As the title implies, Ethan Justice: Origins is a series starter. It doesn’t start out like a lot of crime fiction origins do – or at least any of the ones I read. Instead, it starts off with John trying to figure out how he bagged the gorgeous woman next to him. While he can’t remember, that is the least of his worries. He can’t pay her and she’s not happy about that fact. Outside of his apartment a pair of government agents are watching and commentating on the ‘action’ while they search for a lost weapon that one of the pair is attached to.
Things go steadily downhill from there. We won’t even get in to the problem with the nuclear powered devices running around or the surprising item you’ll find near police cruisers. It all makes the book more exciting.
The pacing in the story fits with most thrillers – it just keeps thrusting event after event at you in an attempt to make it feel like a story to never put down. For the most part, that pacing works. There are a few scenes that could have been sped up, but it does give the reader some breathing room. It works fairly well and when things really get going you won’t notice the pages turn.
John and Savannah are the primary characters and there is a lot to them. They are not simple characters and there are some interesting pieces that are played in to them to give them character. John, in particular, has an interesting sense of humor and of observation. He is also a distinguished liar and pulls off some of the best bamboozles I’ve read in a long time. Meanwhile Savannah is still trying to make things work in her mind with her family. There is a lot of fun to both characters and a surprising amount of depth – even if you ignore the fairly predictable. Yes, a number of the less essential characters are closer to sock puppets than full on characters but at least they are fun sock puppets.
On the whole, this is a good series. It is fun to read and the characters are well developed as is the setting and the plot. Grab this one while you can!
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Value: 5/5 (Free), 4/5 (Standard Listing)