Featured Review: The Lost Identity Casualties by Kim Ekemar

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CataclysmicKnight
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Featured Review: The Lost Identity Casualties by Kim Ekemar

Post by CataclysmicKnight » 20 Mar 2016, 21:30

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Lost Identity Casualties" by Kim Ekemar.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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It's early 2008. A man awakens, not realizing who he is, how he ended up wrapped in bandages and tied to a bed or who the people in the fancy hospital are. Like any good mystery, the reader is as confused and worried as Matthias Callaghan III, and every interaction he has could be a lie. It doesn't take long for us to find out why his hands are so fully wrapped - he has no fingers. As if this isn't horrific enough, the worst surprise of all is to come - his face has been replaced by another's because his had been cut to shreds so severely it was unfixable. But what happened to Matthias and how will he recover as someone he doesn't even recognize in the mirror?

The Lost Identity Casualties has these mysteries to solve and so many more. Part mystery and part revenge story, there's a lot that happens in barely over 200 pages, and it's all woven together with interesting characters and a fantastic amount of creativity. The book is broken into two parts - the first, in which we learn not only of Callaghan's circumstances and past but also the pasts of several other important characters, and the second where Callaghan attempts his calculated revenge. Both parts are equally successful, with detailed characters whose histories I was actually excited to read about and revenge that was more than deserved. Various sections are broken up via dates, making the flow of events easier to follow, and in the first part of the book all of the present events are italicized.

In a book with so many characters, all with completely separate motives and wild pasts, it's usually easy to confuse characters. Even for someone as forgetful as I am, I rarely had trouble - characters actually felt different and names were never too similar - and the handy list of characters (and a sentence that helps the reader remember who they are, all categorized!) that precedes the book solved any issues I had. I counted up to 50 characters before giving up, and there are easily double that many, with characters from the entire Tetralogy. This is something I wish every book would do; it's such a little thing in concept but so helpful while reading. As an aside on characters, one of my favorite things in the book was snuck in - during one of the criminal's pasts, he deals with two people named Ronnie and Reggie Kray. These names sounded very familiar, so I Googled them and they're the criminal twins at the heart of the movie Legend. While Ronnie and Reggie are nonfictional criminals, and the book is entirely fictional, sneaking something from reality in like that was a fun addition even if they're barely mentioned over a page or two. I noticed, nice try to sneak that by me!

As I mentioned, The Lost Identity Casualties is part of a Tetralogy of books. As someone who enjoyed this first entry so much, I was so excited to find out all three of the other books are already available - nothing is worse than waiting to find out what's going to happen next! The Lost Identity Casualties wraps up well, it doesn't suffer from "this is a series, so none of the books are going to have a satisfying end" syndrome, but I'm still psyched to see what else can come from Callaghan's exploits.

No book is perfect, however, and The Lost Identity Casualties is no exception to the rule. There were typos every few pages or so, and while I was always excited to find out what would happen next, the book was missing that magical element that makes it impossible to resist. A 4 star book makes me miss it when I have to walk away, and that wasn't quite the case for me. That's not to say the book wasn't awesome, or that I don't absolutely recommend it, however; The Lost Identity Casualties is easily worthy of 3 out of 4 stars. Heck, if we rated out of 10, it would get a 9 - it takes a lot of skill to bring so many interesting characters together, explore their histories, build a great main character, plot out some wild revenge plots and watch what happens, all while making some fascinating points about the follies of greed and pride. This one genuinely feels not only like a book that folks should read, but one that could easily be discussed.

******
The Lost Identity Casualties
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Post by chytach18- » 22 Mar 2016, 11:19

I enjoyed reading your review, CataclysmicKnight. You managed not to get lost among so many characters. Well done! And well done to Kim Ekemar.
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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 23 Mar 2016, 09:35

Sounds like a very interesting book with a fascinating protagonist. I hope I get the chance to read it. Great job on the review.

