Review: Off Rock (Kieran Shea)

Apr 13, 2017
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Off Rock is a science fiction tale about hidden treasure.  It is set in the year 2778.  Mining companies have moved to a new frontier and have begun extracting minerals from other parts of the galaxy.  While doing some work to prepare a site for closure, Jimmy Vik strikes gold.  Gold that the mining company knows nothing about.

It’s enough gold to set up Jimmy for life – if he can find a way get the gold off rock and back to earth.  Jimmy’s regular supervisor is sick, and his new supervisor is Leela – his ex-girlfriend.  Groan.  Any chance of flying under the radar just got much harder – Leela’s going to be watching his every move – their relationship didn’t end well, and Leela isn’t very fond of Jimmy.

Jimmy meets with Jock, a degenerate gambler and the station’s primary smuggler of things.  It’s a lot to smuggle (and if they get caught, the penalties are very severe), but Jock agrees to help, in exchange for a 50/50 split.  He spreads around a bit of money (and a lot of chocolate) and things are set.  What could possibly go wrong?  Well, a lot, of course.

Story

Off Rock is essentially the sci-fi version of a heist story.  The pace is good, our protagonist faces quite a few challenges, and there are other sub-plots in the story.  Overall, a well-constructed story.

Characters

In addition to Jimmy, there are a few other main characters in the book.  Jimmy is very well developed and I found myself rooting for him to succeed.  The author does a good job of making the other characters (including the minor ones) interesting and lifelike.

Verdict

Off Rock is an easy, fun read.  It’s a relatively short book, so you can finish it pretty quickly.  It’s worth your time – give it a shot.

Off Rock is on sale April 18.

 

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Review: Fatal Music (Peter Morfoot)

Apr 04, 2017
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Fatal Music is the second book featuring the French police captain Paul Durac.  The captain is pulled away from a jazz gig to handle a call.  An elderly woman has been found dead in her hot tub.  It seems to be a simply case of drowning.  To much surprise, it is later determined to be […]

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Mar 20, 2017
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Mar 09, 2017
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Parallel Lines is the story of an unusual bank robbery.  Adam is a desperate man – he’s terminally ill, and he want to make sure there is enough money to care for his special needs son after his death.  Obviously, the solution is to rob a bank.  He sets to work finding out how to maximize the amount […]

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Feb 17, 2017
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The Killing Bay is the second in a series of books set in the Faroe Islands (the first is The Blood Strand.)  The books begins with British detective Jan Reyna recovering from an injury in the Faroes. We find out that Reyna is Faroese, but has been raised in England by relatives.  The book begins […]

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Feb 03, 2017
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Gregory McDonald is known mostly for creating the character of Fletch, made famous in the movies by Chevy Chase. As a kid, I read many of the Fletch novels, so I was happy to review another of McDonald’s books. To be more accurate, Snatch is actually two distinct books (Who Took Toby Rinaldi and Safekeeping) […]

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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of In Sunlight or In Shadow for review purposes. I’ll read anything with Lawrence Block’s name associated with it, so when I had the chance to receive a copy of an anthology he edited (and contributed to), I jumped at the chance.  All of the stories in In Sunlight […]

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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Sinner Man for review purposes. If you’re a long time reader of The Soap Boxers, you’ve probably read others articles I’ve written about Lawrence Block.  If not, you can find them all here.  Block is my favorite author.  He’s been writing professionally since the 1950s, and as a result has […]

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Sep 30, 2016
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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Quarry in the Black for review purposes. Quarry in the Black is the 13th in the series by Max Allan Collins.  I hadn’t read the previous twelve books in the series, so I was jumping in blind.  There’s always a danger in doing that, as there can sometimes […]

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Jun 13, 2016
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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Daniel Godfrey’s New Pompeii for review purposes. A quick glance at the book’s synopsis had me hooked.  A company has found a way to bring people from the past forward through time and land them in the present day.  Their biggest challenge so far was to rescue the population […]

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