Cover for Unfettered II taken from its Amazon buy page for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine.

Spoiler Free Summary:  Bulletproof by Mark Lawrence is the sixteenth story in the Unfettered II Anthology.  The story is set in a sort of alien western world. There are fantasy creatures and alien creatures, but it’s all set in a western age civilization. Mikos (I think. This is an audio book, so I have to spell by sound),  is about to watch a gunfight. That battle will determine who is in charge of the town, which is a foothold of the planet aliens intend to use.

Character:  I like the characters in this story. They’re sympathetic and proactive, which is all I really want out of any character. Mikos is a young boy (I think), and his father was the sheriff not too long ago. A story this short really demanded the listener to keep track of a bunch of faces, races, and terms. 

Exposition: I actually think this needed a bit more exposition. I’m glad the story didn’t drag down, and I don’t necessarily think all the pacing issues would be resolved by exposition, but I definitely could have used a bit more here. 

Worldbuilding: This was the other area I felt was lacking. The author just sort of forces you to go with whatever is happening. This may be because the story is from a larger series, which would make some sense. Still this story didn’t rank higher in my opinion because I just didn’t really know what was going on, and by the time I had a grasp on just what I needed to enjoy this story, it was over. There were so many cool details and implications in this story, and I felt a bit left out of all that cool information.

This image of Mr. Lawrence was taken from his website for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine. 

Dialogue: This was good. Each character sounded unique. The conversations advanced the plot without sounding like author explanation. 

Description: This is probably where the story shines. The action sequences were cool.  The town felt real. The creatures and aliens all felt real. Like I said, listening to this story felt more like I was listening to an excerpt of a bigger story than the entirety of one. I had a glimpse into this really cool world and concept, but I never got to investigate it the way I wanted. 

Overall: This story is worth a listen. If you’ve read Lawrence’s work before and know if this is part of a series or bigger story, please let me know. This tale is one of the better ones in the anthology, but it wasn’t one of the best.  

Thanks for reading




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