Excuse me whilst I say meh to this series The second in the Collector series is as frustrating as the first Sam Thornton is an interesting character with a good narrative voice, the scenario of a man who made a deal with a demon for his soul ending up collecting souls for eternity works for me too but the stories are just so much magnolia The word that sprung to mind again and again whilst reading was perfunctory, scene after scene of perfunctory events just to provide obstacles without furthering the plot or the character s development It might be straight out of ancient literature but IT S BORING And boy does the author love to describe his imaginary creations in great depth As the man says, try not to write the parts that people will skip anyway and boy did I have to resist skipping pages at a time with this one As with the first book Holm created interesting sidekick characters only to use them essentially as filler, except this time they were muchinteresting people than the protagonist and merely served to highlight what a total dick Sam Thornton is The author states in his afterword that the intention is that Sam would always act with the best of intentions but if that s the case in The Wrong Goodbye his best intentions are all completely selfish and something tells me that the two are not entirely compatible It s not a bad book it s merely a serviceable popular fiction urban fantasy noir with a really great cover. This is the second of the collector series, it is part standalone story and to a lesser part, building on the story arc started in the first book One thing I would like to say is that I guess at times I felt that I had read this book before not for the story line which I thought was fun and fast paced butthe characters The wise cracking black humoured cynical character seems to be the de facto choice these days and as much as I find it entertaining I do sometimes think one model the next and so on.Now I know this is a petty point and one that could be pointed towards the genrethan the author or the general mood of publishing at the moment but with so many similar books out there I do worry that it will burn itself out maybe I am rightthan likely I am wrong.But what of the book well it was highly enjoyable and full praise to Chris Holm he was able to take a character who by his very nature we should be booing and by the end of the book we are hoping he has survived and made a go of it and I am not meaning Sam Thornton either.So where does the third and it seems final book in the series go, I have no idea but I fully plan on finding out. Following Dead Harvest, what do you give the guy who nearly brought upon the apocalypse Why, a second chance of course Sam Thornton is tasked with the collection of a soul belonging to a feared drug lord Following a meeting with an old friend and fellow collector, the soul Sam had acquired goes missing replaced with that of another The search for his stolen property takes Sam in unexpected directions as well as providing unwanted attention from those he d like to avoid As Sam s journey continues, the window for retrieving the soul starts to close and his opportunity to stop yet another potential apocalyptic event becomes less and less likely.If you read my review, you d already be aware of how much I enjoyed Dead Harvest When I was told the sequel The Wrong Goodbye was just as good, if not better, you couldn t hold me back from picking it up.With The Wrong Goodbye, I feel like the series gained a lot of ground in terms of Sam s development Sam laments about being stuck in his role as a collector but doesn t whine and mope about it He knows that he ll always have Lillith down his neck and with the added pressure of those who granted him a reprieve following his actions in book one, he knows he can t afford to make a mistake Despite these factors that he must always be mindful of, you never feel like he loses any of what makes him a great character He s still a smart ass and he still lets his darker,comedic side come out to play In fact, there s this He slammed me into the rock wall behind me My head hit so hard I thought I d puke Then I did puke, so, you know, yay for being right As a Collector, the path laid out before him is only wide enough for one person People may drift in and out of his life but given the nature of his employment, they re never around for long Given his circumstances, you could grab the low hanging fruit and fill Sam s attitude with gloom and doom but it s really important to make him an interesting and entertaining character by mixing it up a bit.There s a scene where Sam and his sidekick, Gio, are traveling in a stolen vehicle Gio brings up the past and asks Sam about his wife Sam s response, tightening his grip around the steering wheel and thinking twice about dragging his history out, reinforces why despite his witty remarks and snappy dialogue, at his core he ll always be a tragic figure Thornton has the rest of eternity to wonder if the choice he made was the right one something that will most likely never be easier for him to deal with.Overall, I feel like this series is only getting stronger The third book is due out this summer and again, has a fantastic cover One thing I believe I didn t speak about in my review for Dead Harvest was it s excellent cover art The designs provided by Amazing 15 continues a trend of vintage style artwork Also posted at Every Read ThingCheck out my interview with Chris. This review was originally posted at my blog.I m sure you all remember a few months ago when I read Chris F Holm s first The Collector book, Dead Harvest Even if you don t that s okay I