Slanted Jack

Mark L. Van Name, Author
Mark L. Van Name, Author . Baen $24 (388p) ISBN 978-1-4165-5549-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 474 pages - 978-1-4165-9162-7
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While the character development, world building and thematic depth are mediocre at best, Van Name's flare for witty dialogue, breakneck pacing and nonstop action compensate for the narrative inadequacies and make this high-powered sequel to 2007's One Jump Ahead an undeniable page-turner. When nano-enhanced soldier of fortune Jon Moore and his sentient assault vehicle, Lobo, run into a former acquaintance, a conman and thief named Slanted Jack, Moore's kindheartedness gets him and his sarcastic battlewagon into a deadly predicament. A religious fanatic who moonlights as an arms dealer, an irate gang leader and a powerful government councilor are all ready to wring Jack's neck, and Moore becomes the target of their collective fury when Jack suddenly disappears with an allegedly psychic child and a cache of invaluable artifacts. The flat characters and undemanding plot may discourage more cerebral readers, but those who gravitate toward action-heavy story lines will find Moore's escapades highly entertaining. (July)

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