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Born To Bleed


Ryan C. Thomas

Born To Bleed
average rating is 2 out of 5

Horror, Thriller

R. Alex Jenkins

I already knew I wasn't going to like this very much. There's something about the writing style that makes it feel like an obligated sequel rather than a work of passion. There's too much badly crafted filler.

It's difficult to explain what happened, but after loving The Summer I Died and making a steady start, I suffered from badly magnetic procrastination and avoidance, in some ways wishing I'd never started! Perhaps my Spidey sense warding me off?

It never stops the constant references to the previous book, continuously piggybacking off its success rather than seeking new ideas. To its credit, it reminded me of Reservoir Dogs and the banter and retort that its famous for, but not in a skillful way. The most curious thing is the absence of humor, which bounded along in the original. BTB takes itself too seriously and is the opposite of what made the first book excellent.

This reeks of a sequel based on the success of the original, not a naturally well-thought-out continuation. I will struggle to read more Ryan C. Thomas books after this.

There are some positives:

I like the bleak pointlessness of it all. Situations reach their lowest ebb where most of us break down and give in, but somehow decide to keep on going. We all feel like that at times, like there's no point, but keep pushing on regardless. Sometimes you have to... and there’s little point over thinking things. Rather than being a headless chicken or a regimented ant, it comes from inner determination to keep on going when the chips are down. Find it within, shut down the pain and just get on with it when the odds are stacked against us. It’s a commendable part of this book.


The book goes from being a bit farfetched to full-metal-jacket ridiculous, unfortunately. Going total Rambo and cheesy Steven Segall to become monotonous and boring while it's at it. Daft more than shocking and badly written in places, with poor use of pronouns, bad perspectives, unrealistic action, over-the-top gore, nothing like the first book at all, but quite a bad read. Our geeky guy who once struggled to survive, becomes super-nerd, a wonder fella able to withstand unlimited pain and coolly rationalize at the same time. What did I just read?

Cops don't exist. There are no crime scenes, people do what they want in parallel gore-ridden universes with no seemingly obvious consequences. Little tension but stacks of filler intead, repeat references to book one and, overall, an unsatisfactory and silly conclusion. I knew this wasn't going to be as good as The Summer I Died, but from 5 stars down to 2? No thank you, book three!

Look, man, I cared about you in book one, wanted things to work out, but now I don't give a crap. Guns akimbo, the lone warrior, whack-a-mole on the baddies, save some bitches, seize the day and get your console trophies. I don't care anymore. I didn't like this at all! When the action and plausibility get as ridiculous as this it becomes a joke, and the author knows it too, constantly justifying or explaining situations away, making it up on the spot, somehow finding excuses to keep on going with the narrative.

The Summer I Died is terrific. This is not!

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