How are you all today?
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the book Vector by Michael Shusko, in exchange for an honest review! It took me a little longer than I would've liked to post this (school has been hectic!), but here it is anyway! Hope you enjoy!
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When researcher Jawad Khattib gasps his last breath on the Massachusetts General Hospital floor, the Department of Homeland Security wants answers—especially after a preliminary autopsy suggests he died of radiation poisoning. What exactly was Khattib working on? And who was he working for? DHS Agent Lee Jansen is rushed to Boston and paired with expert toxicologist Dr. Emma Hess to crack the case. All evidence points to the creation of a dirty bomb, but the clues seem too clean, too obvious. During the course of their investigation, they discover the horrible truth. This new weapon is far more deadly than anyone had expected. It isn’t just capable of killing hundreds—it’s capable of killing hundreds of thousands. Can they stop what’s been set in motion by a madman with a dangerous secret before it’s too late?
Vector would be classified as a military medical thriller and an adult book which means it is so different to anything that I have read and is completely out of my comfort zone - which is actually why I was interested in it in the first place. You see, this year my goal is to branch out and read books from a range of genres that I wouldn't usually try, in order to find new types of novels that I may end up loving! Vector is definitely one of those books.
From the very first page...I was hooked. Even at the beginning, I could tell that Shusko was telling a fast-paced story, so I would be on the edge of my seat the entire time. By the end of Chapter 1 I already had so many questions and whenever I wasn't reading Vector, I found myself thinking about where the rest of the story was going and what was going to happen next.
The characters Shusko introduced in this novel were definitely one of the main highlights. The two protagonists for example, Lee Jansen and Emma Hess, are awesome, fleshed out characters that the reader watch develop throughout the book and the dialogue between them is always meaningful and fully reflects the way that you would expect these characters to act and talk, so you feel like you know these people in real life, instead of just reading about them off of a page. I love that no matter who the character is, Shusko portrays them in a way that makes you immediately love them or, in the case of the antagonists, hate them. Within the first ten or so pages, I had found a character, I don't want to say who, that I knew would become my favourite person throughout this book and then BAM, they're dead. Shushko has the ability to hook you in and show you an interesting character or concept, only to take it away from you...which actually does leave you wanting more. Michael Shusko also has the ability to make the reader feel part of the story and when you guess parts of the book before they happen, you feel like you're 'on the case' just like Lee and Emma.
Throughout Vector, Shusko uses the character's backstory as a filler, which helped me understand more about the character's personality and how their past has influenced their choices today. However, I will say that at times, the backstory element seemed to overtake the actual development of the novel, as I noticed that at some points in Vector, there was less focus than their should've been on what was happening in the moment. For the majority of the book the backstory was perfectly woven in and completely necessary, however there were also moments where I found myself skim reading three-quarters of a page because the backstory took away from what was happening in the present. In saying this, Lee's past was incredibly interesting and I did enjoy reading about it. Lee Jansen has a somewhat dark and tortured backstory and I wish Shusko would write a book solely about his past because I'd definitely read it!
Another thing that I adore about this book is the suspense. Every single chapter in Vector ended on some kind of cliffhanger, leaving me with my eyes wide and jaw dropped. Within a couple of pages Michael Shusko takes you for a ride, allowing Emma and Lee to get closer and closer to the answer...before suddenly ending the chapter. Sure, it was frustrating - because I just wanted all the answers but I LOVE IT when an author has the ability to make the reader want to stay up all night, flipping page after page, to see what happens next. I also really enjoyed the parts of the book that were told from the viewpoint of people such as 'The Architect', as they gave me another perspective on what was happening and allows the reader to know more about what was happening before Lee and Emma find out.
It's important to mention that since this is a military-medical thriller, there are many concepts splattered throughout the novel that could seem confusing to the reader. However Shusko explains all of these notions in a way that everyone can understand, since he uses a mixture of scientific and medical jargon and what they would mean in plain English.
I am a HUGE fan of this book and this is a great way for Shusko to debut! The last part of the book, even more so than it is throughout, is insanely gripping and I was unable to put it down until I reached the final page. Shusko has definitely built the foundation for a very interesting Tradecraft Series and given the ending of Vector, we can all expect great things to come.
Thanks so much for stopping by here on Tyra's Bookshelf!
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- Tyra xx