Monday, September 22, 2014

BOOK REVEW: ALPHA by Greg Rucka

http://amzn.com/B005UKH92C
Click the Cover to Visit on Amazon
This was a surprisingly solid novel. I was dubious about the premise of a Die Hard-like story set in a Disney World analogue, but Rucka pulls it off with aplomb. The crafting of Wilsonville, from its history to the mythology behind the characters and the way in which they interact, was very well done - I think I'd rather vacation there than DW any day (well, except the day of the attack...).

Jad Bell is an interesting character, competent but at least moderately realistic in the sense that while he's your typical "Tier One" type, there are a number of little details that give him a surprising degree of humanity. The choice of making his teenage daughter deaf, and weaving in chapters written from her perspective, gives this story a very unique feel. I also appreciated the complexity of the sleeper agent, his relations with the other terrorists and his superior, and the chain of planning and events leading up to the attack. The door is definitely left wide open for more books in the series.

I have been a fan of Rucka's since he wrote the excellent spy comic QUEEN AND COUNTRY, and I read his Wolverine titles as well. He's written some Punisher too, although I haven't checked it out yet, but after reading ALPHA, I think I need to make it a priority. This novel is highly recommended, and I'm eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.

7 comments:

FreeLiverFree said...

The Destroyer novel "Cold Water" the bad guy is a send up of Walt Disney called Uncle Sam Beasely. The story incorporates a lot of myths about Disney including the myth he had his head frozen after death. It also includes a long, hilarious sequence of Remo and Chiun fighting people in cartoon costumes with machine guns and dodging body trap rides in the Disney world analogue.

Chris said...

Rucka is hands-down one of the best. His run on Batwoman is a classic as well, and his Stumptown private detective comics are fantastic. His current ongoing -- LAZARUS -- is also great. I have this book but haven't read it.

Man, I can't say enough good things about the guy. I got to spend a couple hours hanging out with him too, as we both read at the first Noir at the Bar in Portland, and he couldn't be a nicer, more humble guy.

Charles Gramlich said...

Haven't read anything by him. don't think I've ever even heard the name.

The Wasp said...

Gahan Wilson's pulp detective parody, Everybody's Favorite Duck, concludes in Waldo World, a NJ based Disney clone.

sandhya said...

Nice article. I like this post.

sandhya said...

1Nice article. I like this post.

FreeLiverFree said...

I just noticed this, but I said the Destroyer was titled "Cold Water". It's not, it's "Cold Warrior."