Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Review: Two and a Half Dead Men by Jason Krumbine

Two and a Half Dead Men (The Grym Brothers, Book #1)
by Jason Krumbine
Release Date: April 24th, 2011
2011 One Stray Word Books
Ebook Edition; 270 KB
Genre: Fiction / Paranormal
Source: Review Copy from Pump Up Your Books

2.5 / 5

People die every day. But not all of the souls can or want to move onto the afterlife. That’s where the brothers Thane and Mort Grym come in.

Thane and Mort are bounty hunters for dead souls. They inherited the job from their father and they’re two of the best in town.  But when there’s a double homicide at the Kirkland Motel the Grym brothers end up with more than they bargained for. In a world without vampires, zombies or the undead, one of their bounties might not be as dead as he’s supposed to be.

My Thoughts
Two and a Half Dead Men had a great premise for a novel and did keep my interest for the majority of the time. And while there is a lot of potential in this novel and in this series, and I liked the main characters Thane and Mort and their interactions with each other, the choppy writing style, the weak storyline, and abrupt ending did leave me feeling let down and disappointed at the end of the novel.

I like the two brothers, Thane and Mort, and I will admit that I liked Mort a little bit more than Thane simply because he was the more interesting character: Mort had a lot of issues with women, drinking, and gambling, but he was more down to earth, while Thane seemed colder, more serious, and someone who would be far more difficult to get to know.   While both of these characters need quite a bit more in terms of character development, I did enjoy the banter and quick wit between them, except for the parts about who is mom and dad's favourite son as that line wore out pretty fast, and the comments about the homosexual man and having to search his bedroom, and I liked how they looked out for each other. I don't personally think I would like Mort if I saw him, and I doubt I would trust him if I saw him, as the story did continuously point out his poor hygiene habits, and his poor dating habits, and the fact he was dating a stripper named Jeanie, whose phone number he couldn't seem to remember. And I definitely would not let him in my front door if her knocked, but so be it.  I also wish that more information had been included on Thane's girlfriend as there seemed to be some interesting potential there, but it didn't seem to go anywhere other than she bandaged the men up and wasn't very sympathetic towards them, as if this was a common occurence.  I sense a backstory there that wasn't fully explained, but perhaps in the next novel? 

The plotline itself was weak, and ended quite abruptly.  To be honest, I'm not quite sure exactly what the villains did in order to incur such wrath, and many of the other story elements weren't as clear as they could have been.  I wish that the story had been more developed and that things hadn't been introduced suddenly, without explanation, like the sticks having this sudden potential of which only one brother was aware. I also found the reading experience to be marred by many editing and proofreading errors, and I'd find myself jolted out of the story on occasion, something which actually proved to be annoying.  It's frustrating as I can sense the potential in the story, but I just couldn't get past some of the issues while I was reading.  The point of view was fine, although the lack of description from the character's viewpoint did limit the reading experience and did limit character and plot development as the majority of the story was dialogue based.

Two and a Half Dead Men had its interesting moments and definitely held a lot of potential, which unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to.  The lack of depth to the storyline, the abrupt ending, and the undeveloped characters limited the novel and the reading experience for me, but with proper editing and some good polishing, there is potential here as the basic ideas are good and intriguing.  The story itself is quite short and includes an excerpt from the second novel in this series, The Dead Couple