I know that we are in February, but we cannot always explain the challenges we have to undergo and deal with, in order to provide consistent content for our followers. The Beard is still testing positive for Covid, and as a consequence I limit my exposure to my Best Buddy. On top of everything else, he is still having difficulties with his laptop, so all of the writing duties have fallen to me. It is not a complaint, just a fact.
Thankfully, we have amazing production people that help us make our videos top-notch. We would have fewer in quantity and lesser in quality if not for their tireless work. They have helped to ameliorate some of the burdens of the blog.
Lance the Obscure Movie Guy helped by contributing a post in January. I am looking forward to more stuff from that guy. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, we have grown in affection for him. For Puerto Ricans, which we unabashedly are, it means a lot to us that he is so interactive and calls us his Good Buddies. We feel likewise.
I know that we are in February, and this is my first Reading Sanctum for the year. Some of you solely engage our book content. That’s cool. It makes me proud that our audience has such eclectic and disparate interests that they prefer specific aspects of the things we like. Recognize that I understand this.
I fully expect to do at least one Reading Sanctum per month this year which should take us into the 30s. I will definitely sprinkle in some Reading Sanctum: Potpourri as well so there will as always be plenty of books to talk about. Potpourri focuses on quick cut reviews, which I will do four or five. For my first Reading Sanctum of 2022, I chose to write about a series of espionage thrillers deftly written by Ty Hutchinson.
Contract: Snatch initiates a series of espionage thrillers revolving around an ex-assassin named Sei. In the first novel, Sei has retired. When she found out she was pregnant, her intention was to leave the Assassins Guild, in order to provide stability and love for her child, something that Sei as a guild orphan felt she lacked.
When she buried her baby, she retired anyway. Two years later, she receives an email from a mysterious source telling her that she buried the wrong baby. The source has information which convincingly proves that her daughter is still alive. In order to get her daughter back, she only needs to break a notorious assassin out of one of the most impregnable jails in Turkey.
With the attempted breakout, Sei becomes a pawn in a series of actions that include multiple conspiracies that involve several United States government organizations, not the least of which is the CIA. Obviously, the consequences have international repercussions. The action is break-neck, non-stop, suspense-laden and cinematic.
Book One is currently offered for free on Amazon. I bought what I thought was a trilogy of books for 99 cents. I really loved the first book. To my way of thinking, Ty Hutchinson wrote a gripping piece of fiction. Sei is likeable despite being an assassin. She, of course, has a code, but is more cavalier about death than the ordinary human being. Yet, you can understand why that would be. She’s an assassin!
Let me tell you that Sei does not find her daughter at the end of book one, but I was OK with that because Contract: Snatch is so compelling and since I bought a trilogy, I figured, “OK, I get it. He is going to string us along for all three books.” Like I said, it was action-packed and despite being 300-plus pages, it is a quick-paced page turner.
In Contract: Sicko, Sei learns that the abductor of her daughter is attempting to clean house. In effect, get rid of all the medical and security people that were present when she gave birth to the baby. It is five years later and Sei has not found her daughter. One tip leads to another tip leads to a further tip: one of the men in charge of security while she was under becomes her target. That man who was in-charge of security while she was giving birth is a child molester. He is the Sicko in the title.
Worse is when Sei has to protect this man who makes her skin crawl, a man so repellant that he tries to justify his love of children. He is truly one of the vilest fictional characters I have ever had the displeasure of encountering. Again, there is a great deal of action and suspense, but there is a little less joy at the end because just as I predicted, Sei does not find her daughter.
Contract: Primo is the third book of the Sei thriller series and this is where I get off this bandwagon. Let me explain. Throughout the second book, Mui, Sei’s daughter, is being trained by the Russian Black Wolf, an assassin equally as skilled as Sei. At the end of this book, Sei still does not have her daughter. There’s a plot-twist that explains it acceptably; however, there are four more novels in the Sei espionage, thriller series.
You guessed it. They ALL revolve around Sei’s search for her daughter. I have to say, I enjoyed the ride, but getting strung along with very little payoff is bothersome, insulting, and causes me to ask the author, “Were you so bereft of ideas that you feared resolving this one? Now, I know that you have other series, but did you make so much money with this gimmick that you did not want to give it up? Not only that, you have a series based on Mui. You are telling me that you go back to the same well after seven books?”
I am hoping you get the same sense of frustration that I got when I turned the final page. Now, the author is sufficiently gifted that he foreshadows the conclusion before you get to the end, so preparing the audience for that just felt like my Doctor Vasquez Rodriguez asked me to bend over before my proctological exam, but even if you cover your genitals with a cup, a kick to the balls still hurts. “Ty Hutchinson, I feel cheated, so even though book three is good in and of itself, and I enjoyed the trilogy. I did not get my resolution. Therefore, I have to give this one. . .”