Performance Anomalies

Performance Anomalies - Victor Robert Lee

A memorable start for a first novel and what can easily become an espionage thriller series. This book is not something I typically enjoy, but for the right kind of (niche) reader, it can easily be a hit.


Cono, the main character, is an international man of mystery (a la James Bond) who also happens to have flairs of prototypical Jason Statham characters, but I think the story's aim is to portray Cono as a real-world version of Christian Bale's Batman--cool, reserved, distant, ultimately conflicted heroic anti-hero.


All blockbuster movie references are necessary because this novel is a very made-for-blockbuster-movie kind of novel. Like I said, not something I usually read, but it was interesting.


* * * * spoilers below * * * *


The story takes you to quite a few different locations around the world to make you feel like you're on a globe-trotting adventure. But since the adventure is about intel, intrigue, espionage, assassinations, etc., aside from enjoying the sights, you're also introduced to a host of stereotypical mysterious bad guys and gals. The locations may vary, but the disposable characters don't, much. Especially the female characters, aka one-night stands. They're slightly more modified versions of the sexy vixen in every James Bond movie.


I thought Cono's super-human genetics would play a bigger part in the story. This was what drew me to the book in the first place, that he's an effective operative because he's biologically predisposed to excel at the job. It's somewhat explained early on in the story, but not much throughout. Cono's advantage is that he has a heightened nervous system which results in fast reflexes and the ability to detect minute changes in movement.


For the most part, this story has the fast pacing of a typical globe-trotting thriller, but there are quite a few times when it tries to be more than what it is. Cono has a tendency to reminisce when he's on the job, and some of these flashbacks happen when he's supposed to be paying attention to something else. Moments like these take the reader out of the action sequence and make him/her too aware that he/she is reading a book, not being immersed in the story. I understand what the author is trying to do here so I don't hold it against him for trying, but... things that work (well, "work" is relative) for a Jason Statham movie don't necessarily translate to meaningful prose on the page. (Jason Statham and meaningful things cancel each other out just by being in the same scenes.)


Perhaps with the next book, the author can try blending and bending genres as Cono's story expands.All in all, this was an interesting read.


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I'd like to thank Lindsey James from Perimeter Six Press for sending me a copy to enjoy.