Alliance of Shadows
With the introduction of the two protaganists Valetine and Lorenzo in Dead Six, authors Larry Correia and Mike Kupari launched an incredible new adventure that no one could truly predict would be so successful. When the first book of the Dead Six series was introduced almost exactly five years ago (9/27/2011) about the only thing that fans knew to expect was a wild and rather violently explosive escapade across the world, with perhaps a slight hint of the supernatural. By even the most conservative of estimations, this rather modest expectation was completely blown away. On October 4, 2016, the latest, and potentially last, installment in this thrilling series will be available with the release of Alliance of Shadows.
Perhaps one of the most basic questions that any potential reader may ask when looking at a new book is whether it is any fun. Luckily if you have read any of the previous work completed by Larry Correia or Mike Kupari, then you have a rough idea of what’s in store for you. Simply put, Alliance of Shadows is an enthralling, entertaining, and action packed ride that you simply can’t put down once you start reading. One minute you find yourself gasping in shock at the events that Lorenzo, Valentine, Ling, Jill, or Reaper find themselves faced with, and the next howling in laughter at the dry and acerbic banter that seems to be the groups trademark.
The events of Alliance of Shadows starts with an event that has, in many ways, become the standard start to a Dead Six book: someone is trapped in a hellish prison and needs to be rescued, or is getting blackmailed into undertaking a suicidal mission. In Dead Six Lorenzo and Reaper were the ones being blackmailed, and in Sword of Exodus Valentine was the one that was needing to be rescued from prison. Alliance of Shadows has Lorenzo taking the hit this time, and holy crap is it a nasty one. The prison that Lorenzo finds himself confined in is something that seems to have been born in the deepest, darkest, pits of hell where Lorenzo is faced with an almost daily gladiatorial daily fight for survival…and that’s just the start. When you take into account very shaky alliances with shady organizations straight out of the darkest of urban myths, then you have the very definition of an action packed book.
As the Dead Six and Exodus survivors’ adventure unfolds, the events seem to move at an ever increasing pace that in many regards has the feel of being an adventure straight out of Hollywood. In many ways, the overall flow and pace found Alliance of Shadows mirrors that found in either a Jason Bourne or James Bond movie. Time is blatantly of the essence throughout the events of the story, and one that is always in the forefront of the reader’s mind, though this is done in an exceptionally talented way. This is typically done in a way where the reader is finding themselves asking if the heroes will be able to beat the swiftly narrowing window that is available. While there are times when the reader will find themselves stating “Well, that escalated quickly,” the pacing of the story is not presented in a method that is in the least detrimental. In many ways this is one of the biggest draws to this series, and the latest addition that is the Alliance of Shadows.
There are three main characters in Alliance of Shadows, two protagonists and one antagonist. The heroes are (as with the first two books in the series) the preternaturally dangerous Valentine and Lorenzo, and the villain is the alarmingly insane Katarina Montalban. Due to the rather rapid pace of the story, there isn’t all that much in the way of major character development, though that is only to be expected. As with each of the previous stories in the Dead Six series, you do learn some background information on each of the main characters. While there isn’t all that much meaningful character development in the traditional sense the heroes are very heroic (if not more than a little beaten down) and the villains are defeated (as to be expected). Best of all, you are given a glimpse of the future of the heroes and the world at the end of the book…which may indicate that the series is now at an end (though time will only tell for sure).
Books and stories that are as well-crafted as the Dead Six stories are, they almost literally beg for a revisit, and Alliance of Shadows is no different. Throughout the entire series you get a rather sizeable hint of the supernatural world…enough of a hint at least that you will want to reread the entire series to see if you really read what you thought you did. Even now, after having reread Alliance of Shadows (and the rest of the series) a couple of times I am still trying to figure out whether the supernatural is really as much a part of the series as it appears. Even if the characters and interactions were not as enjoyable as they are, then this one particular aspect of the series almost demands that the books are studied a couple of times apiece. Luckily, the book is as fun as it is so that isn’t a difficult task in the least, and Alliance of Shadows will be on my bedside reading list for months to come.
At the risk of repeating myself, Alliance of Shadows is an enthralling, entertaining, and action packed ride that you simply can’t put down once you start reading. If you are a fan of movies such as The Avengers, The Bourne Identity, or even television shows such as The Blacklist, then you will not be disappointed in this book or series. Whether you are a fan of action adventure stories, share a love of shooter stories, or like to dip into the urban fantasy pool once in a while then you will enjoy this particular story. Be sure that you get your copy of the story as soon as possible at your local book store (such as Barnes and Noble) or online at locations such as Amazon (available on both digital and hardcopy) or on iTunes. Luckily, you will only need to wait till October 4th, 2016, which is next Tuesday.