ll pretend to wait impatiently while you go read my review Anyway, I really liked that book and kind of got all gushy about the cover That cover kind of had nothing on this one BUT I M NOT HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE COVER TODAY No, really.If you remember and even if you don t, I really don t care just kidding, love you guys I liked Holm s main character Sam Thornton well enough, but there were tiny things that knocked it down from a five star book to just above 4 4.1, I think runs to check Yes, 4.1 Well You ll all be thrilled to know, I m sure, that I did Mandy s Review Rubric on The Wrong Goodbye last night and it scored an amazing FOUR POINT SEVEN stars That s almost five stars, guys, and is definitely nothing to sneeze at I liked Sam eventhis time than I did last time which is saying something, because he was pretty cool to begin with , but what really made this book exceptional were the new characters and situations Without giving too very much of the plot away, there s a road trip with the body of Abe Frohman if you don t know who the Sausage King of Chicago is, I really don t want to be your friend any , junkie demons, some creepy as hell non aligned creatures and of course references to both the apocrypha and pop culture.I giggled, I was uncomfortable, I gasped in what I hope were all the appropriate places and I turned the last page figuratively, dur it s an ebook, don t you know me by now with a slight feeling of sadness I started 3 other books yesterday after finishing this one, and not one of them was able to hold my attention It s kind of win lose I loved this, but now nothing else seems to be worth reading sigh Shortly after my review of Dead Harvest, I had a twitter conversation with Mr Holm where he said he hoped things would work themselves out better in this book I m totally paraphrasing because I m too lazy to scroll back through two months of tweets, c mon , and I can assure both you my lovely readers and him that the things that bothered me about the first book have pretty much disappeared in this second volume.You don t necessarily have to have read Dead Harvest to follow the events of The Wrong Goodbye, but if you re a completist like me, you ll want to anyway There are lovely little in jokes in this one that you won t get if you haven t read the first, but again not necessary for enjoyment.If you re into pulpy noir ish prose and think adding fantastic elements to that is a great idea, you ll love these books If you HATE that kind of stuff, you probably won t but don t blame me, because I totally warned you.The Wrong Goodbye will be out Sept 25 in the US and Oct 4 in the UK Pricing and sales information can be found over at Angry Robot the lovely folks over there were kind enough to provide me with this eARC You can find Mr Holm on twitter and his blog Like most of the Angry Robot authors, he s pretty awesome about interacting and answering questions I love that Sowhat are you waiting for Go pre order this book, already.Post Script Kind of weird because I was just discussing this album with a few different people the other day but a little after halfway through, I started singing this song to myself Anyway, I think it goes well with this book. The Wrong Goodbye , the second in the very cool Collectors series ismature and true to the PI formula than Dead Harvest A collection gone bad sees Sam on the hunt for a former friend which will once again place him and his handler Lilith at the mercy of a much higher and devastating power The opening sequence in thejungle has a distinct pulp feel to it reminiscent of a Gabriel Hunt novel The subsequent discovery of a stolen soul amidst the bloody jungle chaos prompts a flash back to the collection of a doll makers soul some time ago, written equal to a well nourished short story brimming with tension and overt, in you face horror A mere glimpse into themacabre side of Sam s profession I sure hope Holm explores Sam s past escapades further there is a lot of scope for some decent stories here The Wrong Goodbye comes with ahardened edge to it Sound allegiances are found to have subtle cracks, murder doesn t equate to the end, and collection becomes part of a drug like trade I loved the introduction of the skim joint, a sort of drug haven for the damned and physically misplaced where a glimpse of life is provided at a cost a kind of supernatural drug house, only this one is based in a former sanatorium Holm continues to hone in the deviant activity paramount through his world building series Skim joint aside, another side of Lilith is exposed, and a new character a creepy crawly creature of seemingly unknown origins is introducted all these elements provide further evidence that something big is brewing.Demons, angels, soul collectors, and murderous individuals it s all within the pages of The Wrong Goodbye The plot itself is interesting with a layer of complexity added with each revelation alongside Sam s journey to track down Danny Gio a humours sidekick provides some nice comic relief and is a great teaming with Sam Gio also lightens Sam tough guy persona as we see the collector expressemotion and second guess any violent encounter This is one hell of a book and I cant wait for third instalment.At the end of the book, Holm labels his work as fantastical noir and he s pretty damn close in that description of this series It s got elements of the supernatural, the traditional hallmarks of noir as Holm so aptly described in his end of book essay and damn fine writing If I were to compare the theme and feel of the series to other fiction, there are aspects of the graphic novel