187752781Reviewed by Caleb Shadis

FaceOff is an anthology of 11 different short stories, by 23 famous authors. I was very interested in this book because I recognized quite a few of the authors and heard of a bunch more. I expected it to be a great way to sample new characters that I haven’t had a chance to “meet” yet. I wasn’t disappointed. I will say that the name seemed to be a bit of a misnomer–it kind of implies that characters will be pitted against each other, when most of them they paired up against some foe.

My favorite character in the book (Lucas Davenport) got one of the longest stories in the set which made me very happy. I also found his temporary partner Lincoln Rhyme to be an interesting enough character that I plan on looking up his stories as well.

I have never read a story by Heather Graham or F. Paul Wilson but I was intrigued by both of their characters (Michael Quinn and Repairman Jack). So that is two more series I plan to add to my list of ‘To Read’ books. Apparently, they both tend to have dealing with the supernatural and they have an interesting way of handling situations.

The only story where I knew both of the characters was with Steve Berry’s Cotton Malone and James Rollin’s Gray Pierce. It was interesting seeing them both in a story. However it was pretty obvious that both authors were used to 400+ page stories because it felt extremely rushed (and for these two that is saying something!).

While I found almost every single character worth reading about, the only other two new ones that floated to the top (IMO) was Nick Heller (who was paired with Jack Reacher, another excellent character) and Aloysius Pendergast.

So while I felt this book was a little ‘gimmicky’ and the name for it was misleading, I still enjoyed reading it. It gave me an excellent chance to sample more authors and their leading protagonists. I personally found four new author series I will be actively on the lookout for and a bunch more that won’t pass up if the opportunity presents itself. Excellent sampler for thriller readers!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Meryl L. Moss Media Relations. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.