Book Review: Apocalypse Alley (Blue Unicorn Book 2) by Don Allmon

 
 
When Comet, a soldier, gets home from an assignment out of the country, he discovers that his friend JT's home has been attacked, and JT is missing. He finds Buzz among the wreckage, takes him prisoner, and the two end up traveling across the country to find their mutual friend. Being hunted down by assassins on their way is no surprise, but developing feelings for one another is.

Book Review: Apocalypse Alley (Blue Unicorn Book 2) by Don Allmon | reading, books, book reviews, paranormal/urban fantasy, cyberpunk, lgbt
Title: Apocalypse Alley
Author:
Publisher:
Series:
Book Number: Book 2
Pages: 201
My Book Rating:
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Publisher
 

Review:

*I received an ecopy of this book via NetGalley. This has not influenced my review.*

I loved The Glamour Thieves, but, unfortunately, this book didn’t quite hit the mark for me the way the first one did.

For one thing, I didn’t love the new main characters. Buzz was a hacker and criminal. Comet was a soldier. They were both very rough around the edges and flawed. They seem like characters I should’ve loved, but their personalities fell flat for me. Also, one thing I loved about JT and Austin was their supernatural statuses, but these guys were human (albeit very modified to be kind of more than human, in Comet’s case). But they were very loyal to those they considered friends, so they were likeable for that reason.

Another issue I had was that the romance felt rushed and instalove-y, and I didn’t feel chemistry between them. Also, there was significantly less on-screen sex compared to Book 1 (still some though, plus lots of raunchy thoughts and remarks about it), which was fine, except that the sex that was there felt forced into the story. And just a warning, it was kind of dub-con.

I have mixed feelings about the world-building and tech stuff. On the one hand, I loved the cyberpunk, high-tech, futuristic world. It was super complex and creative. It’s just that sometimes it was so complex and creative that it lost me a bit. But I can appreciate the way the author just fully immerses you in the world rather than explaining every little thing since all that explanation would definitely slow things down. And honestly it’s not necessary to understand every detail in order to imagine your own version of things and have a general understanding of what’s happening.

As for the plot, it was super action-packed. This was a short book, but it packed quite a punch action-wise. There were fights and chases and explosions.

I guess my overall thoughts are that what I loved about the first book was JT and Austin’s POVs and all the angsty emotion and sexual tension in their history-filled romance, but this book didn’t have those things, and it ended up not working as well for me. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be perfect for other people or that other people won’t end up liking Buzz and Comet! And JT and Austin are still part of the story and will be back as POV characters in the third book from what I understand. So if you enjoyed the first book, I do recommend continuing.

 
 
Book Blurb

Home from a six-month assignment to war-torn East Asia, genetically engineered supersoldier Noah “Comet” Wu just wants to kick back, share a beer, and talk shit with his best friend, JT. But JT’s home has been shot up like a war zone, and his friend has gone missing.

Comet’s only lead is a smart-mouthed criminal he finds amid the mess. His name’s Buzz Howdy. He’s a con man and a hacker and deserves to be in jail. Or in handcuffs, at least. The only thing the two have in common is JT. Unless you count the steamy glances they’re sneaking at one another. They have those in common too. But that just makes Comet all the more wary.

Despite their mutual distrust, they’ll have to work together to rescue JT before a cyborg assassin gets to him first. Racing down a miserable stretch of road called Apocalypse Alley, they must dodge radioactive spiders, a lonely cannibal, and a killer Buick. They also try to dodge each other. That last bit doesn’t work out so well.

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  1. L

    I feel like I’m always commenting on the covers, but… Do you remember the movie The Year Without Santa Claus? The one person makes me think of Heat Miser, because of the hair.

    “I’m Mister Green Christmas, I’m Mister Sun.
    I’m Mister Heat Blister, I’m Mister 101.
    They call me Heat Miser, whatever I touch
    Starts to melt in my clutch.
    I’m too much. ”

    Now, about the book… I’m sorry the characters fell flat for you! That’s always a big bummer. I feel like I need to connect to the characters to really enjoy the story. Loyal is a bonus, but not the insta-love romance. I feel like lately I’m wishing more authors had just left the romance out of the book. A story can be great without love interests.

    Do You Dog-ear?

    L recently posted: My Weekly Pull #8

    1. Kristen Burns

      That is my fave Christmas movie, and I didn’t even make that connection, haha. Oh gosh, he kind of have the same hair lol.

      Honestly, I would’ve preferred just reading about the same characters from the first book instead. But what can you do? A story can definitely be good without romance though!

  2. Greg

    Ooh more cyberpunk. I’m kind of intrigued by the mashup of that with UF, that’s something I haven’t really read, but it could be kinda cool? Bummer that it didn’t work for you as well as Glamour Thieves, but sounds like this one had less of the UF element? Still it’s nice to see that people are putting out cyberpunk/ UF stuff…

    I guess I’m in the middle on the immersion thing. I like to be dropped in and hit the ground running, but I need a LITTLE explanation too? So I don’t feel totally lost…

    Greg recently posted: Bookcover Spotlight #141

    1. Kristen Burns

      I didn’t think about it that way, but yeah, I guess this one did have less of the UF element. But cyberpunk and UF are genres that go surprisingly well together!

      I think I’m in the middle too. It does make you feel immersed, but I still need enough explanation.

  3. Karen

    We read this together so you know what I think :-)

    But yeah…it was action packed and fun but was lacking that special thing that made me love the first one so much.

    It’s weird because it should be the opposite for me. i hate when my *ships* are with other people and don’t get their HEA but I loved JT and Austin so much more than these two.

    I thought I was going to like Buzz a lot but I didn’t.

    i still really like the series and can’t wait for the next one though.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

    Karen recently posted: the friday five

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol yep. It’s just too bad it was lacking for us. Yeah but I think you still liked JT and Austin’s book because the ending leads us to believe they’ll prob get back together? Old flames that still have feelings is totally my jam though lol. Honestly I never thought Buzz was particularly exciting, but now I’m thinking about it, he actually was kind of diff than I imagined him in the first book. Def still looking forward to the next one too!

  4. Olivia Roach

    I think I like a balance between being fully immersed and having things explained? You can tell you’re reading a brilliant book when you feel immersed and get everything too :D I don’t think this will be one for me because I hate insta love, and personally I always get mixed feelings when it comes to books where the person becomes attracted to their captor? So hmm… not sure it’s for me. But great review nonetheless :)

    Olivia Roach recently posted: My True Love… [Nails Extravaganza]

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks. It was definitely still an interesting world, and I agree it was pretty impressive how much was packed into such a short book. And yes, hopefully the next book will be better!

  5. Daniela Ark

    I think I like cyberpunk? It’s weird I love steampunk outfits, artifacts, etc but some reason I haven’t found a steampunk/cyberpunk book that catches my interest. Unless The Golden Compass qualifies. The illustrations look good! Too bad the lack of chemistry!

    Daniela Ark recently posted: What’s scheming? Books makers!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Ah, well, steampunk and cyberpunk are different. And I agree, I love steampunk outfits! But I’ve yet to really like any steampunk books. Cyberpunk is more about advanced technology, and I have enjoyed a few of those books. But yeah, the lack of chemistry in this one was unfortunate!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Oh goodness, I’ve got one person comparing the redhead to Heat Miser, now you’re comparing the other to the Winter Soldier, this is like a bad fanfic in the making lol.