The Rebel Christian

Book Reviews

The CULL-Bloodline: Book I

By Eric J. Gates

By Eric J. Gates

This is a hit or miss kind of book. There are things that will either draw you in or push you away, get you hooked or annoyed, make you a fan or a hater. I won’t say which one I am because I want this review to be unbiased and fair.

The first thing I will say is that is it definitely a unique book. That much is clear from the very first sentence. The book is about a rookie agent solving a case—that’s the bare bones of the story but there are plenty of twists, mysteries, and exciting scenes that will leave you turning the pages one after another. We have a rising body count, a unique mix of crime and religion, and a cast of characters who easily bring the dialogue to life.

Besides the story itself, the narration is also very unique. At times, this story reads more like a comic book than a novel. The scenes are oddly worded and the detail and description is tough to consume but for this story it actually works. That’s not to say that the writing itself was bad, there were few—if any—grammatical errors that I noticed. That wouldn’t have made a difference to me anyway as grammar is something that has to be absolutely jarring—I’m talking a mistake on every page—for me to get ‘offended’ by it.

Originality is always something that gets bonus points in a review from me, but in this case it only took away. Maybe the story was ‘too’ unique, or maybe it just didn’t do it for me, I don’t know, but I found it hard to get through the book. I mentioned the narration before, while some may fall in love with the line by line description and almost poetically worded detail, it just got me annoyed. Aside from that, a lot of the information—especially about the characters—was just given to me.

I didn’t really get to know the characters, I found out everything I needed to know through the introductory paragraph that came with their entrance to the story. For some, that’s perfectly fine. We don’t always have time to wait for all the detail but I like to get to know the cast over time. If you have a really smart character, show me! Don’t just tell me over and over that he/she is really smart, demonstrate it.

Speaking of really smart.

I thought the characters were nice, but they were also a bit too cool. Both Amy and Ralph were outlandishly qualified and educated individuals yet they chose to become FBI agents… That bit made the book feel like a bad rendition of Criminal Minds rather than a believable crime novel. But then, maybe that’s not a bad thing. Maybe we need more cheesy crime dramas. I’m not a fan of thrillers or crime fiction so I don’t think I was quite the best reviewer for this book.

In the author’s defense, this book IS good. It has all the elements of a proper novel, it just didn’t work for me. I had trouble getting through it but I DID get through it and not because I wanted to give a detailed review, I finished the book because I wanted to. Anyone who enjoys crime novels, mysteries, or a good thriller will definitely enjoy this book. It got three stars from someone who doesn’t read any of those genres so if you’re already a fan then you’ll love this.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*