A few months ago, I reviewed Give Me Flesh, I’ll Bring Hell by Martin Rose, and I mentioned the sequel was coming out soon. I was fortunate to receive a review copy of the audiobook version of My Loaded Gun, My Lonely Heart, and I’m excited to be writing my first audiobook review.
Because the reader makes the book, I’ll start with him. Christian Rummel was the perfect reader for this book. He had a scratchy, world-weary, sarcastic tone which matched my mental image of Vitus’ voice. Since the book is written in first person, having the right reader was critical, and Rummel nailed it. He was great with all the other characters, but his Vitus just shone. I just checked him on Audible, and it looks like Brandon Sanderson uses him for his self-published works, which is a testament to his ability as a reader. I also see that he reads the various Lost Fleet books, which I have been meaning to catch up on. Lucky me. I have two free Audible credits coming in the next couple of months.
Enough about the reader. What about the book? It’s an odd one. When we last saw Vitus, he had recovered from being a zombie, so I wasn’t certain what to expect in this book. Turns out recovery has a price. He’s in a new body, but he’s in jail for murdering his brother. Some sketchy government types who have some connection to Vitus’ father offer to get him released in exchange for some investigative work.
The book went in several different directions and tossed out lots of twists, red herrings, action sequences and some not inconsiderable body horror. You have been warned.
I have two complaints with the writing. First, we spend way too much time in Vitus’ head. I get that the guy has had a rough life. I do. However, I would have enjoyed the book more if he had done more and whined less. Second, he was stupidly blind to the motivations of one of the characters. To reveal which one would be a spoiler, although I’m pretty confident readers will know which one I meant.
Of course, he was on drugs through most of the book, so maybe I should cut him a big of slack.
The afore-mentioned drug, atroxipine, which was how Vitus controlled his zombie instincts in the previous book, plays a surprising role in this one. Honestly, I can say I didn’t see where Rose was going with the drug until I got there.
The plot behind the plot was entertaining and intriguing and, without spoiling anything, took me back to one of my favorite movies from the 80s. (Email me, and I’ll let you know which one, if you’re curious. Revealing it here really would spoil the entire book.)
Rose has created an interesting cast of characters, and I wouldn’t mind seeing them in future books, at least, the ones who survived this one. Vitus is a worthy character, although I’d still like to see him do more and whine less. I think if I had read the book, I’d give it 3 1/2 stars like I gave the previous one. However, considering how good Rummell was as a reader, I’m adding another 1/2 star to my rating. It’s worth a listen just to hear his narration.