9mm Blues by Keith Melton
In this action-packed horror novel, a soldier who fights the supernatural baddies must take a stand against flesh-eating ghouls, face betrayal within his own unit, and save a young boy’s life.
Publisher’s Description: Flesh-eating ghouls. A kidnapped child. A knight’s honor caught in the crossfire…
Christopher Hill is a knight in the Order of the Thorn—the sacred order of soldiers armed with submachine guns, swords, and magic. Their mission is simple: destroy the ancient, profane evils that prey upon humanity.
But that mission becomes far more complicated when a young boy is kidnapped by flesh-eating ghouls, turning a routine search-and-destroy mission into a nightmare standoff. Barricaded inside a run-down house, the ghouls gain a deadly upper hand, and while the body count rises, Hill finds himself caught in a power struggle within the order that puts his life, and his honor, at risk, and threatens both the mission and the boy Hill has vowed to see home safe, no matter what…
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Kat Mandu says…
I got all giddy when I saw this particular request in my inbox. And how could I not? A fresh take on ghouls mixed in with some very Supernatural feels, this story was practically calling my name.
It lived up to my expectations well. I was very fond of the lead character, Chris, because he’s actually a really nice guy chocked full of honor and a bit of hopeless romance. Though don’t get the wrong impression from that description, because this book isn’t a romance whatsoever.
This is a bloody, gory horror story that might have you cringing. Flesh-eating ghouls living in decay and a broodsire who “creates his children” so that they can have an army of their own. Add that to a five year old kid who’s been kidnapped by the creepy ghouls and a lot of good soldiers who die in various disgusting ways. The details following said creepers around makes it all the scarier because Keith Melton is a pretty darn good writer.
I really enjoyed this…but…it was a bit too predictable for my liking. Unfortunately I saw the deep-six from a certain character coming a mile away and I had a feeling there would be a happy ending. (However, I was expecting the dog to die so, uh yeah…Because usually the dog dies in everything!).
But in the end, I still give it a four because I loved it. Chris and Tashelle are my favorites, especially how they tease each other and provide the story with a little bit of humor in places. I also like the dog. This is a great read for fans of horror and supernatural military plots.
Invested Ivana says…
Though Keith Melton has several published works in the general genre I read, this is the first book of his I’ve picked up. Originally, I was attracted to the professional cover (aren’t we all?). Shiny lights and astrological symbols, a military guy carrying both an automatic weapon and a sword? And, of course, the pretty blues and purples. Ooooh, ahhh. 🙂 Sure got my attention!
Despite the pretty, pretty cover, 9mm Blues is not the typical kind of book I read. My preference tends to be toward 1st person urban fantasy with lots of world building, lots of internal and emotional struggle, and lots of kick-ass vengeance wreaking. I also know squat about military stuff and tend to get lost and bored with a lot of military detail. This story is all military and primarily action-oriented with very little world-building. There is not much vengeance-wreaking at a personal level — the bad guy is just a bad guy. I know many people for whom this is the preferred type of reading, so no judgement here; just that it’s not what usually appeals to me.
And still, I really enjoyed this book! Though the POV is 3rd person limited, we see the story solely through the eyes of the protagonist. Melton does a good job of conveying both the action and the protagonist’s thoughts and emotions. It’s a good balance — Chris Hill is a good guy, but not terribly self-aware, so there isn’t a lot of navel-gazing going on. 😉 There isn’t a lot of world-building, but I don’t think it’s neccessary. The world is very similar to ours with just a few supernatural elements that we’re probably familiar with from pop-culture, so there’s no need for a lot of explanation. Not to say it’s boring or totally unoriginal — that’s not true at all! But if you’re familiar with the supernatural from movies, TV, or books, you’ll catch on quick.
And the kicker… there is a dog. Yeah, I’m a sucker for animals. Not only is there a dog, but everyone is nice to the dog and the dog doesn’t die! Keith, thank you for that. Oh, and I’m going to give you a little spoiler here — the dog is a basenji, and basenji’s don’t bark. So if you’re wondering how in the world a dog could survive in this story and not get everyone killed, that’s why. I was so tickled to have that piece of knowledge while reading the story.
So, yeah, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book and how much I’m looking forward to the next one. I think it really hits that sweet spot between action-oriented and introspective and so will appeal to fans of both types of stories. I can’t wait for Agent Annie and her husband to read it; not only are they both ex-military, but they also own a basenji. 😉
If you like this book…