Saturday, April 18, 2015

Black Tide - by Patrick Freivald - The second Matt Rowley novel left me wanting more and there's more on the way

4.5 of 5 Stars     Review copy

Three years ago I started reading an up-and-coming horror writer by the name of Patrick Freivald.  An interesting guy who happens to be a High School teacher, a robotics coach, and a bee-keeper, yet still finds the time to write compelling fiction.

Patrick's first two novels were YA zombie books about Ani Romero, a normal sixteen-year-old girl with a secret.  She's a zombie.  Twice Shy and  Special Dead  are still two of my favorite zombie books.  It's a world I'd love to see Patrick get back to, someday.  (Hint, hint).

I can see why it might be difficult to get back to Ani's story since Patrick's muse has taken him into the world of Matt Rowley a character who hasn't been human for years.  A commando for ICAP, the International Council and Augmented Phenomena, he hunts down superhuman monsters the military can't handle.  Book 1,  Jade Sky, was published last Spring, and Black Tide is it's sequel.

Black Tide, is very close to a perfect novel.  A compelling story with a flawed hero, surrounded by richly crafted characters who are just as imperfect as Matt.

Chapter 1 would have made a fitting climax in any SF adventure novel, but in Black Tide, it was just the beginning.

There are significant changes for book 2 in the Matt Rawley series.  "Matt found himself without rank, command, or superiors.  His reassignment to the Department of Homeland Security's newly created Special Threats Bureau came with no mission and no directives, but a shiny new ID badge that might get him out of speeding tickets.  As the only Aug left in the world, the UN, NATO, and the United States never ran out of things 'only he' could do."

There is plenty of violence and some pretty horrific stuff goes down, but when Matt takes vengeance on the bad guys and girls, it feels so good.

There are some genuine, "Oh, wow!" moments here and the end is the perfect setup for the next book in the series, which can't come soon enough.

My favorite quote from Black Tide, comes from Matt Rawley.  "I kill to protect my family, my town, my country.  I kill bad people when they need killing."

Black Tide is available now in a variety of ebook formats and paperback from JournalStone through their website.  Book 1 in the Matt Rawley series is recommended reading, but not required.

I can highly recommend this series and anything written by its author.


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