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Post by kimekemar » 23 Mar 2016, 18:45

Dear CataclysmicKnight:

Thank you for your overall positive review. There are, however, some things I don't agree with:

"There were typos every few pages or so." This is simply not correct. A professional editor went over the manuscript with strict instructions that all British expressions and spellings should remain in place. (Colour vs. color, travelling vs. traveling, recognise vs. recognize, favourable vs. favorable, etc.) Although I understand that an American reader like yourself may find this "distracting", the use of British English is nevertheless logical considering that the main setting is the UK, the protagonist is British, as are many of the main characters.

Another error is when you state that "all of the present events are italicized". Throughout the text in italics mark thoughts.

I find your reasoning assigning stars bemusing: "If we rated out of 10, it would get a 9". Now, 9 out of 10 is 90%, while 3 out of 4 is 75%. Mathematically speaking 90% is closer to 100% (i.e. 4 stars) than it is to 75% (i.e. 3 stars). Still you took a star off. Nevertheless, I respect your choice.

As for the vague disappointment you express at the end of your review ("… the book was missing that magical element that makes it impossible to resist …") – despite all the flattering praise preceding it – I recommend you to read the three sequels in the Callaghan Tetralogy. I'm certain you will find plenty of magical elements that will prevent you from putting them down.

PS The opinion I find most interesting in your review is: "This one genuinely feels not only like a book that folks should read, but one that could easily be discussed." How about getting a discussion going?

All the best,

Kim Ekemar

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Post by RussetDivinity » 23 Mar 2016, 18:54

This book sounds interesting, even if it isn't quite my thing. Great review!
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Post by bookowlie » 24 Mar 2016, 08:44

I enjoyed reading your insightful review. Thanks for pointing that the characters were easy to keep track of, since that is sometimes not the case with books that have a lot of characters. The premise of the book looks interesting.
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Post by CrescentMoon » 24 Mar 2016, 20:43

I really love these types of stories. Mystery and revenge is really hard to resist and this sounds just like that. Great and insightful review!
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Post by gali » 01 May 2016, 09:20

Sounds like an intriguing story. 50 characters? Wow? A large cast.

Congratulations to the author on the positive review. :)
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by kimekemar » 01 May 2016, 10:15

Actually there are about 120 characters in the four books of the series, Gali, but 22 of them make up the main characters. You can read more about this on the review of "The Complete Callaghan Tetralogy" here on OBC.

PS "The Lost Identity Casualties is today's book-of-the-day!

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Post by gali » 01 May 2016, 11:42

kimekemar wrote:Actually there are about 120 characters in the four books of the series, Gali, but 22 of them make up the main characters. You can read more about this on the review of "The Complete Callaghan Tetralogy" here on OBC.

PS "The Lost Identity Casualties is today's book-of-the-day!

120?? Wow! I have read and commented on the other review. Thank you. :)
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by hsimone » 01 May 2016, 15:20

Wonderful review, CataclysmicKnight! This sounds like quite an interesting read. I can't decide if I'm intrigued by the face changing aspect of this story or weirded out. :lol: Nonetheless, sounds like a great read!

It's good to know that the amount of characters do not get confusing as you read the book!

Congratulations to the author for receiving a great review and being Book of the Day! :D
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Post by smarter » 01 May 2016, 15:59

I'm also someone who easily gets confused when there are a lot of characters to deal with and 50 sounds overwhelming but it's comforting to know that there's a handy list to refer to! Your review makes me want to read the book, even though the genre really isn't my thing.

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Post by 1_2_5_am » 01 May 2016, 19:06

WOW! This is such a hearty review! I love it! :D
, there's a lot that happens in barely over 200 pages,


OMG! I figured this would be a super long book! Thankfully the rest of the tetralogy was available after you read the first installment!!

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Post by Rachaelamb1 » 01 May 2016, 20:48

I like how you explained about being able to keep track of the characters even though there are a lot of them!
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Post by tracey clark » 19 Jul 2016, 15:59

very cool...

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