Showing posts with label John Abramowitz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Abramowitz. Show all posts

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Identity Theft by John Abramowitz

A man walks into the Texas Capitol. Shots ring out. A young aide lies dead. The killer's excuse? He was under a spell. 
Sounds like a job for Hunter Gamble, right?
Wrong. After his disastrous "victory" in the trial of Samuel Pollard, Hunter has turned his back on defending oppressed vampires, mages, and zombies. Having accepted a position at his father's giant litigation firm, he's trying the glamorous cases, working in a corner office, and making a six-figure salary--and hating every minute of it. 
As Hunter plots his exit strategy, he finds himself inexorably drawn to the case of the Capitol shooter, who is an old friend from law school. As he works to clear his friend, Hunter discovers that there is much more at stake in this case than whether one man was under a spell. Before long, he finds himself pulled into a magical conspiracy dating back to before the Unveiling--and with a singularly cold-blooded wizard at its heart. 
The clock is ticking. The search for answers is on.

First off I want to say I read and reviewed John Abramowitz's first book, which was a really fun and exciting read for me. There is something about Abramowitz's style that makes reading a book an adventure, he really pulls you into the world he creates, so I was really looking forward to reading his second book. 

Identity Theft did not disappoint me in the least. I think part of the reason I found this book so enjoyable was that Hunter is really a complex character. He didn't just take a character exactly like the one from the first book and throw him into a new situation. He really gave Hunter some depth, Hunter had some really hard things to deal with, and ended up taking a different course and going to work with his father. I think this actually ended up adding a lot of dimension into Hunter as a character. 

Hunter finding his way back to the himself, and the defense of Arcane's is really an evolution of a character and enjoyable to read. I always appreciated Abramowitz's ability to bring really realistic legal elements into the story, he does it seamlessly. 

As a second book, I feel like this book definitely is a good follow up, although it was lacking some of the punch that the first book had. But it was a great read, really fun for me to read, and really enjoyed getting to know Hunter all over again. It's really hard for me to review books like this because I want to tell you guys so much about what happens in the book, but I would totally run the excitement of finding it out on your own. What I can say is that you won't regret reading this book, it really is a good read. I would recommend that you read Abramowitz's first book first though, I think you get a lot more information on Hunter that makes the second book all the more enjoyable. 


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Atticus for the Undead by John Abramowitz

The next chapter in the struggle for equal rights begins!
Hunter Gamble is an idealistic young attorney in a very special area of the practice: arcane defense. Funded by enigmatic billionaire Charles McClain and aided by shy-but-energetic research attorney Kirsten Harper, he's making the world a better place -- one vampire, zombie, or werewolf client at a time. After all, they deserve their day in court too, right?
When a young zombie walks into Hunter's office accused of murder (by brain-eating), Hunter's idealism is tested as never before as he struggles to secure the man's freedom. To do so, he must square off against a savvy and ambitious district attorney, contend with a judge who is deeply biased against arcanes, and stand up to a human-supremacist group which will stop at nothing -- not even Hunter's own death -- to see his client convicted.

This is one of those books that I get a request to read and review, and then get totally bummed out that I have to wait to read it until it comes up on my list for review. So I have basically been sitting on this book for months, seeing it on my kindle every time I go to read another book, and trying desperately to resist the urge to take a little sneak peak. There are a lot of things I like about this book, I like that it involves all types of paranormals, but at the same time, it focuses on zombies. I haven't read a lot of books having to do with zombies, I think this is my second one in total. But then it brings my favorite element, it's written about a lawyer who defends the "arcanes" (the political correct name in the book). I love the law, in fact I had such a love affair of the law that I starting teaching Supreme Court law to high school students. 

Needless to say the book didn't disappoint. I am one of those people who wake up like 8 times a night, so while I started reading this book right before bed, I only got a couple of chapters in, next thing I knew I was waking up at 2am and reading a couple more before going back to sleep. I even got up early to finish reading the book, which if you knew me you would know that is a big accomplishment, I hate getting up early. 

