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Saturday, June 6, 2020

Realmshift (The Balance, #1)Realmshift by Alan Baxter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I won't say this book is perfect, but it hits the sweet spot on several specific levels.

First, the so-so:

Our antagonists, between Carlos the one-dimensional killing machine, and Satan, the one-dimensional greater foe, are pretty much there for our rubbernecking and tension building.

The bad: seriously? Where did I hear about this plot? Oh, wait... the last Indiana Jones movie must have stolen it from Alan Baxter.

The good:

Our heroes are overpowered and godlike, but they're a bit more well-rounded. And let me be clear, while overpowered action, magic, and nearly deus ex machina stories can be done bad, they can also be done pretty well, and this one was FUN.

I consider this an example of popcorn fiction for those who loved the core idea of Gaiman's American Gods but who wanted it to be BIGGER, BRIGHTER, and FASTER. You know, have a little mentorship without the subtlety, get out there with stakes as high as gods fighting gods, but keep all the action more like a sprawling action film that hops all over the Earth.

I'm reminded of Christopher Golden in his UF as I read this, but more streamlined and simplified.

This was fun and I am very happy I read it, but there ARE faults I can't ignore: such as the end. After all that build-up, I wanted a better end.

Not a deal-breaker, but it's always the little things, no?

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