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Book Review- Kill Switch by Jonathan Maberry

June 16, 2016 1 comment

Kill SwitchI started doing these book reviews as a writer’s exercise. Basically the goal was just to capture what felt about what I just read well also preserving any surprises that may come, because those can be some of the most enjoyable parts of a book; especially the kinds I read for enjoyment which are usually mystery/crime, horror, science fiction, fantasy and action adventure. Preserving those reveals can be a challenge though. Which is a good segue way into talking about Jonathan Maberry’s latest Joe Ledger novel “Kill Switch.” There’s so much cool stuff here, but you know what? I can’t talk about it! I don’t want to spoil it for you. So let’s see what we can do.

In many ways “Kill Switch” is a payoff novel. If you’ve followed Joe Ledger through his seven other adventures you’re going to love “Kill Switch.” This is a book where a lot of the pieces from other novels come together to give you some solid and exciting answers, but at the same time raising more questions. I can also say if you love Joe Ledger and the DMS this book is going to hurt you. It’s going to worry you, and if you’re like me there’s a good chance it might even make you cry in some (and in my case a lot of) spots.

From that pain though that Maberry inflicts on his cast and us readers comes some great drama. We already know that Joe and his colleagues are tough, heroes, but in “Kill Switch” we get to see how tough they are as they tangle with situations that would break the hearts and snap the sanity of lesser people. We also get to see that these larger than life heroes are human. Because they fail and they fall on more than one occasion, but they get up and they keep trying to hold back the darkness even against impossible odds.

When I say impossible odds I’m not kidding either. I can’t delve too deep into that area because, again spoilers! (The book really is a wild and fun ride of “OH SHIT!” and “HELL YEAH!” moments). Let’s just say this time Joe, Mr. Church and the DMS are up against a many headed hydra that includes real world foes, old foes, secret cabals of powerful and wealthy men, and what just might be the forces of one of the greatest horror franchises ever created. If you’re a fan of that horror franchise you’ll be happy to see that Maberry is clearly a fan as well. The book is full of fun little easter eggs and direct homages to said franchise.

What makes the story even more powerful though is at its core one of the things “Kill 250px-JonathanMaberrySwitch” is about is the relationship between fathers and sons. There’s more I want to say here, but again spoilers! I can say these relationships involve some new and fascinating characters that are incredibly nuanced. You look at a character one way, but then you look at them through the eyes of that father-son relationship and you see him in other powerful and sometimes poignant ways. I will also say I love one of these new characters and hope that we see them again in future Ledger novels.

So if you’re a fan of Jonathan Maberry this book has it all! It might even have some fun nods to his other book series! For me, The Ledger series has sort of become the novel equivalent of the big summer movie blockbuster. They hit right around the time summer begins and every year they never disappoint. This year was no exception. In fact having gone through “Kill Switch” with Joe Ledger and his DMS family I would say I’m more invested than ever in these characters. Maberry leaves them with a perfect ending and you can bet when he picks them up again in the next Ledger book I’ll be right beside them yelling, “Hooah!”

Categories: Book Review, Joe Ledger