and reclaim their lives.

My Thoughts
I really enjoyed this novel. I was pulled right into the story from the first sentence. Having not read the previous two novels I was unsure if I would be able to keep up with the story. Luckily it can stand well on its own without too much missing information. All of the important events (or so it seems to a new reader) from previous novels were explained as the novel progressed and I never felt lost due to lack of information.

Here are some things I liked about the story:   
  • The characters-Arthur ( who goes by many aliases throughout the novel) and Natsumi are very complex and intriguing characters. I found myself able to relate to both in many ways. The supporting characters are also interesting and each plays a key role in the story; no character is there without a reason. One of my favorites is Strider-the young hacker Arthur enlists in his search for information.
  • The Story-the overall plot of the novel was a great mystery/thriller that had me intrigued just based on the synopsis (and was the reason I entered the giveaway in the first place). It did not disappoint.
  • The writing-Chris Knopf has a beautiful style with complex, but not complicated, sentence structure and his ability to write dialog is excellent. I love a novel with writing that pulls me in and keeps me reading. This novel definitely had that.
  • Arthur and Natsumi's relationship-I really enjoyed the way these two characters worked together and loved each other. The ease with which they adapted to new situations and read each other so well spoke of deeply rooted emotional connections that few people ever have the privilege of experiencing. It was a nice change from much of the young adult novels I read where the love story is over the top. Here the love was muted, but no less powerful. 
These and many other things are the reasons I enjoyed this novel so much. It is a short, fun read that had me interested from page one. There is only one reason this novel did not get a full 5/5 from me. That reason is that I do not enjoy overuse of swearing/vulgarities/obscenities/profanities. There was very little use of any of these with the exception of the f-word, which probably appeared 20 or so times. To me this often signifies a lack of imagination and I find it unnecessary, particularly in the amount of times that one word was used in this particular novel. I know not everyone has this opinion and overall I found the novel very enjoyable.  This was my only draw back to the story.

I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys mystery/thriller novels. It's a great read and I will likely read more of Chris Knopf's stories if the chance arises.

Until next time, this has been your book loving friend,

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