Mythology meets high-tech in this thrilling military shooter by Jeremy Robinson. Pulse is the first installment in Jeremy Robinson’s ‘Chess Team’ series, and sure to be a hit with those who like action-adventure…
Wait, let me rephrase that.
…those who like ACTION-ADVENTURE!
Damn, there’s more bullets in this book than a whole week’s worth of Minneapolis nightlife!
Story Premise for “Pulse”
A genetic research company is trying to perfect the process of human regeneration. They have experimented on test subjects who are able to regenerate at an amazing rate (Think the X-men’s “Wolverine” on speed) but there’s a problem. The more they regenerate, the more their mind devolves into a crazed state. They become maniacal and enraged, with an insatiable hunger.
When the research company discovers an ancient artifact and a scientist that might unlock the key to regeneration, it’s up to the ‘Chess Team’ (Code Names: King, Queen, Rook, Bishop, and Knight) to infiltrate this organization and stop their horrific experiments and recover their friend before its too late. But how to you destroy a creature that heals instantly and gets more and more insane and angry as it takes more damage?
Things go from bad to worse when an huge, ancient monster is awakened that not only has regenerative abilities and a hunger for human flesh, but also has multiple heads!
Fight scenes were well-done. It’s easy to write too much description into fights, which distracts from the story, but I think Jeremy Robinson nails it. He focuses on the heart of the fight, and I definitely learned some style tips to implement in writing my own fight scenes.
The characters were very memorable. The code names helped me remember our main character friends and each member of the Chess Team had the kind of personality you might expect of their respective chess pieces.
Good use of technology. Jeremy Robinson credits several people as sources for his military and genetic terms and descriptions. This gives the book a real feel to it; a grounding in reality (despite my frustration of weapon descriptions under Not-So-Good, see below). Wicked cool tech, from the stealth plane HALO jumps to the Metal Storm weapons with three barrels, which throw three rounds per trigger pull.
Pulse has great pacing. The chapters are short and Jeremy Robinson knows how to use chapter breaks to build tension, which makes for a real page-turner. He knows how to keep the pace moving and not let things drag. Despite multiple characters experiencing multiple pieces of the story simultaneously all over the world, the plotline is simple and easy to follow. You won’t get lost, and you definitely won’t be bored.
Part of the quick pacing comes from the author’s use of narrative description to cover lots of storyline in a short time. It was well done; the equivalent of scanning FF through the boring parts of a movie.
Speaking of movies, Pulse would make a great movie. In fact, changing the Chess Team over to the cast from the recent movie G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra would not be a stretch.
A touch of eye-rolling prose here and there, although this is not uncommon in military shooters. Descriptions of death sure to get a giggle out of the most stoic reader. (Campbell’s Chunky Soup?)
Lots of product placement. I hope Jeremy was paid for the product endorsements to Chevy, Metal Storm (and Campbell’s? LOL). I’ve been discussing the possibilities of paid product placement and in-book advertisement with other authors, and have yet to hear Jeremy Robinson’s take on it. If he was paid, then God bless, but it would be a first.
I felt there was a touch too much of the military weapon descriptions. I don’t really need to know the rate of fire of each weapon used, country of origin, or even its model name. “Pistol”, “SMG”, “Rifle”, “Grenade Launcher” – these are all definitive enough terms for me – add in the other details during mission briefings if you must, but not during a fight. This might not bother other readers, but I personally find it distracting to read something like, “…approached his target and drew his Chrome-Plated Colt Anaconda .44 Revolver with a mounted laser sight, custom pearl grips and mounted M203 Grenade Launcher, capable of turning an entire school of hammerhead sharks into tiny bits of cooked sushi…” as opposed to “…drew his .44 revolver…” and let the weapon show us what it can do through the story instead of telling us about it.
But these are all minor quibbles and none of these things ruined the story for me.
Pulse by Jeremy Robinson is a real page-turner, stuffed full of fast-paced military action, monsters, archeology/mythology and well-written fight scenes.
I enjoyed Pulse enough that I’ll be looking for the next installment. In the meantime, I’ll probably give his deep-sea thriller, Kronosa try.