2 out of 4 stars
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The Lost Identity Casualties's worse flaw from the get-go is its protagonist. Matthias Callaghan III is smarter than everyone else, wittier than everyone else, always a step ahead, always ready, always fully aware of how his enemies will react. He doesn't begin this way since he can't quite remember who he is or what happened to him, but once his memories are restored, no one can beat him.
The book's first pages are interesting enough, with a mystery being laid out from the very start: What happened to the wounded man restrained to a hospital bed, and why is he bandaged up? Why won't his nurses and doctors answer his question? Is he being kept in that bedroom against his will? Is the woman who visits him truly his wife, or merely taking advantage of the fact that he has lost his memory?
The mystery begins to unravel slowly yet steadily, and in doing so, every character turns into a fool except for the person we're supposed to root for: Matthias. The doctors forget a fundamental fact anyone would have remembered; the evildoers suddenly can't match Matthias' unparalleled brilliance, and the person who got him in this whole mess is revealed to be a bumbling coward. It's all very convenient, and all the pieces seem to fall into place so that the revenge plot being orchestrated by the hero works to perfection.
That being said, I enjoyed The Lost Identity Casualties far more than I imagined I would. Matthias can be annoying at times, but he is a man who gives up everything he owns and loves to execute his vendetta. Seeing his plan come into play is inexplicably satisfying.
Kim Ekemar, The Lost Identity Casualties's author, jumps from the first-person point of view to the more usual third-person description of events with relative ease, which I found refreshing. The characters can be a bit shallow, and their motivations explained too plainly for even the most dim-witted reader to comprehend, yet I enjoyed discovering their backstories and what makes them tick.
Overall, I liked this book, even if I was annoyed by the author's habit of having his villains make dubious mistakes so that Matthias may benefit from these blunders. For these reasons and the frequent -if usually small- grammar mistakes, I rate The Lost Identity Casualties 2 out of 4 stars. It is a recommendable book for those fascinated by revenge, mystery, and gory details but not the general public. Probably not a good fit for younger audiences.
The Lost Identity Casualties
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