The Kurtherian Gambit Part 1, Michael Anderle: Review

I discovered this series when a post for Death Becomes Her showed up in my Facebook feed. Since all the books were on Kindle Unlimited, I took a chance and started reading. And kept reading. The first story arc includes Death Becomes Her, Queen Bitch, Love Lost, Bite This, Never Forsaken, Under My Heel and Kneel or Die.

Death Becomes Her introduces Bethany Anne Reynolds, an operative in a black agency who takes grief from no one, her father General Lance Reynolds, and a variety of individuals both human and … not. Bethany Anne’s world is thrown for a loop when she finds she has only six months to live. General Reynold’s world is thrown out of whack when the world’s chief vampire calls in a debt of honor, which can only be paid with Bethany Anne’s life. Both Bethany Anne and her father step up to these challenges and their lives take even weirder turns as the book progresses.

In Queen Bitch, Bethany Anne learns more about her new abilities and begins to define her new role as vampire queen. She works with and gains the devotion of a team fighting against evil, both human and non-human.

Love Lost, Bite This, Never Forsaken, Under My Heel and Kneel or Die continue Bethany Anne’s quest to enhance her team and develop her own spy network, navy, scientific and financial empires. Her ultimate goal is to not only to protect the weak and helpless, but the entire world. Before reaching that goal, however, she has to deal with misbehaving vampires in Central and South America, unruly weres in Europe, a potentially evil AI and locate a base large enough for all the people she is acquiring.

When I saw that this series has a projected total of 21 volumes, I was extremely skeptical. Most series peter out after 3 or 4 volumes, and later ones are seldom the same quality as the first few. However, I can now see how this series can hold its own for the projected run. Anderle has set up a situation – and the characters to deal with it – that can easily fill these volumes. He has combined urban fantasy, military fiction and science fiction into an intriguing story with great potential.

I love these books. Bethany Anne is a kick-ass lady with a strong sense of honor and desire to help others. She is a natural leader who easily recruits others to her cause. And what a wonderful collection of characters they are! The action includes a lot of fighting, swearing and general mayhem, yet retains a focus on why the fighting occurs. (And since Bethany Anne dislikes uninspired swearing, the profanities are hilariously creative.) Anderle’s gift for “show, don’t tell,” great dialog and interesting characters and relationships makes the books a joy to read. The only negatives that have jumped out at me are some spelling errors and frequent changes between regular and bold fonts. While this is helpful when Bethany Anne is communicating with her resident alien, it is distracting and annoying at other times. Despite these flaws, I highly recommend this series for anyone looking for fun, engaging and addictive reads.

Note: These are NOT stand-alone books. They are convenient, novel-size chunks of a large, glorious story. People come and go and the dialog frequently refers to past events. To fully appreciate the story, you need to start with Death Becomes Her and proceed from there.

You can find out more about Anderle on his webpage and on Facebook.

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