Todd’s Review of Resurrection Express by Stephen Romano

ResurrectionExpress_CoverAs you probably can tell from my review history on Reflections, I’m quite the fan of a good action novel.  If it involves the adjectives death-defying, pulse raising, nail-biting, etc, I’m in.  I understand that a lot of times I don’t turn to these books to satisfy a need for an in-depth analysis of complex topics or multi-dimensional themes, instead I just look for a solid story that will make me turn the pages and keep me hooked from the beginning to end.  Therefore, at least in the context of action/adventure books, my needs are simple.  And so, when I received a copy of Resurrection Express by Stephen Romano, I expected no different.  I opened the book and prepared for a good story that hopefully wouldn’t keep me up too late at night.  And boy, was I wrong.

Resurrection Express begins with a man, Elroy Coffin, in jail.  Although he doesn’t exactly look the part, he is a trained martial artist and hacker that has been involved with crime and an “alternate” lifestyle for as long as he can remember.  Growing up he worked with his father, Ringo Coffin, a legendary safe-cracker whom Elroy was eventually slated to replace and take over the “family business”.  However, this was before David Hartman happened.  Elroy and Ringo had worked for Hartman for a long time, but Hartman had become too obsessed with himself and his own empire to care about them any longer.  Now, Elroy is in jail after barely surviving a gunshot wound to the head, and his father and wife, Tori, are presumed dead all because of Hartman’s power-hungry attempts to destroy Elroy for good.  However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, when a “concerned citizen” visits Elroy in jail and gives him proof that his father and wife are in fact still alive.  She can coordinate his release from jail and protection in exchange for his full cooperation on her team.  Their goal is to recover something that she lost that is now owned by Hartman and his empire.  At the end of his rope, Elroy agrees, and enters into a whirlwind of action and adventure that is unrelenting to the very end.

Like I said before, I was expecting a pseudo-stereotypical plot to emerge from this novel.  From the beginning, Romano’s writing style reminded me of a gritty crime novel, short on verbiage but long on description and comparison.  He throws a lot of information at you, fast, and doesn’t allow much time for digestion.  I felt as if I was on the run along with Elroy, dodging bullets and only partially filled in on the overall plan by this “concerned citizen”.  One of my favorite passages was when Romano wrote, “a .375 Korth revolver, 38 caliber, the kind of gun that giants with big hands use when they wanna blow holes in nouns.  That’s people, places, and things.”  Slightly poetic, but very badass.  To be honest, I kept picturing Max Payne when reading this novel, as it had a similar feel and flow as the video game.  I loved the slightly disjointed nature of the plot at times, which made me think and connect the dots with little assistance.  Therefore, when it all came together in the end, it was even more eye-popping.

Perhaps it’s just because I’m a big fan of film noir and old crime movies like Double Indemnity, but I couldn’t get enough of Romano’s story.  It was a departure from the typical smash and grab crime novel, and there were few clichés to be found.  Overall, I thought it was an extremely strong offering from Romano that has definitely left me seeking his other novels.  This one is definitely worth a try!

5 out of 5 stars

Resurrection Express by Stephen Romano
Gallery Books (2012)
Hardcover: 437 pages
ISBN: 9781451668643

Special thanks to Gallery Books for my review copy!

The April Roundup!

I can’t believe it!  At the end of April I had 70 books under my belt; this is the fastest reading pace I’ve done yet!  That’s 30 books ahead of schedule!  You can see a list of all the books I’ve read so far here.  With all of the reading I’ve done recently, you’d think I didn’t have enough time for anything else.  Well, that was not the case.  We had a month packed with all sorts of family/friend events that kept me running around!

Beautiful RuinsTo start the month off right, Todd, Jess, and I attended a book signing by Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins.  What an amazing author!  Jess was full of energy and a great all around guy.  I was fortunate enough to get my book signed by him and chat with him afterwards.  Overall, it was yet another wonderful event put on by R.J. Julia.  If you haven’t been there yet, get to it!  The following weekend, we attended a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society in our town put on by the local Knights of Columbus.  It is a huge beer and food festival, with tons of local and regional breweries on hand with plenty of samples and a ton of food too.  Delicious!

Next, it was on to watch the Quinnipiac Men’s Ice Hockey team as they played in the national championship games!  We originally went to New Haven to get together with fellow alums to watch Quinnipiac take on St. Cloud in the Frozen Four semifinal game.  After winning that game, the Bobcats stayed in Pittsburgh to play Yale in the national championship.  We attended a game watch at a local bar and cheered on the Bobcats, but sadly they lost.  There’s always next year though!

IMG_20130509_085129Finally, I have to end this roundup on a slightly sad note.  Recently we had been noting that Sebastian (one of our two cats) had been coughing a lot.  Todd was able to take a day off of work and took him to the vet, where he had an x-ray (he had to be sedated as he can be slightly grumpy at times).  It turns out that he may have slight asthma, and the pills we got are doing the trick, so he is feeling much better!  Look at this cute face!

