The Living Legend
by Emma Wayne Porter, contemporary (2007)
Samhain Publishing, $6.50, ISBN 1-59998-074-6

The Living Legend revolves around this super-secret organization called Sanction. You don't join Sanction, you get drafted into it - think Section One from the TV show La Femme Nikita. Our hero Patrick Mancini or Trick is the "Acquisition Specialist" who steals things while our heroine Kate Crawford is the do-gooder. Needless to say, if you ask each of them what Sanction means to them, they will give you two different answers.

Trick has served Sanction for 18 years and have put up with the boss William Ormond's antagonistic attitude, counting the days when he can be a free man. However, he learns from an injured ally that William is planning to let Trick leave only in a body bag. Trick is being set up to become the target of a bunch of assassins known as the Kretts. Also, Trick learns that there are some potential evidence that his mother's death 18 years ago may not be completely accidental. With that, Trick is on a warpath as he looks for answers. His quest to discover William Ormond's secrets also puts him back in the path of Kate, his ex-girlfriend who is also the niece of Ormond.

The Living Legend has all the ingredients to be an edge-of-seat suspenseful read but unfortunately I find this one way too easy to put aside. The characters are pretty fine as they are, although a part of me keeps thinking cynically that I have seen these characters in TV shows in the past, only with different names of course. Even that teenage hacker David meant to provide comic relief has me thinking that I like Birkoff better when he's on that TV show.

The bigger problem though is Ms Porter's writing style - it doesn't really fit the story, I feel. Maybe it's just me, but I find that the pacing in this story is a little off. The story doesn't really attain the sense of urgency that is needed. The story is paced in such a way that things feel more relaxed than they should be.

The Living Legend is a readable story. There is nothing specifically wrong with it. However, I find it hard to get into the story. It doesn't feel as fast-paced or exciting as it should be. The momentum isn't there, and as a result, I never really could warm up to this one at the end of the day.

Rating: 70

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