Book Title: Quick-Kill & The Galactic Secret Service: Omnibus Edition
Author: K.J. Heritage
Publication Date: April 1, 2020
Available On: Amazon as an eBook and as a paperback
Indie Athenaeum Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Quick-Kill Jane is a top-level assassin for hire, sought out for missions on the planet Plenty. Turning her targets into piles of ash (!), she is cunning, ruthless, and technologically savvy in customizing her own gear and weaponry. But when she takes on a job in killing a high-level data cracker named Rollo, she gets more than she bargained for.
Now possessing Rollo’s secrets, she finds herself running afoul of the Cabal, a collective of criminal organizations! Inadvertently, she also gains the attention of the Galactic Secret Service and now, both are out to get her! Who will get to her first?
This is only the beginning of a larger adventure for Quick-Kill that spans many assignments on many planets. Forced into the servitude of the Galactic Secret Service, she goes on missions trying to destabilize local governments and infiltrate a family criminal organization called the Gilligans. But when the tables are turned on Quick-Kill, will she be able to survive the encounter to mete out revenge?
The swift pacing of this book makes it move at a speed that makes the pages fly by. The variety of adventures change as fast as the plot does. From an assassination job to retrieving an asset to robbing banks, being recruited by the criminal underground, and stealing government property, Quick-Kill is always on the move. Each adventure involved different tasks with varying levels of success and unforeseen setbacks along the way.
Quick-Kill unexpectedly finds herself enjoying these missions and the different skill sets she must use to survive and try to succeed in each one. Each adventure is different from one another and the story is always fresh, interesting, and surprising in several ways.
As hard as I tried, I couldn’t predict where the story would go next and it defied my expectations at every turn. This makes for much tension, excitement, and suspense in not knowing where the story would go next. The whole story is like this, but the finale of this novel is especially so.
The finale is the cherry on top of this delicious confection of a novel that unfolds at an even faster breakneck pace than everything that came before. And it doesn’t let go until all its secrets are uncovered and I found myself applauding the strategy used to that bring about the awesome conclusion.
The character of Quick-Kill lives up to her reputation and then some. She’s a femme fatale, a super spy, an assassin, and a technological genius. She has her own personal code of conduct that she lives by, but it doesn’t hamper her ability to get the job done.
Though you would think that a novel like this might skip out on the characterization in favor of all the pew-pew action, it actually goes gives you both in just the right amounts. Part of Quick-Kill’s history is that she was an orphan who didn’t even know who her parents were. Living on the streets, she built herself up from a nobody into a top-level assassin.
She also has emotions and a desire for closeness in relationships without being ensnared by them, as it’s a potential pitfall in her profession. But she doesn’t let them get in the way, either. She enjoys quickie relationships, can recognize her own desires and satiates them in the ways that bring her satisfaction.
This novel has a James Bond vibe to it, with all the requisite sci-fi spy toys that come with this genre. Quick-Kill enjoys all the tools of her profession, from custom-made grenades, a special exo-suit with nanomesh armor, special batteries that power her potent lasers, and more. There are complete body disguises, special pheromones, and even special DNA resequencing and treatments.
Also, she has an enhanced cerebral wafer that she uses to enhance her computer skills and augments her brainpower. There is even an artificial intelligence that runs her special starship that’s called a ceph.
You would think that an assassin with access to all this technology would make her invincible. She is highly skilled, very competent, and extremely deadly but she is still a human being underneath all of that technology. With all the frailties and mistakes that humans make, she can still be wounded and outsmarted by what she isn’t aware of.
She can underestimate her targets or get in deep over her head with no hope of escaping alive as well. But how she inventively succeeds, utilizes her intelligence, and uses this technology is one of the many pleasures to be enjoyed in this novel.
This omnibus is a collection of the previously published, four-part “Quick-Kill” serial, now in one volume. The serial format lends itself to quicker, bite-sized novellas and in its omnibus format, gives the novel a rapid pace with the way the story is structured and written.
The entire novel is like a series of well-executed moves in an exquisite game of chess. There’s plenty of violent mayhem, plot reversals, major developments, and out of left field revelations that completely make sense once all the juicy details are shared with the reader.
This is a thrilling, very fun, high energy, imaginative, and vigorously entertaining novel! It combines several genres such as science fiction and westerns into an assassin/spy story that gave me whiplash with all the different twists and turns it took. Then, it blends it all together into a rollicking action-adventure novel. If the author wanted to, I would be interested in reading more adventures about Quick-Kill Jane.
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