This book has Jason Bourne vibes all over it: the best “gun for hire” out there suddenly finds himself on the other side of the sniper’s scope. He doesn’t know who put the contract out on him or for what offense—he’s a legend in his field, so the list of people who want our main character dead is pretty long. If Eidolon—also known as John, which, admittedly, is less intimidating—wants to stay alive, he has to figure out who put the contract out on him, and make them remove the hit, and hopefully before the people who have unexpectedly gotten close to him get hurt. This is a killer with some morals, after all. And, ultimately, if you like military action books with a Bourne and a sort of spy vs. spy vibe, then this is going to be a fast paced, fun read for you. But there are some trigger warnings!
It really should go without saying that the book is pretty violent because you have a bunch of assassins trying to kill each other. But there’s one bad guy in the group that’s pretty excessive with the murder and torture. It’s part of his character, and since he’s one of the big baddie’s John has to confront, it makes sense, but his scenes are pretty disturbing. But, also, there are lots of mentions of rape, and sexual assault against children, especially in the beginning so be forewarned. It’s part of a few characters back stories but I personally wasn’t a huge fan of their inclusion just because they weren’t handled with the kind of sensitivity or intention I prefer, but that’s also not necessarily the point of the book. This is an action story, and the characters go through some pretty seedy places, but it felt a bit forced where every female character—no matter her own lethality—was always threatened with rape. Anyway, I just like putting it out there, later in the book it hardly comes up again so it’s predominantly a fast paced action ride, never fear.
That being said, the author is very detailed oriented, especially with the weapons and the way John has to get out of the various binds he finds himself in as he and his female companion race across the world following lead after lead on who wants them dead. It was a lot of fun to watch John get out of these nearly impossible situations, and to do it almost without detection! Honestly, this is where most of my vibes for Bourne come from—just without the memory loss backstory—but it also feels a bit like the show Burn Notice, as that character (and show) also were very good of telling the reader/audience why what they were doing was superior, or clever, and I tend to enjoy that kind of thing a great deal. It shows a level of dedication to a plot line that is all too easy to wave away, it also adds a level of believability that makes something that sounds impossible just a tad more plausible, and therefore enjoyable in my opinion. In fact, my only issue with the story was with John’s arrogance, especially early on. He just comes off as super cocky, and I get it, he is someone to be feared, but it feels undeserved early on, especially when he lacks any other kind of remember-able personality. Which ultimately meant that it took me a long time to like him as a character, and while he has standards with who he kills, he’s still an assassin so, you know, he’s no saint to begin with even with a tragic backstory.
If you are a fan of easy to follow military action books that star assassin’s and covert government agencies with a bit of a mystery thrown in, and don’t mind a lot of violence, definitely pick up “Son of a Gun”! It was a really fast read (don’t let my pace fool you, I purposely put this book down for a bit because I was behind on others) and even for someone who knows next to nothing about military tech or firearms, I found it easy to follow. I liked how John/Eidolon tells the reader why he uses certain weapons or goes about a mission in a certain way, even if it slows down the action a tad, I appreciated the explanations. Ultimately, I just wish I liked the main character more from the onset—though I do love Debs from the moment she’s introduced! So this is a very enjoyable 4 star read for me, and thanks to the author for providing me with a copy for an honest review.
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