Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Father/Daughter Book Review: Called (Book 1: Southern Watch) by Robert J. Crane

Title: Called
Series: Southern Watch Book 1
Author: Robert J. Crane
Publisher: CreateSpace
Date of Publication: Jan. 6, 2014
Source: bought, paperback, 172 pages
Rating: Adult, 18 + over

Goodreads Summary:
Archibald "Arch" Stan was a local cop in Midian, Tennessee that was good at his job, good at being a husband, and exceptionally good at hiding his disappointment at not being able to figure out what was missing in his life that made it all seem so empty.

Lafayette Hendricks looked like a drifter, a broken-down hitchhiker blown through Midian on the prevailing winds. When Arch catches him in a fight on the town square, though, things start to get weird, fast, because the guy he's fighting doesn't die when he gets shot. And Hendricks is carrying a sword.

Pretty soon, Arch's whole life is turned upside down by Hendricks's revelation that there's a secret world operating under the one he's been living in his whole life - one filled with demons, chaos, and unspeakable evils, one of which is already in town, stirring trouble. And if the two men don't band together to keep watch on the darkness falling on Midian, then this small town might just get swallowed up by the forces of evil - with the rest of the world to follow shortly behind.

WARNING: Contains violence, coarse language and sexual situations.

Father's Thoughts:
I could have done without all the language but I understand why he had to use it.  I also realize he put a warning up, so I was expecting bad language just not this bad.  But besides that, the overall story is pretty good.  It will keep you hooked into it , trying to figure out what will happen next.  There is a lot of action in it, and it has this modern day cowboy feel to it.  I, personally, enjoy westerns; but I did enjoy stepping out of my comfort zone to try this book with my daughter.  It is violent but I believe the author is trying to show us how demons really are, how low they will go.    So again that could point to all the extremely foul language.  It seems to come more from the demons than the other characters.
Another thing that tended to get to me was the ending.  Man, I don't like those cliffhanger endings!  I am glad he left it open for another book , but did you really have to end it like that?
All in all, I did enjoy reading Called.  Towards the last half of the book, it is so fast paced and full of action I had a hard time pulling away from the book.  Good job!
 My daughter says I have to give it a number rating from 1 to 5; so I am going to go with a 4.  The book was good.  It was interesting, had some good characters and kept me reading so I find that it earned a 4.  It did leave many questions I had unanswered, so I got to get to reading the next book soon.

My Thoughts:
Well if it wasn't violent and jammed full of action then it wouldn't be Robert J. Crane's writing.  This is something I have come to expect from the man and he never disappoints us!  It did have some moments that seemed very violent but it never got any worse than say Spartacus.  You know the show on Starz?  Yeah, well that is violent.  So it did stay below that level.
I did notice that our characters did use much more extreme cursing in it than most of the other characters from the other series ever used.  Cursing doesn't really bother me (since I tend to do it a lot myself- sorry Dad!) but I do understand my Dad's problem with it.  He was more or less expecting harsh language but not the F bomb being dropped constantly.  But in the author's defense, sometimes you can't get something across by just using the word "dang nabbit"  or some other words.  I mean we are talking about demons, who really don't give a crap about the human race or anything for that matter, and I just don't see them watching their language.  Plus, the coarse language shows us the situations that seem to follow these people along.  Bless Arch though.  Even though he was going through some serious hell, I don't believe he ever let the F Bomb drop at all.
Getting pass the extreme sport of throwing the F word around,  the story is a good solid one.  I am very interested in who Hendricks truly is, and why he has such a hatred for these demons.  Starling was probably my favorite character in the whole book right now.  She just has this awesome personality that really makes me think that she is going to be pretty freaking awesome! (No, it isn't that F word)
I didn't really care for Erin though.  I am hoping she isn't here to stay, so to speak.
Then there is our main characters: Arch and Hendricks.  What an unlikely odd couple!  I think they go great together though; Arch is this milder guy who tries to think things through before just jumping on the band wagon.  Whereas Hendricks is the good guy who has a bad guy persona.  They remind me of Sam and Dean from Supernatural a little bit.  They actually compliment each other and I think they make a great team.  It will be interesting to see how their relationship pans out.
Overall, I thought Called was a decent book.  There were parts that seemed a little too strange and felt like it might have took away from the seriousness of the story.  I am thinking of how the cow plays into all of this and feeling like that was a little too silly for the whole demon story.  But it did make for a funny reading.
Besides that, though, the plot was a solid one that definitely kept me interested until I finished the book and couldn't wait to jump in to book 2.  It flows well and I really enjoyed the action that plays throughout the book.
I give it four hearts!
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