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Average: 2 (1 vote)

2labz's picture
Written on Saturday, May 30, 2015
Cons: stupid characters, stupid plot

You gotta feel good for Capt. Jim Chapel: he’s the real deal, a wounded warrior and a hero. He came back from some dusty war without his left arm, and he’s still serving his country. You should be proud of him, though that gets a little hard when he starts wallowing in self-pity.

That’s gonna change, though: the Captain has been chosen for top-secret work by his employer, the DIA. Apparently a group of super-dangerous… criminals? experiments? Busted out of a top-secret compound deep in the Poconos and are now fanning out country-wide looking for eight specific people.

Chapel reasons that the baddies can't jump on a plane without ID so they have to travel by land. He heads for the closest of the eight, but he’s too late. He gets there just in time to see the cops cover a mutilated body as the dead woman’s daughter, Julia, weeps copiously in the next room.

Chapel quickly tracks down the perp and offs him – even though he’s a genetically-modified killing machine. Meanwhile, he figures out that a CIA hitman has Julia in his sights, and manages bed the newly-orphaned DVM. Connected to a wireless "Angel" by a hidden earwig, Jim takes off after the other seven listed victims. While he’s trying to save them  he needs to figure out who let the baddies loose – not to mention figuring out what the Chimera project was all about in the first place. Good think he’s an excellent multitasker…

The first, and sadly not the last, Jim Chapel Mission, Chimera plays to all the tropes of the age of the self-published novel. There’s non-stop action that pauses only for the frequent bedroom scenes. Our hero's foes have genetic modifications that allow them to ignore pain and see in the dark. But no problem: even with one arm tied behind his back, Jim Chapel is up to finding and defeating not just one of these guys but all five Yeah, right…

As one might expect, the Chimera Project story conceals a deep, dark secret, though the discerning reader will catch on the first time author David Wellington nails one of his "clues" up on the page.  Standard tropes are abundant; for example the former hacker working as a government security specialist. The novel’s jammed with stilted dialog, poor research, unrealistic action and laughable scenes. You’d have to improve this by at least 50% to make it worthy of a sequel.

A major reason Jim Chapel doesn't merit a second installment is the author’s difficulty in writing female characters; the characters of Julia Taggart and Angel are particularly bad. I’d be surprised if the average woman reading this rubbish weren’t insulted by Taggart’s behavior;  such as leaping into bed with a near-total stranger less than a day after finding Mom’s dismembered corpse and seeing her receptionist murdered in cold blood. Does that really make women horny? Consider also the disembodied Angel, who insists on calling Chapel "Sweetie” – give us a break, huh? And while you’re at it, give Chimera a wide berth.

That "indifferent research"? Wellington has two people writing out the human genome, longhand, sometime in the 1980s. Since there something like 3,000,000,000 characters in the genome, they wouldn't be done yet: it would have taken them more than 47 years to write, assuming they wrote one character every second, non-stop, 24-7-365. Didn’t happen…

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2labz doesn't recommend Chimera: A Jim Chapel Mission. David Wellington

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