Review: Dukkha Unloaded by Loren W. Christensen

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Publisher: YMAA
Publishing Date: June 2014
ISBN: 9781594392832
Genre: Mystery
Rating: 1.7/5

Publisher Description: Detective Sam Reeves is barely seated in a cab when he learns that during his two-week trip in Southeast Asia, hate crimes have rocked his city of Portland, including one very brutal lynching. As the crimes continue, thousands of fearful protestors march the streets, clashing with police and demanding more be done to put an end to the escalating violence!

Review: Nice cover art, although the caliber bullets don’t look like they belong to that gun.

Honestly, I had a hard time finishing this novel due to the lengthy dialogue that took up more than 2/3 of the novel. Blah, blah, blah race this, hate crime that and poor bully stories. All tendered to generate some kind of emotional angst and self-righteous indignation in the reader. Only it doesn’t. Rather than draw you into the characters and story-line, you’re left with a tired rendition of hate that has been overplayed. This constant pummeling of the race card, which is myriad in this novel, doesn’t move you as it should. It is a blame based conflagration with no real sentiment other than vengeful pride.

I get that in order to sell books you have to put yourself out there. The “I am a martial artist so I know” is anathema to the art. This is, IMHO, is an Americanized perspective on martial arts which is largely ego driven. There are a lot of writers out there that preface their work with being an expert martial artist much to their detriment. My advice is to just write.

The writing is good yet the characters are thinly developed and lack depth. The story-line is just tired and suffers from over-abuse. Characters really come to life when movement (action) is coupled with character discovery. The stresses of the action reveals the character under pressure and subsequently the reader is immersed. Pure dialogue doesn’t evoke or pull emotions from the reader. Pure dialogue leaves the reader flat.

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