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Busted Flush (2008)

Busted Flush (2008)

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3.68 of 5 Votes: 5
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0765317826 (ISBN13: 9780765317827)
Tor Books

About book Busted Flush (2008)

You know how world leaders nowadays always look so aged by the years in power? This is a book about that. Inside Straight was almost too pat in showing extraordinary people rejecting hollow celebrity to save lives; its sequel is the payoff, reminding us where good intentions lead. Everyone here is tired, not just the heroes but the agents of the status quo ranged against them, and most of all the triple agent playing both sides against each other. Who is also the book's biggest flaw because, for all her other gifts, it seems Melinda Snodgrass can't write Brits. Surely it's fairly common knowledge that we say 'autumn'? This one also solves the mystery of the completely off blurb of Inside Straight. Apparently, as the two books kinda form a series, the publishers though one blurb for two books would be enough.Busted Flush is set one year after Inside straight and picks up most of the same characters, with some additions:Ellen /Cameo can channel dead people through personal objects, and enters a pretty weird relationship between herself, the ghost of Aliyah/Simoon, and Jonathan Hive.Niobe/Genetrix, a joker who lays a clutch of 2-4 eggs through an ovipositor shaped like a rat tail after having sex (even with a sterile man). The eggs then hatch tiny children with ace or joker powers.There are 3 main storylines, although they overlap sometimes.The riots in the Middle East caused a fuel shortage. In order to regain control over the oil production, the Committee sends a bunch of aces to the Middle East, but things quickly turn pear-shaped, because the local population fights back, and at one point, the characters are ambushed by a bunch of kids with scavenged weapons, whom they have no other choice but to kill.Meanwhile, a hurricane is coming to New Orleans, and another bunch of wild carders try to save the people and shore up the levees against the impending flood. In the course of this, they have to come to terms with an ace who can animate any kind of corpse into zombies, and violently opposes the evacuation of the city, as a lot of poor people are afraid of loosing what little they have while they are away.Also meanwhile, the government of the Congo, now called the People's Paradise of Africa, supported by a psychopath ace called Tom Weathers/The Radical, is starting a bloody war against Nigeria. Some Committee members, in collaboration with the UN, try to find out what is happening, and get caught between the lines of the PPA and Nigerian armies. It is revealed that the PPA employed an extremely powerful ace in the Nigerian army and made him attack the UN forces in order to have an excuse to go to war against the Nigerians.Then there's Niobe/Genetrix, who is being held at a secret government research lab, and forced to give birth to countless of her Joker/ace children. While she initially believes that the researchers want to help extend the lifespan of joker children, who often don't survive it when their card turns, she finds out that actually, they want to create weapons from her children. When she finds out that the government wants to "euthanise" Drake, a young boy who can cause nuclear explosions, she escapes the lab with him, and errs across Texas, trying to find help and fleeing the forces of SCARE.In between all this, Double Helix aka Noel/Lilith/Bahir flits around, following his own various agendas.In the end, all characters meet up in New Orleans on the verge of yet another hurricane. In a hostage exchange, Drake is exchanged for The Radical's daughter, and the SCARE agents turn up to arrest about half of the aces present for helping Niobe and Drake escape earlier. In his panic, Drake goes into nuclear mode. To save the city, Bubbles absorbs the power of the nuclear explosion, which leaves her comatose and blown up to inhuman proportions.In general, I really liked this one. The main storylines are pretty bleak. Where in Inside Straight, there was just a bunch of idealistic kids who wanted to do good, the whole thing has been institutionalised by now. The Committe dispatches its members all around the world to report on or help in crisis situations. While this is commendable, there is an underlying sense of criticism of this "Team America-World Police" (the concept, not the movie) approach. The kids are clearly in over their heads, exhausted and unhappy. I liked Jonathan Hive in this one. He doesn't have the kind of offensive or defensive superpowers as most of the others in the crisis regions, so he gets himself into much more danger than them, and risks getting hurt or permanently losing bits of himself, when his wasps get crushed, while trying to do good.I'm not so sure about Noel (and his various incarnations) though. He's a bit of an Iago, there's never really an explanation about his motivations. He's playing the triple agent, killing people for his employers, but he never seems to think anything about this, or seem to have any opinion except for some sarcasm, about the situation. Fortunately, this changes when he meets Niobe, who makes him a lot more human, as he finds love and full acceptance.All in all, a really good, if not exactly cheerful, collection. :)

Do You like book Busted Flush (2008)?

Enjoyed it a lot. Seems to get better and better with every book.

Not really a 3-star, but not quite a 4-star either.

This new Wild Cards series continues to be good.

loved getting to know double helix better!

Awesomely superheroey as usual.

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