A fanatical book reader, Kirstie has works hard to fit the ‘evil day job’ of Financial regulation around her passion of writing, promoting writers of all genres and encouraging more people to read books. Kirstie is the News and Events Co-ordinator for Shots.
Alpha features Master Sergeant Jonathan "Jad" Bell, an undercover Delta Force operative who is, I believe, a new character for Rucka.
The main part of the book focuses on a day at an imaginary amusement park, Wilsonville, in California, where Bell’s handlers have been told that at some point ‘something’ will happen. No-one knows what, when or where and so he is there heading up security on a very busy Saturday when it all starts. The novel then spirals through the race to stop a bomb going off, rescuing hostages, who include his ex-wife and their hearing impaired daughter and various other action sequences that build up to the climax of Bell meeting villain.
I found that although the book seemed to start slowly, suddenly it took off at a pace that forced me to run quickly after it in order to keep up, almost too quickly at times. The heroes and villains are evenly matched in their military training, no-one trusts each other and with various decisions being made, there is a huge body count of the civilians whilst both sides argue amongst each other as to what to do next.
The research that must have gone into this with the behind the scenes of the park parts are extensive and added to the story telling. There was a rather black humour within the writing as well, that kept it from being dour, plus ending with a twist that is ready to throw you into the next adventure. I really liked the fast pace, well researched ‘back office’ scenes, the interesting characters and the humour that whilst did not make the book ‘funny’ added a space to breathe or feel that the ride had stopped just for that minute, before shooting off again. The climax of the two protagonists meeting was highly anticipated and as with the other supporting characters, this villain did not disappoint – I found myself really liking him in a really dark way – and it says a lot to me when the good and bad fight equally without there having to be an