Charles C. Anderson
Outskirts Press (2014)
Reviewed by Ben Green for Reader Views (10/15)
“Desperate Farm” by Charles C. Anderson is a fun and fast read. If you're a fan of the series, save yourself some time, skip this review and just go read it. If you're new to the series like me, then do not fret; you will still be able to enjoy “Desperate Farm” as the first couple chapters brings new readers up to speed and explains the story, which follows a former Navy SEAL and his tactically-trained family on their misadventures. In fact, readers are constantly being reminded that Andy, the main character, is a former Navy SEAL, and about the particular skill-sets of the other characters, which was a bit annoying. Over time I really wanted to just scream, “Okay, I get it – everyone in this book is a badass. Point taken! I didn't forget in the last two pages!” Not to mention that in between the reminders, Andy and his family are killing bad guys so yeah, you get the point.
“Desperate Farm” is an easy to consume read. It has short chapters, a large font, and just over 300 pages. It is the perfect read for a plane ride or lunch break. It is not the most realistic book, and if you really think about it too much the plot becomes pretty unbelievable. That being said, it is not trying to be serious, accurate, or even realistic. Instead, “Desperate Farm” focuses on being fun and entertaining, reminding me of the “Executioner” spy series. If you like spy novels and don't mind suspending reality for a few hours then you will enjoy “Desperate Farm.” The book really reads like a Jason Statham action movie with constant explosions, action, violence, and espionage. The plot is not perfect and the character development seems very one-dimensional and forced. Often, the dialogue is over the top or in some cases even ridiculous, but that does not make it any less fun to read.
Overall, I would rate “Desperate Farm” by Charles C. Anderson as a three-star book. It is good at what it does, which is to tell a quick little action adventure story with an over the top spy theme that moves the series forward. Its easily consumable nature is also a plus because reading it never feels like work and the action starts on page one and never slows down. The problem I have with it is that far too many times in the story Anderson asks you to suspend belief and the constant reminding of the characters' past history is unnecessary. It really becomes both annoying and insulting. I mean, how many times do you have to mention that someone is a former SEAL, especially if the entire story is about them snapping necks and shooting people in the face? Even the young adult crowd, which I think this book is aimed at, will get the idea in a page or two. Overall though, “Desperate Farm” hit its mark: fun, entertaining, and full of over the top action.
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