The writing is fantastic. It's funny because it doesn't seem like a book that would involve a lot of action like a lot of urban fantasy/paranormal do. There isn't some kind of major life or death battle, the main character Hunter didn't spend his time picking up a battle axe to fight for Arcane rights. But even though Hunters action has a lot to do with his actions as a lawyer it doesn't make the book any less fun to read. In fact the reason I say the writing is so good is because even without the "action" of most of the books in this genre have, this book is still a page turner. 

You can't help but like Hunter. He is an everyday normal guy with the skills to help people who are being persecuted. He fights for civil rights, just on a paranormal level. He cares about his job and he cares about his clients. He is genuinely a good guy. Kristen is such a great character too. She is the research assistant for Hunter, and she is every bit the home body who thrives on research. She also harbors the cutest little crush on Hunter as well. 

You meet other characters along the way, including Sabrina and Sam, both people who Hunter represented in cases brought against them. Although Sam is the case of the zombie eating the brains that the synopsis teases about. Those characters are equally as enjoyable to read. 

Moreover I enjoyed the trial, there were surprises along the way, moments where you thought you knew how the case was going to turn out, and then moments when you had no idea. And then of course that brings me to the ending, which of course I want to talk about but can't because I don't want to give anything away. What I will say is that the ending is anything but what you would expect. And that if this book ends up having a sequel I would be very interested to see where it goes from here. 

Overall, I am going to say this is a great book. I loved reading it. I could easily see how not just people who like all things paranormal could enjoy this book, but also how people who like reading book about crime/law would like it too. Or people who have an interest in civil rights, because you have to admit this is a whole new spin on civil rights. At any rate I recommend this book, and I think you should definitely go out and buy it. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

John Abramowitz Guest Post

Today the wonderful John Abramowitz joins UFR for a guest post. When I got his request to review his book, Atticus for the Undead, I was super excited. And a little bit bummed that I had to wait like three months before I could review it (UFR really got busy). You should check out the synopsis, it will make you want to read the book. So on to his post, I hope you enjoy it:

            I'm going to tell you about the biggest problem I had when I started writing stories.
            Don't worry, it's not a problem that shows up in any of the books I've self-published. I'd been trying to write stories for about fifteen years before I was comfortable letting anything I'd written see the light of day. And I'm about to tell you why.
            I was trying to write Great Literature.
            Anyone who's ever been through a middle-school English class knows what I'm talking about. Great Literature has meaning. It has import. It contains layers of symbolism and weighs in on the important issues of the day. It ventures bold opinions on slavery or sexism or the Defenestration of Prague -- well, okay, maybe not that last one.
            And so I went into fiction-making (at the tender age of twelve or so) with the idea that if I couldn't say profound things, I'd better not say anything. The first problem with this line of logic, of course, is that I didn't have any profound things to say when I was twelve (a situation that hasn't changed much now that I'm twenty-nine). Beyond that, though, this led me to try to construct the stories I wanted to tell around the messages I wanted them to have.
            Moral of the story: Don't do that. It's pretentious, you run the risk that your deeper meaning will be lost on your readers, and worst of all, it usually leads to boring reading. Put your energy into telling a compelling, entertaining story. If you do that job right, the meaning and social commentary will flow from there.
            For instance, my latest novel, Atticus for the Undead, has social commentary and opinions in it. It deals with issues of bigotry, the gap between parents and children, and the moral rightness of risking others' safety for your own beliefs. But I didn't write it to do any of those things -- I wrote it because I wanted to put a zombie on trial for eating brains. Everything else flowed from that.
            I'll conclude with one of John's Cardinal Rules of Fantasy Fiction (others can be found here and here). For this one, I'll paraphrase Star Trek: First Contact:

            "Don't try to tell a great story, just tell a story. And let history make its own judgments."