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Book Review: Unrelenting Nightmare by Stan Yocum

Book Review: Unrelenting Nightmare by Stan Yocum

It's Book Review Wednesday, my favorite day of the week! Today's review is on a topic close to my heart: murders and assassinations…

Unrelenting Nightmare

Stuart Garrison, a virtual reality software developer on the cusp of industry domination, navigates a deadly cat-and-mouse game with an international assassin hired by his fierce competitor. The stakes are high, as Garrison tries to outwit his clever potential killer while releasing an innovative new technology to the world. 9781491716793_COVER.indd

My Review: 4 Stars

Starting off with that blurb--it's just not right! The focus of the book is mainly on the assassin (Clark Cameron), with Stuart being the sort of "lesser bad guy". It's an iffy blurb that doesn't tell you the real truth of the book. The book is really about the assassin, and it paints an intriguing picture of the fellow. Though he is technically the book's antagonist, I found myself rooting for him. Imagine the avarice of Deadpool with the morals of a supervillain and the planning skills of the Punisher--that's Cameron Clark. I have to say that I heartily enjoyed the book. I read through it fairly quickly, and it was hard to put the thing down. The villain is particularly enjoyable, and I kind of wanted him to win, though it wouldn't have worked for the story. That being said, there were a lot of weaknesses with the book: Typos and word misuses. The author used "flack" instead of "flak", "sport hero" instead of "sports hero", "Revelry" instead of "Reveille", "dialect" instead of "accent", "speculation ran rapid" instead of "rampant", "tan" instead of "tanned", and a few others. Then there were expressions that make sense and are commonly used, but which shouldn't be part of a narrative--such as the expression "well fit" or "go stealth". POV. There was A LOT of head-hopping, and the omnipotent description of it all is a bit amateurish. For example, the narrator tells a character's back story, when it would have been more powerful had the character relived it through memory or dialogue.
  1. A LOT of telling, rather than showing. That last example of the narration is just one, but there was a lot of "he heard", "he saw", and "he watched". We know it's from the character's POV, but the way he uses these words pulls us out of the action. All in all, the writing was a bit clunky and hamfisted in places, with a lot of passive writing.
Alex Nichols. One of the main characters is a woman who is supposed to be "the best" in her field. She is introduced as such, but the author quickly turns her from a bad-ass security expert at the top of the industry into an almost simpering woman, unable to believe that an assassin would kill an innocent person just to get to her. There's just too much naivete to be real. She's set up to be "the best", but she's fairly inefficient, just waiting for him to come to her instead of being out and trying to find him. For an expert, she doesn't do much. The climax. VERY anti-climactic. A bit of build-up, but it was all over too quickly. That being said, despite the weaknesses, there was a lot to love about the book. I certainly enjoyed the story!

Here's a Taste:

Time seemed to slow as the sun beat down on the parched land. Nothing moved or made noise; only an eerie silence lingered beyond its welcome. A light breeze moved across the desert landscape, momentarily disrupting the stillness in the air. Leaves on the sparse plants adorning the area moved with its gentle coaxing. A small lizard darted from the shade of a scrub brush and scurried across the sun-bleached ground, taking refuge by an old, discarded truck tire. The lizard froze in place, its forelegs extended and head raised. Only its eyes and tongue moved, trying to catch the presence of any nearby predator. A pair of steel-blue eyes followed the lizard’s movements. These eyes belonged to a predator more menacing than the lizard could ever expect to encounter. Corporal Cameron Clark switched his attention from the lizard to the task at hand. He lowered his head and swiped sweat from his eyes with the sleeve of his camouflage suit. He couldn’t afford to let stinging sweat blur his vision. His life depended on it. Nearby, and just as well concealed, were the three other members of Clark’s strike force team—Captain Nathan Pool, Sergeant Benjamin Stokes, and Corporal Raul Diaz. The four men lay prone in the Iranian desert as part of a covert military operation to assassinate Ahmed Nazim Bahad, one of the most dangerous terrorists in the Middle East. Each man was a trained sniper, proficient at hitting a four-inch diameter bull’s-eye dead center from two hundred yards. The question the men had asked themselves more than once was: What would happen if the mission, code named Freelance, failed and they were captured? They wore nonmilitary clothing and carried no form of identification. They all knew the United States government wouldn’t admit to authorizing a covert assassination on foreign territory, and so the question remained: What would happen? The four men didn’t like any of the answers they’d come up with.

About the Author:

Stan Yocum always knew he wanted to be a writer. After obtaining a degree in theater arts, Yocum shifted to a left-brain career in the analytical business world. 30 years later, the dream was still knocking and Yocum left his career as a businessman to become a full-time author. Eight manuscripts and two published books later, Yocum is establishing himself as a prominent voice in indie-suspense novel with his new book “Unrelenting Nightmare.” He also raises and trains assistance dogs for Canine Companions for Independence®. Yocum is married with two daughters and resides in Palos Verdes, California. Find the book on Amazon: Tweet at Stan: Connect with him on Facebook: Read his thoughts on his website: