Sunday, July 24, 2016

Mark Park and the Flume of Destiny by Brian Olsen

Synopsis From Publisher:

Mark Park is model-handsome and strong as an ox, but thinking has never been his strong suit.  When everyday machinery turns murderous, Mark will have to strain his brain to keep his friends and family safe.  An amusement park holds a deadly secret and his roommates are in for the rides of their lives, but Mark will have to venture alone into a whole new world, a world where all his strength is useless and only his underused intellect can save the day. Can Mark solve the mystery of the flume before the people he loves are lost to him forever?

I think most of you guys already know about my childhood years spent traveling with a carnival, so when I figured out that an amusement park is one of the star attractions of the book, I couldn't wait to dig in.  I had already read the two previous books, and I fell in love with the roommates and this weird mix of science fiction, urban fantasy, and horror.  The fact that the author has a twisted sense of humor that is evident on every single page, and I knew I would love this one just as much as I did the first two.  I was right.

Mark is one of those guys that can get any woman he wants, and he has, but it's not enough for him anymore.  The events over the last two books has Mark thinking towards the future, and he's tired of sleeping with random women, and not remembering their names the next day.  He's not sure what he wants out of a relationship, or even out of life, but he knows that what he's been doing, isn't working anymore.  It's with this confused outlook on life that Mark is forced to deal with yet another extensional threat to the human race.

This time around he, the rest of the roommates, and their friends, are facing another incarnation of the artificial intelligence born out of Amalgamated Synergy, except this time around "she" has a younger brother.  That's right, another company has spawned it's own mind controlling entity, and this time around he like makes machines do whatever he wants them to do.  Add in the mad scientist from the previous book who is intent on building doppelganger clones of the first mind controlling monster and a dead actress, and the roommates are in trouble.  They have to face a brain erasing carnival ride, a visit from Mark's multi-cultural family, explosions, a body count larger than the two previous books put together, out of control construction equipment, betrayals out the wazoo, and the lead human bad guy, that I'm still in love with, but just can't seem to get his act together.  I really do understand where he is coming from, and I feel so bad for the pain he goes through in this book, but what he's doing is wrong.  He's fighting fire with fire, and the fire he's using, can't be controlled.

But it's Mark that's the star of this show, and boy does he pull it off.  He tests himself in ways that I'm not sure he thought he would be able to pass.  I'm actually pretty sure he was expecting to fail this one.  He saves everyone else, and is ready to get lost in the shuffle, but he shows a strength of will that surprises everyone, himself included.  He comes out stronger for it, and he quickly became my favorite of the four roommates.
Other Books in the Series:

Alan Lennox and the Temp Job of Doom
Caitlin Ross and the Commute from Hell


Susan said...

Great Review,as usual Ryan!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh this sounds like a series I would enjoy. I also love the sound of the twists. I can see why this character became a favorite and I think you have me very curious about it. Brilly review.