The Venom Protocols
The Venom Protocols is a thriller with a twist on the typical genetically-enhanced military solution gone wrong scenario. Charlotte was all but living on the streets when she jumped into the middle of an alleyway fight. When she came around in hospital, she discovered she’d saved the life of a Mob enforcer – leading to Charlotte becoming the local Mob’s ace-in-the-hole. Unlike most ex-junkie teenage girls, Charlotte had an affinity for any weapon that came handy. Unfortunately those skills came with a price, and Charlotte found herself one unintended massacre ahead of jail-time, trying to find out what made her how she was.
The basic story for the book is a solid classic that fans of the TV show ‘Dark Angel’ will be familiar with, albeit with a semi-mystical twist that adds interest. I found the underlying concept to be good, but the protagonist didn’t really keep my attention; Charlotte read as a bundle of sensory information and not much else, and didn’t elicit much sympathy as a character. The two drag queen secondary characters, Richard and Peter, were the ones that stole the show, to my mind. In addition, there were minor ongoing technical issues in the book. While they weren’t major enough to derail the read completely, they were annoying.
I couldn’t help but feel that this book would have profited from a bit more character development, to draw the reader in, and a detailed copy-edit to keep them from being yanked out of the story by absent punctuation or a clunky bit of phrasing.