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Assault on Sunrise by Michael Shea
Cover Artist: Stephan Martiniere
Review by Mel Jacob
Tor Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765324368
Date: 13 August 2013 List Price $25.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

Assault on Sunrise is the second book in Michael Shea's Extra Series. It goes beyond snuff movies for the ultimate in reality films--the extras are maimed and most end dead. Filmmaker Val Margolian seeks revenge on the extras who escaped dying in his last epic and thus forced him to pay large sums to them. Now he seeks his revenge on the town of Sunrise, California, where most of them settled. His intention is destroy the town and most of its inhabitants.

At first, when six well-armed strangers come looking for Elmer Rassmusen, a former extra, most people refuse to help. However, after one inhabitant tells them where Elmer lives, the six approach his house with drawn guns. Three of the men are killed and three escape. Later the citizens learn the men had doctored ammunition that wouldn't kill.

Suddenly, the entire is town being held guilty of the killings and town property will be confiscated. At that point, some of the extras speculate that Margolian may be the instigator and they prepare to defend their town. An influx of strange dogs, weird insects, and alien-appearing creatures are evidence of the plot. Sunrise citizens are determined to defeat Margolian.

Like the first novel, The Extra, Margolian uses a variety of mechanical creatures to attack the town and kill inhabitants. Instead of spiders, he uses mechanical giant mantises and wasps.

There is little surprise in the ending. Primarily an action thriller, there's little time to focus on the characters's emotions. Multiple viewpoints, including Margolian's, are used throughout. Some readers may see this as repetitious of the earlier novel Extras. Assault on Sunrise is an okay read, but not Shea's best.

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