Conspirator's Odyssey
by AK Kuykendall, fantasy (2008)
PublishAmerica, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-60474-275-6

Conspirator's Odyssey is... well, interesting, I suppose. This is meant to be the first book in a series, and it showcases the adventures of Kalista Flaker, a former Special Ops officer who realizes that the people she works for and believes in may just turn out to be the bad guys after all.

In this story, our heroine participates in a special mission to Vietnam where she and her team will have to eliminate a group of Vietnamese POWs. She also has to arrange for the elimination of her own team members. Don't ask. Kalista has no problems with the first mission - killing people who are missing some body parts is always fun, after all - but she balks at the idea of killing her own team members. Her decision doesn't go down well and in the aftermath, let's just say that she is so fired. Kalista is now on the path of righteousness, turning into an amalgamation of Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully as she takes on the big boys who are involved in a project of creating super-soldiers using alien DNA.

There are much more to the plot as the author attempts to tie his plot to pretty much everything that has ever showed up in any handbook of paranormal or unsolved mysteries as well as conspiracies: Area 51, JFK's assassination, 9/11, and more. Being that I am a fan of such matters - don't worry, I find them entertaining but I don't necessarily believe in them, so you can still talk to me without worrying too much about what other people may think - I am actually the right person to target this book to.

However, this The X-Files-like extravaganza suffers from typical self-published book flaws. The characterization is cardboard thin, the dialogs are stilted and artificial, there are serious pacing issues, and there are many noticeable spelling and grammatical mistakes. The author tackles what I believe are way too many subject matters in this story. This book reads like a sprawling labyrinth of badly-garbled conspiracy theories forcibly squashed together into the pages of this book.

The subject matter of the story is one that interests me, but the many technical flaws of this book make this one a pretty hard book to read. The readability factor just isn't there, I'm afraid.

Rating: 43

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