Review of “The Razor”

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Book Reviews – “The Razor” eBook was published in 2018 (November) and was written by J. Barton Mitchell (http://jbartonmitchell.com). Mr. Mitchell has published five novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in the far future. Humanity has spread throughout the stars and one planet, Razor, has been designated as a prison planet for the galaxy’s most dangerous criminals. The main character is Marcus Flynn, a brilliant engineer.

Flynn has been sentenced to Razor, though he contends that he has been set up. Being sentenced to Razor is usually a one-way trip, and conditions there are severe and the work dangerous. .nexpectedly ‘Lost Prophet’ – a catastrophic failure – is declared and before long most guards and civilians have been evacuated from the planet surface. The prisoners though are expendable and are left behind.

Chaos and anarchy reign as the prisoners free themselves and struggle to gain power and settle old grudges. They may have only days left before the barely habitable zone on Razor ceases to exist. Flynn may have an answer, but he must ally himself with murderers, assassins, pirates, and smugglers in order to survive and find a solution.

Will Flynn and his allies survive long enough to save the planet, and more importantly themselves? What will the hidden secrets of Razor they uncover mean for their future? Will there be any kind of future with the young woman Flynn has met, or will she turn on him and slit his throat? Even if Flynn is able to save the planet, will there be any future for those sentenced to Razor?

I enjoyed the 10.5+ hours I spent reading this 400-page science fiction thriller. While this is science fiction, because of the dark setting for much of the story and the savages that Flynn and his allies must face, this almost has a horror feel to it. It also reminded me of some of the first person shooter computer games I have watched my son play where you must make your way through some deserted facility filled with crazies that want to kill you. I do like the characters and would enjoy reading a sequel to this novel. The cover art is OK. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

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