Fatal horror, noir mash up , the Joe Pitt Casebooks by Charlie Huston the supernatural of sorts PI angle , and a splattering of influence by the masters in Cain, Chandler, and Hammett as the smart title s suggest My review of Dead Harvest can be found here An explosive follow up to Dead Harvest, two out of two for Chris F Holm, urban fantasy fans will love this Sam Thorton is a protagonist to be reckoned with The Founding FieldsThe first novel in The Collector Trilogy was released earlier this year, which I loved So, when the second novel was avaliable for an eARC download from Angry Robot, I eagerly snapped up the chance and almost as soon as it appeared on my IPod I began reading, and couldn t put it down If the third novel in The Collector Trilogy rounds off the series nicely and continues to be as good as the first two, then I honestly believe that Sam Thorton will be up there battling with the likes of Harry Dresden, and other similar male protagonists of the urban fantasy genre although, Dresden and Thorton both come from different backgrounds, and aren t quite as similar as I made them out to be.Meet Sam Thornton, Collector of Souls.Because of his efforts to avert the Apocalypse, Sam Thornton has been given a second chance provided he can stick to the straight and narrow.Which sounds all well and good, but when the soul Sam s sent to collect goes missing, Sam finds himself off the straight and narrow pretty quick.File Under Urban Fantasy Missing Soul Provider Call Collect Demon Child For those of you who haven t read Dead Harvest yet, don t worry, you don t have to Chris F Holm does a great job of catching the reader up with what happened last time in a way that doesn t affect the breakneck pace of the book You won t feel lost at any point during the book mainly due to the fact that it sticks to Sam s first person narrative all the way through, allowing you to get a clear view inside the Collector s head As well as being a pulp urban fantasy novel, The Wrong Goodbye also doubles up as a road trip, the car involved being a Cadillac This makes the storyinteresting and enjoyable, adding something fresh that I haven t seen in an urban fantasy novel before Alex Verus stuck in London, and Dresden stuckor less in Chicago The novel is fast paced, and continues the style of Dead Harvest that for those who have read that book will be familiar with The characters in this novel are believable, and the action is pretty much non stop after the flashback to introduce a new character to our tale, Danny who isimportant to the plot than you will initially think Chris F Holm writes in a way that will keep you turning the pages, and if you re anything like me, you won t be able to put it down I loved The Wrong Goodbye eventhan I enjoyed Dead Harvest It s what The Dark Knight was to its prequelexplosive,epic, and a lotenjoyable even though both Begins and Dead Harvest were still good in their own right.Read the rest of the review Yup, I m in book love From the covers to the content, I think Chris F Holm is doing this series just right, and I am seriously excited that I have the ARC of The Big Reap primed and ready to go on my Kobo I think if you re a devotee of Hammett and Chandler and the like, not much is gonna get by you in terms of the plotting, but that s okay, I m just soaking up the ambience.Looking forward toof Lilith, and hoping so much we seeof Gio and Theresa I think that was maybe my favourite thing about this book, among a whole host of favourite things a dude author getting a trans person s pronouns consistently right, and treating her no different to any other love interest that might come along And hey, she kicks ass too And by the way, she s blind.Which is not to say this book is perfect, which is a pretty big thing to ask of any book, but it s a lot of fun and tickles me just right. Stop me if you ve heard this one Boy meets corpse Boy tries to harvest soul from corpse Boy finds out that someone else already took it Boy is in big, big trouble There is no girl Nor is there a spoon.It s not even been two months since I read and enjoyed the first book in Chris F Holm s Collector series, Dead Harvest, so the fact that I was eager to return to it says something, either about what else I ve been reading cough too much Dark Tower or about how much I liked that first book, or both.Let s say both The Wrong Goodbye is not merely another adventure for our beleaguered soul collector, Sam, though it would seem like such at first as he slogs through rain washed jungles of Columbia to gather up the mean, mean soul of one Varela, drug kingpin, power broker and all around bad guy But then the problem kicks in, and it s a doozy someone else got there first Someone who left behind the nastiest crime scene, maybe ever especially if you don t like insects Someone who absconded with Varela s soul and carved a hey buddy, we have to talk message to Sam into Varela s corpse.Before we know it, Sam, victim of a bait and switch, is traipsing all over the U.S in the company of a dead low level mobster who has been shoehorned into the fat old body of the sausage king of Chicago wink wink hunting down the guy who stole the soul and left the message Along the way, we learn a bitof Sam s incredible backstory, but where in Dead Harvest it was all about how he got to be a Collector, in The Wrong Goodbye the backstory focus is on his early Collecting days, during which he broke a lot of really important rules Which is to say that even before the near apocalyptic events of the first book, Sam has been on a lot of supernatural radars, none of them friendly.Sam and his mobster cum sausage king encounter