Review: The Nash Criterion

The Nash Criterion

After three stumbles, Erec Stebbins suddenly struck the right note with The Nash Criterion.

After one bad and two middling thrillers, Stebbins suddenly turns into Jon Land-if not Hideo Kojima- with this ridiculously overstuffed tale of a second American Civil War and ancient world-controlling super conspiracies. This book just was so over-the-top that I grinned at every single later page.

A lot of times it’s hard to review additional books in a series. This is not one of them, as it offers a distinct change. Many more times, if there’s a distinct change worth pointing out, it’s a negative one as the series drops in quality. Here, the opposite is thankfully true. The INTEL 1 series has gained in quality with this book, and I was very glad to see it.

Snippet Reviews: April 2020

So, it’s time for a few more snippet reviews.

Bloodline

After reading only a few Sidney Sheldon books, I found that Bloodline matches his formula very closely. This is not a bad thing. While it doesn’t exceed the excess of Master of the Game, it comes fairly close, and his story of elite “intrigue” is everything you’d expect.

False Flag

A disappointing second entry in the Jason Trapp series, False Flag keeps the semi-serious tone while turning the plot up to full Roger Moore Bond ridiculousness. It doesn’t work well compared to its predecessor.

Extraordinary Retribution

Erec Stebbins’ second INTEL 1 novel, Extraordinary Retribution, is kind of an in-name-only endeavor. Not only are the politics even more blatant and hamfisted, but the main characters of The Ragnarok Conspiracy only appear at the end as a final deus ex machina. Otherwise, it’s a completely separate story. And not the best-written one.

Review: The Ragnarok Conspiracy

The Ragnarok Conspiracy

Erec Stebbins’ debut in the INTEL 1 series is The Ragnarok Conspiracy. If you can accept A: Politics that are flipped 180 degrees from the stereotypical “shoot the terrorist” thriller (without spoiling much, it involves western antagonists destroying Muslim holy sites from the get-go), and B: Said politics being too-frequently pushed with all the subtlety of an after-school special, it’s not a bad thriller.

The political preachiness is a knock against it, but it’s not nearly bad enough to get in the way of a thriller with good fundamentals. Yes, it’s a rote thriller. Yes, its message doesn’t exactly go well with a main villain who’s the kind of person Blaine McCracken deals with on a daily basis. But I’ve definitely read worse.