The Loon by Michaelbrent Collings

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Title: The Loon
Author: Michaelbrent Collings
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 2013
Listening Length: 9 hours 22 minutes

Rating: 5 stars

Michaelbrent Collings is a master of what I like to refer to as “the setup. This is demonstrated immediately at the beginning of the book. There is a certain mood to the book’s first scene, and the attention to detail combined with clever structuring actually make you feel the way the characters in the book feel. There are other examples of this, but truthfully I think that first scene demonstrates that best.

When you open this book, you are in for quite a ride. Once things pick up, and they do so very, very fast, It basically never stops. There is something waiting around every bend, or you could say in every ventilation shaft. There is also plenty of very detailed gore in the book, though I don’t expect that will put off many reading this review.

One thing the book description doesn’t tell you, something I feel actually lends a lot to the power this book holds over you, is that you have multiple crazy plotlines, all of them worrisome. Of course they combine in the end into the main storyline, but the interweaving of all these plots is expertly done. You’re worrying about all of them, and that only makes you worry more when it all comes together. As I said before, master of the setup.

About the book description though, I have to say that it really should be changed. This isn’t necessarily something that affects my opinion of the book, because you review books, you don’t review their descriptions. Still, I feel it should be noted here.

The description talks about the prisoners getting loose and essentially running the asylum, then mentions that there are worse things to worry about. It’s true that there are indeed worse things to worry about, but it’s also true that only one inmate actually escapes. I understand the desire to make it all sound good, but more emphasis could have been placed on just how mad that inmate actually is, and the previously-mentioned other plotlines could have briefly been brought up as well. This would achieve a similar, if not greater effect.

Lastly, as I listened to the audiobook version of the Loon, I want to give it some props. The narrator is extremely well-chosen, and lent the correct amount of emotion to every scene. Furthermore, the way voice modification was used in the book, for radio communications and, shall we say, other things, was fantastic, and added to the book’s overall atmosphere.

In conclusion, I loved this book. It was a fabulous combination of suspense, action, and overall good storytelling. Not only would I recommend this book, but I look forward to reading more by Michaelbrent Collings.

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