So on the reading front, the 27 books I read in April were primarily all new adult books.  This is seriously my new favorite genre.  I’ve already posted reviews on two of my favorites: Easy by Tammara Webber and Losing It by Cora Carmack.  AHH this genre is the bomb. I have many more recommendations for this genre, so keep an eye on my upcoming reviews.

Speaking of reviews, here is what’s on the schedule for the rest of May.  Sam’s going to be reviewing a new YA novel entitled The Rose Throne by Mette Ivie Harrison.  Todd’s working on Resurrection Express by Stephen Romano and A Year in Beer and Food by Emily Baime and Darin Michaels.  Christine will be reviewing Over the Rainbow by Paul Pickering and I’m working on Eyes Wide Open by Raine Miller, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, Stranded with a Billionaire by Jessica Clare, and The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen among others.  It promises to be a full month as always.

I hope your April was as fun-filled and bookish as ours was!

Until next time, happy reading!

The March Roundup!

Well folks, the first quarter of the year is over.  Wasn’t it just January 1st?  With the first quarter over I feel the need to evaluate where I am on my reading goal.  I need to read 10 books a month to stay on pace for the overall goal of 120 books read.  At the end of March my year-to-date total was 43 books, 13 books ahead of schedule!!  (The 24 books I finished reading in March went a long way in pushing me over the mark).  You can see a full listing of everything I’ve read so far with links to their reviews here.

Completed favors

Now that March is over I can tell you what really kept me so busy in February!  My mother turned sixty on March 20th and as such my family threw a surprise party for her at the beginning of March! (She’s too smart to have done it any closer to her actual birthday).  Anyway, her birthday falls on the first day of spring so we decided on a “spring” theme for the party.  I’m still shocked that my sister, aunts, and father were able to pull it off without her finding out.  Anyway, back to the planning!  As the crafty sister, I was placed in charge of the centerpieces, favors, and cake!  Working off the spring theme I bought different colored ceramic birds, Spanish moss, and cellophane bags to make birds in nests for each guest to take home.  I really need to pat myself on the back. They came out great and everyone loved them!  Also, sticking with the spring idea I got these awesome colored flower pots to put fresh flowers in for each of the tables.  Unfortunately, that wound up turning into a disaster because the pots were wider than I thought and the flowers were all over the place and ::sigh:: it was a mess.  I wound up having to stuff wet paper towels into the pots with the flowers to prop them up and keep them hydrated.  It was all worth it though just to see the shocked look on my mom’s face.

Surprised mom!

Surprised mom!

I don’t think anything can beat that face. Seriously.  Anyway, we kept busy the rest of the month with visits to my cousin’s house in upstate New York as well as a trip to the vet for Belle and Sebastian.  Our bowling league also finished up the last Thursday of the month and I can happily say I killed it this year!  I finished as the highest scoring female bowler in our league with a high score of 181 (WOO-HOO)!

On the reading front I read a wide variety of genres last month.  Time-traveling, historical fiction, mysteries, romances, graphic novels, and even a few paranormal ones! I definitely covered the entire spectrum this month, and I’m proud to say that I enjoyed every minute!  It’s not every month that I get to be this productive, and I’m happy that I was able to accomplish so many goals in such a short amount of time.   It’s difficult to come up with a top read of the month having read so many different genres, but if I was being forced to pick one I’d have to pick Voyager by Diana Gabaldon.  I quite simply cannot put her Outlander series down.  I have so many reviews forthcoming for all the great books I read in March. I have to say there are not many losers in the bunch.  It was hands down a month full of reading surprises!

Looking forward to April, I can tell you I’m part of a few blog tours for new releases from Michelle Diener (author of In A Treacherous Courtand M.J. Rose (author of  The Book of Lost Fragrances). Todd’s currently reading Resurrection Express by Stephen Romano and How To Plant A Body by Terri Ann Armstrong. Adam’s working on his review of Game of the Gods by E.J Dabel, the second book in Dabel’s Pantheons series. Sam’s review for Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason is going to be posted on the blog in the next few days.  Once that’s posted she’s moving on to Firebrand by Gillian Philip and The Rose Throne by Mette Ivie Harrison.  Jess is reading a biography about Sylvia Plath entitled Mad Girl’s Love Song.  Charlie’s working on an interview with Paul Cornell, author of London Falling and writer for Doctor Who!  And Christine is reading Under the Same Stars by Tim Lott and Over the Rainbow by Paul Pickering.  The staff is doing a fantastic job at keeping this blog well-rounded and full of book selections for all genres and all readers.  My thanks and praise goes out to them!

Well folks, that’s March in a nutshell.

Until next time, happy reading!