Dog Gone follows Sam Holden in her quest to bring animal abusers to justice—by any means necessary. While camping with her boyfriend, Daniel, in a remote area of Tennessee, Sam discovers the body of a dog that has been brutally tortured and killed. She resolves to learn more about saving animals in distress but is soon frustrated as her efforts are hindered by rules and red tape. In desperation, Sam turns to crime to take down those who harm and abuse animals.
Sam is an engaging character and the epitome of a vigilante. She’s smart, capable, and resourceful. Her life is divided into lawful Sam and criminal Sam and each side has its own cast of characters. While engaging in criminal activity, it was hard not to liken Sam to a secret agent or spy. Moat did a wonderful job of bringing believability to Sam’s “tricks of the trade,” from pulling a job to dealing with her criminal contacts.
Dog Gone reads like a detective mystery—the pace is a bit too slow for me to be able to call it a suspense/thriller. If you’re looking for a face-paced novel, this might not be for you; however, the sedate pace helps believability and increases the significance of the novel’s climax. While there were no glaring plot holes, a particular event that happened in the middle of the book and was not addressed again until the epilogue left me a bit confused. While this was possibly done to leave the option open for a sequel or spin-off, it was still quite jarring.
Overall, Dog Gone is a novel worth reading, and not just for animal enthusiasts. Moat’s prose is easy to read, her characters engaging, and the criminal aspect takes little-to-no suspension of belief. Check it out.
Rise and Run (A Broken Man Novel, Book One) by RJ Plant is set in 2042, where protagonist Felix Quinn is working for illegal trades mogul Rian Connell, who’s also his adoptive father. When Connell receives a tip that his niece, Kaitlyn Henderson, could be in danger, he sends Felix to track her down. In disguise, Felix infiltrates Government Directive International (GDI). Unfortunately for him, GDI used Kaitlyn as bait. A GDI agent brings Conor Quinn, the byproduct of Felix’s chimerism, to the surface by injecting him with a virus. Now it’s up to Conor to decide his fate and Felix’s.
The story started with an intriguing chapter one, bringing the chimerism concept to light right away. Perhaps genetic chimera is not a subject well known to some readers, but it’s definitely not science fiction and not something new. RJ Plant used this concept exceptionally well to develop the story. The world-building is interesting as readers are given a glimpse into a world after the War of 2026, the outcome of the war on terror. It’s not nearly as dire as most post-war worlds that I’ve read, but it’s still undesirable and the fact that it’s a realistic outcome made it more alarming.
The characters are credible and have enough depth. In essence, Conor is not a bad man, but not perfect either. His circumstances contribute to his flaws. I don’t want to give away any critical plot developments, so suffice to say that it’s a tale of resistance, where a living product of genetic engineering strives to survive and live freely as any living being desires. The prose is an easy read and to the point. This makes the story flow well. Overall, Rise and Run is an impressive thriller. I look forward to the continuation of the story.