Saturday, May 5, 2012

Chimera by Rob Thurman (Review by kiwigirlreads)

Chimera Plot Overview:

When Stefan Korsak was fourteen his younger brother Lukas was kidnapped and he has never forgiven himself for the part he unwittingly played. It was Stefan who convinced Lukas that they should sneak out to ride their horses on the beach that day and so ten years later Stefan is still searching for answers.

In the meantime he has fallen into the family business – the Russian mafia, he has no illusions about his lifestyle choices and it funds his obsession to find his brother which is all Stefan cares about these days. Finally one of his contacts comes through with new lead that points him towards a shadowy ‘institute’ where a boy matching Lukas description has been seen.

Stefan mounts a dangerous rescue mission and finally is reunited with his brother, but after ten years Lukas is no longer the boy he remembers. Lukas insists that he does not know who Stefan is and that his name is Michael. The ‘institute’ has spent years training and conditioning Michael to be a weapon and they will do whatever it takes to get him back.

Now the two are on the run together, Michael from his captors and Stefan from the mafia he left behind, they must learn to trust one another if they want to stay alive. Michael has no reason to trust this stranger except that he has risked his life for him and Stefan will do anything to make sure his brother has a chance a real life.

 What I thought:

I really enjoy Rob Thurman’s Cal Leandros series so wanted to give this one ago as well. I ordered it off Amazon a while ago and finally got around to reading it recently. On the whole I think that I prefer Rob’s previous novels over this one, I might read the next one in the series but it’s not going to be high on my list.

That does not mean it was bad by any means, I just didn’t really feel that it was great. It was a compelling read, had some good points, and was pretty entertaining. There's not much of a supernatural aspect to this book compared to others that Rob Thurman has written. It’s a bit hard to categorise as it’s not completely mundane either but its more science fiction than fantasy as it deals with genetics.

The story starts off slow introducing Stefan and his mafia background but it soon picks up as Stefan finds and rescues Lukas, after that it rolls along pretty well towards the conclusion. It’s a good thriller, action type story with twists and turns in the plot to keep you interested.

Rob Thurman always does characters well so there are no complaints on that score, there is a lot of depth to the two main characters and she really works out their interactions very well. There is a lot of thought about how these two boys would deal with each other, one has been searching for the brother he lost 10 years ago and the other does not believe he has a brother. They both have their issues but they need to rely on each other to survive.

There is a good dose of Rob Thurman’s signature snarky dialogue and the brother’s relationship is well written. It does not come naturally as the boys have been estranged but Stefan is determined to get his brother back and Lukas despite himself wants to believe.

I thought that sometimes the plot seemed a bit easy,Stefan breaks into a top secret compound which surely would have top of the line security. Obviously this is needed for the story line as most of the reminder of the story is about them running but I think there could have been a more plausible way to get Lukas out. Something where there was less security like when they were outside on a trip or something. It’s just a small point but it’s at the start so it sets the scene.

I was not a huge fan of the ending but I don't want to give away so I won’t say too much. I didn't have a problem with the resolution of the story but the twist at the end left me feeling a bit underwhelmed, I’m sure many will see it coming and I thought it might happen but would have rather it had gone another way.

Finally I just thought I would mention I was not a big fan of the cover but as I knew the author from previous books it did not matter too much. If it was debut author I might have hesitated on the cover, it’s not the most attractive. A minor point I know but I really enjoy the cover art so thought I would add it in.

Final Comments and Overall Rating:

Overall, Chimera does not disappoint, I myself preferred the Leandros series but it’s better to view this as something apart as it is not urban fantasy. It’s an exciting thriller about genetic experiments and sibling relationships. While it has its flaws it’s still a great read, well written and it will keep your interest.

So if you are interested in action, thriller type books then this might just be what you are looking for or if you are a Rob Thurman fan I’m sure you will not be disappointed if you give it a go.

Rating: ☆☆☆

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