December 20th, 2008

A Pocket Full of Murder

REVIEW: "Relentless" by Robin Parrish

If you took all the episodes of Heroes, Dark Angel, Alias and Highlander plus a copy of The Da Vinci Code* and put them all in a giant blender, you would end up with something which would not look exactly like Robin Parrish's Relentless, but which fansCover of Cover via Amazon of Parrish's book would find hauntingly familiar.**

The title is a fine example of truth in advertising: the pace doesn't let up from beginning to end, and it's more like watching a summer blockbuster than reading a story. Unfortunately the need for everything to happen fast and in spectacularly cinematic ways makes it difficult to delve into the emotional lives of the characters -- but Parrish certainly does the best he can with the time and opportunities he's got. In true comic-book tradition it's fantastically violent (though not gory), which left me feeling rather numb after a while, but I can certainly think of a lot of teenaged boys who would eat this story up with a jumbo-sized spoon.

Relentless didn't change my life and I can't say I'm likely to read it again, but nevertheless I couldn't put it down. And now I am quite curious about the sequel, because now that I know the underlying premise (and that it is PURE CRACK) I really want to know if Parrish can sell me on it.

* Albeit a much better-written version of The Da Vinci Code than the one that was actually published, and one considerably more sympathetic to Christianity.
** With apologies to Douglas Adams.
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