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Amadan na Briona

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Inherent Vice
Thomas Pynchon, Ron McLarty
The Best Horror of the Year Volume Five
Ellen Datlow, Laird Barron, Conrad Williams, Ramsey Campbell
Locus Solus (Alma Classics)
Raymond Roussel
Blackout (Newsflesh Trilogy, #3)
Mira Grant, Paula Christensen, Michael Goldstrom
Hostile Intent - Michael Walsh,  Jay Snyder I lost IQ points listening to this. I wish I had known about the recommendation by Rush Limbaugh, which would have been a great big warning flag that this book is a toxic burning pool of stupid.

So it's another spy thriller written by a right-wing hack. I can cope with that, even right-wing hacks can write (sometimes) and I'd forgive idiotic political views and the obligatory jabs at librulz if the story was at least entertaining, but Michael Walsh's writing is down there at the Dan Brown level, as is his understanding of how federal agencies work. Or how computers work. Or how guns work. Or how people work.

So, "Devlin" is the NSA's top super-secret secret agent ninja commando (LOLOLOL! No.) who goes and does things that billion-dollar supercomputers can't, and he just happens to be at a middle school in Ohio when terrorists take all the kids hostage and threaten to blow them up if the President of the United States does not acquiesce to their demands, which include abandoning Israel, disbanding NATO, and the President himself converting to Islam on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Okay, it turns out that this is a false flag operation and the terrorists' demands were intentionally stupid and a distraction, but the actual goals of the evil sex-and-power-crazy rich liberal atheist effeminate European bad guy who's behind it all are just as stupid, as his scheme, which is basically, "terrorize the U.S. until they crack, then wipe out their infrastructure in a James Bond plot" (and not one of the good ones, we're talking Moonraker-dumb here).

When Devlin, who can singlehandedly command all the computing power of the NSA, the CIA, DHS, and the FBI whenever he needs to run an information query (LOLOLOLOL! No.) isn't killing FBI agents and physically assaulting the Secretary of Defense (yes, he actually does this. And never gets put in jail. In fact, he remains an NSA employee.) he's taking his little girl for walks in the park. So you just know mom and daughter are going to be caught in an explosion and someone will die to give Devlin GREAT!ANGST! and MAN!PAIN! and a THIRST!FOR!VENGEANCE!

An overheated plot and melodramatic writing could still be entertaining, and I'm giving this book 2 stars because just as my standards are pretty strict for giving a book 5 stars, I also do not easily give books 1 star. They pretty much have to be so actively horrible that I can't finish them or they get thrown across the room (or I am yelling while listening to the audiobook) while I am listening to them. Hostile Intent did come close to making me yell a couple of times, but more often it made me laugh. However, it did maintain enough suspense and a twisty plot that I actually wanted to finish it and see how it ended, while knowing it would be stupid. So for its page-turning qualities it deserves an extra star.

Oh hell no, I've changed my mind. I'm giving this 1 star. You know why? Because it's okay to be a right-wing hack (or even a left-wing hack) but at least pretend like your book isn't an exercise in ideological wanking. Walsh pretty much rubs your nose in his political beliefs in every paragraph. Americans are stupid sheeple because they vote for liberal politicians, Political Correctness is the worst thing ever, much worse than racism and sexism which doesn't exist anymore and anyway, women are only miserable because they're trying to get jobs and be men instead of having babies, which is why brown people are outnumbering white people and destroying America and Western Europe, and OH MY GOD he is serious about this! (No, I'm not kidding, I don't think there was a single page that didn't include some obligatory jab at liberals, atheists, feminists, socialists, college professors, journalists, Europeans, all of which are basically one indistinguishable mass of terrorist-appeasing cheese-eating surrender monkeys according to Walsh.)

GAAACK! BLARGLE WHURF GLURRRRRG! Now I'm going to go bleach my brain with a nice Jane Austen novel.