Review: Set To Kill by Declan Finn

As usual, I tortured an advanced copy of this book out of Declan. (Okay, so I nagged him. Same thing.)

You may recall, I reviewed his previous book, It Was Only On Stun, back in February. That one was extremely fast paced with tons of history and geek references. This one is a toned down version of the previous book. There is still a load of action and fight scenes, but much of what made the other book a bit exhausting to read is removed from this one.

All of my favorite characters from Stun are back. There is Sean A.P.Ryan who is the head of the security firm. And there is the sane part of his crew, Athena Marcowitz and Brian Levine (aka Edward Murphy) and his insane crew, Galahad Wren (aka Galadren aka Middle Earth’s Most Wanted Assassin) and Terrance Boyle (ex IRA member).

And then there is author Matthew Kovach, who resembles a certain author I know. Only Kovach is way cooler.

There are a bunch of new characters. Some are likeable and other’s you want to run over with a tank. Did I mention there’s a tank involved?


Yup, there is and it’s driven by the amazing, Tom Knighton. (I’ve heard it’s bigger on the inside.)

Anyway, great book. Get a copy.

WARNING: It will keep you up late reading. Trust me on this. I was up until 3:00 a.m. finishing it.

The Story

Sean A. P. Ryan and his team are back on the job running security for WyvernCon, the world’s largest science fiction/fantasy convention in Atlanta, GA. There is more than one snag they have to contend with. First, there is a bounty on Sean’s head and every nutjob who wants a payday is after him. Second, he is stuck playing referee between the “Tearful Puppies” and the “Friends of Sweetness and Light” of whom are at odds over the Hubble Awards. Third, dead bodies start cropping up. Three to be exact. And Sean has to find the killer or killers before WyvernCon is over and everyone leaves.

My Favorite Parts

Galadren has to get from an upper floor of the hotel to a lower floor quickly. He does this by basically free falling from floor to floor down the center atrium of the hotel.

The scene where Sean Ryan first meets “Igor”. It is hilarious.

The SWATing of Jesse James

The Thin Man scene where the killer (and/or killers) is revealed. You’re gonna have to read it to find out what happens.

The Great

The characters are interesting and fun. They are more complex than many parody characters I’ve read.

There is a nice pace to this story. Enough going on that it keeps it rolling, but not too much that you have to stop just to take a breath.

Amazing action and fighting scenes.

The Not So Great

This book has a very large cast of characters. For such a short book it could get confusing for some readers that aren’t familiar with Declan’s parodies or his other books. (Solution: Read Sad Puppies Bite Back, It Was Only On Stun and Declan’s blog if you want a primer.)

The interview portion of the book is interesting, but long and temptation to skip over it great. Don’t skip it, though. It has a ton of information relevant to the story and the characters.

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