Mini review: Revenge (a Travis Mays novel) by Mark Young

Author: Mark Young
Title: Revenge
Genre: thriller novel
Form: e-book
Target audience: adults

Why I read it:

I was sent a copy of this book by the author, free of charge. In return I promised to write an unbiased review. As simple as that 🙂 Without further ado, here how it goes:


Travis Mays, the main protagonist, teaches criminology classes at a local university in Idaho. He used to be a police investigator but he left after a tragic death of an informer who also happened to be a woman he loved. Now he thinks he escaped it all, hiding in the picturesque mountains near Lochsa River. Unfortunately the past won’t let him enjoy the quiet life as people connected to his last investigation are being murdered left right and centre. The deadly series is started, surprisingly, by somebody not exactly involved – the son of the tribal police chief, Tommy White Eagle, a lawyer who, among other clients, dealt with local casino owner. His sister, Jessie, and her father ask Travis to help the police solve the murder. Travis reluctantly agrees but soon enough his motivation will get to a definitely higher level as Jessie, his new love interest, is being targeted by the killer as well.

What I liked:

– the scenery of this novel was original and interesting to me (but, as I am not an American, I suppose it’s easy to make me feel so)
– some twists and turns of the plot were really unexpected
– the beginning was a bit slow but then I enjoyed the pace of narration
– the baddie’s characteristic was nicely done (I like baddies with some sense and psychological background)
– the author evidently did a lot of research, everything sounded more or less believable
– although the book was self-published it was edited impeccably – no typos or other mistakes (well-done Mrs Young!)

What I didn’t like:

– at the beginning the book seemed a bit bland and schematic (but I do admit it got better after first 100 pages)
– I am not a Tom Cruise fan so comparing the main protagonist’s looks to that actor didn’t warm me to him, quite the opposite in fact (if you hear some snarling right now don’t worry, it’s only me)
–  there seemed to be a bit too much talking when I expected action.
– the characterization was a bit flat.
– the narration could have been a bit edgier from time to time.

Final verdict:

This novel I would place somewhere in the middle – it wasn’t very bad and it wasn’t very good either. I would buy it to read on a plane but I wouldn’t regret leaving it there. What I lacked? Some distinctive traits and style, something that would distinguish this thriller from the other thrillers around. Overall I don’t regret reading it but I wish it was a bit different.

A view you can fall in love with – Sawtooth Mountains.
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15 Responses to Mini review: Revenge (a Travis Mays novel) by Mark Young

  1. Mark Young says:

    Thank you for your candid review. As a writer, I try to learn from other's opinions, making the next novel even harder for readers to set aside. I hope you won't be able to leave my next novel, Off The Grid (December 2011)on the next plane ride you take.

  2. anachronist says:

    Thanks a lot for visiting and commenting Mark. When I started reviewing books (not so long ago) I promised myself to be honest and I try to do that. I believe there is no better thing than a constructive criticism, no matter what you do. Be sure I will check your next book!

  3. Tracy says:

    I'm not a fan of Tom Cruise either, so that would put me off too!

  4. Tom Cruise is too clean cut for me. Even before the Scientology madness, I thought he was wound up a little too tight for my liking. It would definitely put me off too.

  5. anachronist says:

    That's why I would never put a 'template' look on any of my characters, saying e.g. that he/she looks like, say Mel Gibson, Cameron Diaz or Beyonce. I would describe them and let the imagination of readers fill the gaps. It's only me, though, I am in no position to advise professional writers.I hated Tom Cruise the first time I saw him in a movei. I don't know why. Too much symetry I guess.

  6. Blodeuedd says:

    Lol, yes telling how he looks like Cruise would not do it for me either ;)But wow, those mountains, just wow

  7. anachronist says:

    Blodeuedd you managed to express my thoughts very precisely. Just wow. I would love to visit.

  8. Plus, I think when you refer to celebs like that, you date your work. A hundred years from now, will people know who Tom Cruise is? Would you want to be the one responsible for people knowing who he is a hundred years from now?

  9. Aw… poor Tommy boy. 😉 lolVery good honest review. For me, it is hard to write one on the rez as not many people really do the research from that pov. It's hard to get an inside view unless you are well acquainted with people from the rez. So, just that fact alone makes me cautious, but it has nothing to do with this particular novel, I'm cautious that way with any like that.

  10. Lol! I remember there was a day when Tom Cruise made every woman swoon.Sounds like an interesting novel.

  11. anachronist says:

    The Red Witch very true, it's even worse than technology.Melissa I've heard Native Americans keep themselves to themselves but the author apparently knew some of them personally. Brooke it used to be a Tom Cruise craze, that's true. I still considered him strange.

  12. Tracy says:

    Once, just once, I'd like to read a novel where the characters' physical appearance isn't discussed at all – unless it really is essential to the plot – then we can all use our imagination, and base our reaction to them purely on what they say and how they act (says the average-looking, maybe??, short-arse with the curly hair – albeit natural – and glasses)

  13. I only liked Tom very briefly for that dancing scene in Risky Business, otherwise he was just too straight.

  14. I know that feeling about it being a pretty good but just wishing it was different anyway. There have been a few out there. Would of been better if this happened or the ending was just a bit different. Perhaps, I should write but I know I can't so I just read and hope I don't judge too hardly because a book is not for everyone.Please do feel free to stop by to see the Cover Reveal of The Rift Walker. Mad ScientistSteampunkery & Book ReviewsFor The L♥ve of Reading

  15. anachronist says:

    It's difficult not to discuss a character's physical appearance in a book at all but I do know what you are talking about, Tracy.I can relate, Mad Scientist, I can totally relate. The cover of the Rift Walker is really nice.

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