Wednesday, September 11, 2013

REVIEW: Spook Squad by Jordan Castillo Price

Spook Squad (PsyCop, #7) Spook Squad by Jordan Castillo Price
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

CAUTION: spoilers, rant

Man, what a disappointment. I pray to Cthulhu this is not the last book of the Psycop series because it would be a GIANT disappointment. GIANT. “Throwing the book across the room” giant. It took me a few books into the series before I finally liked one enough where I could firmly rate it 3-stars without waffling between 2-stars and 3-stars and get a streak of solid good books running. That fun ride sure ended quickly because book 7 put me back to waffling with the rating. Correction: there wasn’t even waffling so it was worse. Did I mention Spook Squad is book 7? I don’t expect every book of the series to hit the mark, but once you hit book 3 of a long series, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a minimum of... Well, I don’t know what the right word to use here so I’m going to say “quality” ill-fitted as it is. Maybe “entertainment”? You get the idea.

Things I Didn’t Like

The biggest problem I had with book 7 was the pacing. It was slow as a snail. The speed did not pick up till the last third of the book, and even then, yikes. There was just no hiding the problem that the plot MEANDERED. I knew Victor paying his debt to FPMP with an exorcism wasn’t going to be a simple task, obviously. However, the way the plot tried to make the matter a complicated task was strained and convoluted. I love head games but the head games between Dreyfuss and Vic in book 7 were inane and unbelievably dull.

Now, I wouldn’t have minded the plot much if there were “good” interactions between Victor and Jacob. By good, I mean scenes with relationship development, emotional connections, and maybe a few physical connections to satisfy my smut cravings. Intimacy, essentially. There was barely any intimacy in the book. The mm-romance aspect was halfway to nonexistent much, much to my dismay. There was one romance scene, a pretty lengthy sex scene to boot (woot!), but it was token.

My goodness, Vic and Jacob didn’t even have the talk about why Jacob joined the FPMP. Considering book 6 ended on that plot twist, I would have thought book 7 would begin with the talk. Instead, what I read was Jacob having the talk with Carolyn, his ex-police partner. She appeared in the beginning and disappeared after a couple chapters, never to be seen again for the rest of the book. What the hell? There was no resolution with Carolyn whatsoever and it bugged me.

What bugged me Ten Times More was Vic. Dude fucking regressed a handful steps back to his junkie ways, trying to score pills off of Dreyfuss. Uh, I thought we were fucking past that. Apparently, not. *facedesk* I know drug addiction is a life-long battle, but ugh. This was just... I can’t... Stupid! It’s book fucking 7. S-E-V-E-N. I wanted to smack Vic on the back of his head for not taking Dreyfuss up on his offer to recieve alternative medicine that would come with no string and no cost to Victor except only his time and patience. Aaack. Damn you, Victor. I know, I know. Flawed protagonist and all that shit. But this was some maddening shit.


Lisa and Dreyfuss dating, WHAT THE FUCK? Then at the end they got engaged? What?!!! Contrived doesn’t even begin to describe this shit. What the hell was Lisa thinking? Oh right, she wasn’t thinking. Woman was camping out in Vic and Jacob’s living room in a fucking tent like some hobo, I kid you not. Suffice to say, I was very disappointed in Victor and Jacob for not doing enough by Lisa. Not to say they didn’t try to help Lisa (they did), but they could have done way more in my opinion. Woman needed a fucking intervention!

Runner up on the list of issues I had with Vic, second place to his junkie ways, was his gross insensitivity towards Richie. I was astounded and irritated how Victor did not know Richie had a developmental disability till now in book 7. How oblivious can he be? And this a fucking detective character and a character who have known Richie since teenage-hood back in their Camp Hell years, my goodness. All this time Vic just thought Richie had a horrible odd personality? *facedesk* Casual ableism: NO.

Speaking about Richie, what was up with him quitting FPMP at the end of the book? The portrayal of FPMP led me to believe no one could actually quit, especially psychics because the agency needs all the psychics they could get, especially those like Richie who have some exorcist capabilities even if it’s mostly just BS. Beside, how would Richie support himself? Because it was not as if he could do anything else. Why am I the only one who seem to give an actual fuck about Richie? FFS.

To replace Richie, Vic joined the FPMP after so much hate for the agency. *raise hands* I give up.

Things I Did Like

I did like how there was little of Crash in book 7. I loathe the character.

I liked Dreyfuss’s character development. Nice to see dude wasn’t all that bad and that the FPMP wasn’t this evil secret government agency who disappeared people as I was half-led to believe. Not say they don’t do such things, but it’s never a matter of black and white.

In Conclusion

I rate Spook Squad 2-stars for it was okay. Book 7 is undoubtedly one of the worst books in the PsyCop series. Despite the rantiness of my review, I was mostly bored with the book, believe it or not. Each issue I had with the book by itself wasn’t bad enough to make me mad. At the very most, I was irritated. However, when put together to write my review, that’s when I got mad.

The short version of it: book 7 was boring and bullshitty.

*Buddy-read with Dlee.

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