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Like melted dark chocolate…

By Hachi, member

Dec 16, 2008:  . . . liberally mixed with copious amounts of coffee, beer, explosives, and inappropriate humor. Something for everyone.

Like Seth up there, I registered purely for the purpose of reviewing Shadow of the Templar. That ought to say something.

As near as I can see, this story is flawless. Perfectly paced, heart-racing action interspersed with ironic innuendo and snort-carbonated-beverage-through-nose laughs all make it a fantastic, hilarious, fun, comfortable (and yes, slightly guilty) read.

The premise makes it even better. It is extremely difficult to pull off "FBI" and/or "mastermind criminal" with a skill and grace that doesn’t cross the line into eye-rollingly typical, but the author has done it. The fiction is, if not perhaps entirely accurate (as the author admits), extremely well-grounded, and I found it believable and realistic. It was a fresh take on FBI-type happenings that didn’t involve everyone just running around with guns and suits looking sexy all the time. (Well, one character looks sexy all the time, but he’s not the gun-carrier.)

The first book is the one with least depth, but it’s exciting and enjoyable and takes one through all the loops of a favorite under-the-covers thriller. Starting from the second book, however, the characterization becomes exquisite, and each of the characters resolves him- or herself into something much more real and relatable with a distinct personality. Honestly, the story itself doesn’t change its level of awesome much (that’s okay, since it’s pretty much pure "win" to begin with), but the characters become so three-dimensional that the reader gets inexorably sucked in and held with their obnoxious but very real charm.

And also, guy-on-guy fiction is not usually my cup of tea. I’m open to it, but if the story isn’t VERY smoothly done, it’s enough to discourage me from reading. I read this the entire way through and am impatient for more.

If you’re looking for deep, meaningful, will-be-passed-down-through-the-ages—well, this probably isn’t what you’re looking for. On the other hand, if you’re looking for almost anything else, and don’t mind addiction, it probably is.

Verdict? READ IT. (Uh, just a friendly suggestion.)

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