quite a lot of genuine horror in this book, all of it dealt with extremely effectively An extended scene exploring a decrepit sanitarium in the New Mexico desert evokes shades of every nightmare you ve ever had, and every horror game you ve ever had to play with the lights on Fatal Frame, I m looking at you while, get this, simultaneously making the reader feel sorry for the demons hanging out there It s all very complicated and I don t want to spoil it but man, it s a bravura performance Holm has done, there, and worth the price of the book alone.But wait, there sLike two dead guys who are animating two other dead guys bodies having an argument over whether one is to be allowed to smoke indoors Giant evil mega demons quoting The Big Lebowski A weird carjacking of a vehicle so beautiful even a non gearhead like me can appreciate it An action packed final third that riffs on and builds from the action packed final third of Dead Harvest and turns it all up to eleven until comes a twist ending that, even if you did see it coming, is a pretty satisfying payoff.And through it all, we have Sam, still trying, despite his damned and undead status, to be a decent guy, to do the right thing, to keep the world from being completely destroyed Again Because he s Sam, a guy who went into perdition out of pure and selfless love, and who, yes, is bitter about it, but has not given up the struggle to stay good even so I heart Sam, I really do.All of this makes for very good, page turning fiction One might think she knows where all of this is heading, but one might be wrong Or not Either way, very enjoyable.And yes, there is obviously going to be at least oneCollector book, to which part of me says, jeeze, how many times can one guy save the world, but to which the rest of me says, hey, Sam s a lotlikeable than Buffy And speaking of insects, if you have a phobia about them, this book is going to scare you silly There are swarms of giant, angry insects The Deliverants, who accept and pass collected souls along to Hell dogging Sam s every step through this one They want their two dollars, you guys A lot Coo, that sounds a bit naughty, doesn t it Meet Sam Thornton, Collecter Of Souls The Souls Of The Damned, To Be Precise Because Of His Efforts To Avert The Apocalypse, Sam Thornton Has Been Given A Second Chance Provided He Can Stick To The Straight And NarrowWhich Sounds All Well And Good, But When The Soul That Sam Is Sent To Collect Goes Missing, He Finds Himself On A Path Leading Straight To Hell Chris Holm Pulls Readers In And Pins Us To The Edge Of Our Seats New York Journal Of Books Despite enjoying Dead Harvest, the first book in Holm s Collector series, I thought there were parts kept a little too vague for my liking, and Sam s world wasn t explored as fully as it could have been Before picking up to read The Wrong Goodbye, I hoped Holm would dive a little deeper into that world Well, he did and then some.Sam Thornton is on a bit of a probation with his handlers Sure, he prevented a holy war between Heaven and Hell, saved an innocent soul from being collected, but you don t cross the boss Lilith, his infernal handler, has a new soul for him collect, and he s a real nasty bugger too But when Sam heads into the jungle to snag himself a drug lord s condemned soul, all he finds is a lot of corpses and a missing soul, and Sam is pretty sure it s been stolen by a fellow collector Trying to save an innocent soul during the first go round was dangerous enough, but turns out that was a cake walk compared to the escalating hellstorm that Sam has to navigate to recover a condemned one.While the book works well as a stand alone, you ll definitely have a better appreciation for storyline in The Wrong Goodbye if you ve already read Dead Harvest Holm does a lot to reacquaint readers with the supporting players in the story, as well as the rules of the universe he s created here Sam is dead after all, and it s his own spirit that has to flit in and out of bodies basically possessing newly deceased people rather than contending with live people who might not take kindly to being possessed As for the stakes raised by not delivering the bad guy s soul on time, the Deliverants were an especially creepy addition to the world Imagine a swarm of various insects with a collective consciousness chasing you down if you re late in bringing them the soul they re owed Yeah, and that s just one of the headaches Sam has to deal with.Sam spent much of the first book being pursued, but this novel has him as the one doing all the chasing The ticking clock comes in two fold, as he has a deadline to get the missing soul back to the Deliverants before they put the kibosh on him, and the added hangup when he starts to figure out what Danny has planned for the soul, which could put the kibosh on everyone on earth Plus, there s the added comedy of Sam s conscripted aide, Gio, a dead gangster whose soul Sam has stuffed into an obese derelict and is Sam s best chance at tracking down Danny and the missing soul The dynamic there, especially when they cross paths with a drunk tycoon named Roscoe, may have been the most entertaining parts of the story.The blend of hard boiled mystery and high octane fantasy make The Wrong Goodbye a tremendous novel that surpasses Dead Harvest and sets a pretty high bar for the third book in the series, The Big Reap If you like urban fantasy with touches of noir and pugnacity, you really need to check this series out It started out good and quickly turning to great.
This author also publishes under the name
- Audio CD
- The Wrong Goodbye
- Chris F. Holm
- 09 March 2018 Chris F. Holm