End Game

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Title:End Game
Author: Jennifer Brooks
Cover artist: n/a
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Amazon Buy Link: End Game
Genre: science fiction/horror/mystery/romance
Length: 47800 words
Rating: 3.75 stars out of  5

A guest review by Sirius

Summary: This story features a fast moving adventure/mystery with a likeable couple trying to reconnect with each other, but I wish I would have been forewarned about certain plot elements.

Blurb:

After his cousin is murdered, journalist Jessie Canning reunites with his estranged lover to investigate it.

Jessie was on the phone when his cousin, Ben, was attacked. Fifteen minutes later, when Jessie arrived at Ben’s condo, his cousin was dead. With life and death as close as a minute away, Jessie must work with his estranged lover, Mathew, to learn why anyone would’ve wanted to kill Ben.

Review:

I never heard of this author or this publisher, so the only reason I picked up this book is because as a reviewer I feel that from time to time I have to try new books and share my thoughts with you guys, especially since I almost never do it with the books I purchase these days. It is fair to say that I had no expectations whatsoever when I started reading it and in many ways it was a pleasing reading experience for me, but I did have some issues however.

First and foremost let us take a look at the blurb. I have seen some blurbs that I felt were way too detailed and revealed too much information, but this one is not one of those blurbs. I cannot even say that it has just enough information, although reasonable minds can differ of course. Let’s just say that in my opinion this story contains horror elements that are not mentioned  and had I known about them in advance I would have never picked it up. It was nothing too graphic or too violent, and while it was not graphically described, a certain theme which happens in some horror movies was there in couple scenes (or was it more than couple, not sure) and I am squeamish about this theme. I cannot tell you more without spoilers, because the blurb is so quiet about it, but will be happy to answer questions privately if anybody needs more information. I did not really regret reading it, but I will be skipping those scenes if I decide to reread the story.

Now as to the romance part of the story, which as the blurb correctly tells you (although I thought that Mathew was his estranged husband, not just lover) is entangled with the adventure and mystery investigation. I actually really liked how the “getting together after separation” part was done. I really liked Jessie and Mathew together.- I thought their uncertainties and insecurities and failure to communicate because of that was very well written, but their love still shined through when they were thrown back together because of Ben’s death. Of course it is quite possible that but for that plot development they would have never started communicating, but for me in this story it worked. I thought they had a quiet and lovely chemistry, and just needed to work through their issues, which to me felt like very realistic issues, the issues a lot of long term couples may have. It was actually quite interesting to watch how the over the top adventure with science fiction and horror was mixed with the realistic issues of balancing work and together time for the couple. I thought that despite the fast moving plot I was actually mostly happy with whatever time they had to reconnect (not that much I guess) and to work through at least some differences they may have had. I definitely wanted to see the “working through the issues” in more depth, but I made allowances for the adventure plot moving forward as well. And the ending while happy ends with the words “it was a good start”, so I suppose it is also easy to assume that the guys will continue working on their issues, which I really appreciated, because that felt quite realistic to me as well.

10 thoughts on “End Game

  1. Wave

    Sirius
    I didn’t think there would be horror elements in this book (even though this author writes paranormal horror under another pseud), or I would have warned you. However, I’m happy that you did enjoy the book – once you got over your shock. :eek:

    1. Sirius

      Yeah, I liked it overall Wave, and normally even though I will always ignore the book from *pure horror* genre (the only genre I completely ignore :)), I will read the story which is mostly something else and may have some horror elements, if I like the story otherwise. It is just those elements few as they were is something that usually *really* scares and bothers me :)

  2. Jenre

    This is a very thoughtful review, Sirius. I really like stories with horror conventions so it looks like this one will be to my taste. I also like books which bring together estranged lovers so, again, it sounds like I shall enjoy this book. Thanks for the review because I would have passed this one by otherwise.

    Musa publishing has arisen out of the ashes of Aspen Mountain Press as far as I can tell. It has a different owner but manged to bring some of the AMP authors on board. I’ve read a few books by them already and I’ve been pretty impressed so far.

    1. Sirius

      Oh thanks for letting me know Jen about the publisher. Heh, if you like horror, I would guess this one would be pretty mild for you :). Please let me know.

  3. Jess1

    I saw this book’s blurb and was considering it. I enjoy science fiction, paranormal and fantasy, but not horror.
    Thanks so much about the heads up on the horror aspects, which I’m squeamish about too.

    1. Sirius

      You are welcome Jess1. Let me stress this book even in my opinion had horror elements and was not very graphic, it is just for me it was bothersome anyway.

  4. jeayci

    I really, really dislike horror. Books or movies. I saw the blurb for this on the review list and seriously considered requesting it, I’m not even sure exactly why I decided not to. But from what you’ve said, I think I’m very grateful I didn’t get it! :eek:

    But since you liked it overall, if you wouldn’t mind PMing me more details about the horror aspect, I’d appreciate it. :smile:

  5. Madonna196

    I was hoping for a good plot, interesting characters but the novel left me cold. Actually I read half and then basically speed-read to the end. The characters didn’t click at all, the plot barely there and the ending was ‘meh.’

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