book review, horror

Big Smoke by R F Blackstone

Imagine a female James Bond, a mission to stop a POTUS assassination in Cuba, and the occasional zombie, and you have Big Smoke.

Christine Moore is one of The Station’s best spies, with a love of hard liquor, strong cigars and beautiful women. When she’s sent back to Cuba, a country she knows well, to stop an assassination attempt on US president, Aaron Sanderson, she has to confront her past in the form of ex-lover, Adriana Prado, as well as overcome a new enemy in the walking dead.

Just a normal day on the job for a super spy.

The author’s background in screen writing is evident in this novel, and I could imagine it very easily turned into a movie. The character of Christine reminded me of Angelina Jolie in Salt, and I could see Selma Hayek playing the part of Adriano, if this story had been filmed about ten years ago.

Unfortunately, because this reads like a script turned novel, there isn’t the emotional insight into the characters I would have liked. It’s a fun B movie of a book, full of explosions, badass women and action movie tropes. However, I couldn’t connect with the characters or feel invested in their fates as they seemed mired in the cliches of their genre.

The highlight of the book for me was the descriptions of Cuba, which really set the scene and created atmosphere. I also learned more about Cuban cigars than I ever desired to.

Unfortunately, as a horror novel, especially a zombie horror novel, I was disappointed. There were some hints of exciting zombie action to come, but the presidential assassination attempt took precedence, and when the zombies did finally arrive, they felt more like an addition to the climax rather than the main event.

I award Big Smoke

Big Smoke is available for $2.55 ebook and $11.95 print book on Amazon.

4 thoughts on “Big Smoke by R F Blackstone”

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