Reviews - What do customers think about Hot Sand & Cold Blood?
Terrorism thriller with the supernatural twist... Sep 27, 2006
This book joins the overcrowded genre of terrorism thrillers that have flooded bookstore shelves since 9/11. It is the second in a Zombeast trilogy, but the book seems complete enough by itself, so one does not have to read the first book to enjoy this one.
First let me offer two caveats: 1) If you are a Muslim, you will likely be offended by this book; and 2) a good deal of the pages are devoted to graphic sexual encounters. The former often seems unavoidable in these novels unless one denies where terrorists come from, but I think it could have been handled with more sensitivity. The latter can give or take a star depending on whether the reader gets off on that kind of thing. The lovemaking interrupts the plot in many places, although it's an essential element of the supernatural Zombeast. Since this boils down to a matter of personal taste, I didn't deduct a star for the sex, but I think this book makes a great case for putting TV-type rating labels on book covers.
One thing that surprised me was that even though Brown is a journalist, this book was badly lacking the polish of editing. (Perhaps the other published version is better.) In every instance, "devise" was used when "device" was meant; a character named Katerina is spelled "Katrina" (that's creepy) depending on what chapter it's in. Brown's engineering background manifests itself when he lists the brand and model of every aircraft and vehicle mentioned (there is a LOT of flying here and there in this book). It gets rather tedious, as these details aren't necessary.
One might ask what the 3 stars are for, then. This book is a page-turner, in spite of its faults. The primary purpose of a novel is entertainment, and HOT SAND AND COLD BLOOD provides that. The plot has some interesting twists, and Brown does not leak hints about how it will end until just before it gets there.
I did not like the characters in the book because their values don't jibe with mine. The supernatural parts had great imagery; I wish the book had more of that.