Detective Brett Knucks is trying to juggle a turbulent relationship and a serial killer. He doesn’t have time for a cocky, arrogant inventor who wants to tag along as a consultant. But thats exactly what he has to deal with in Chris Genius. Someone seems to be using Genius’ cook bots to kill and the inventor is determined to help the police before the killer strikes again. It doesn’t hurt that Knucks is plenty attractive and happens to spark more than one of Genius’ fantasies. As they hunt a killer, Genius and Knucks might just end up arguing their way into a romance.
I nearly passed on Big Balls and Brass Knuckles because of the title alone. It’s ridiculous and I’m not one who generally appreciates a cheap joke. But I reminded myself that you can’t judge a book by its title and the general outline was interesting. Unfortunately, both book and title are weakly rendered, juvenile, and difficult to endure.
Knucks and Genius, aside from having laughable names, are flat and uninspired characters. Neither had much definition and they don’t read as flesh and blood. Knucks spends most of the novella ignoring his boyfriend and lusting after Genius. There is no point to Knucks’ relationship, as it’s an obvious throwaway and added nothing to the overall story. It’s a shame because I think the characters had potential, but it was never reached — not even close.
And speaking of story, there really isn’t much of one here. The mystery, such as it is, barely holds up to examination and everything about the plot reads as lacking in substance or purpose. The police work is done haphazardly and was not well developed. I wanted to know more about the future world in which the novella is set, but we got too few details to really cobble together a complete picture of how things work or why. The writing was awkward and uneven. It just didn’t have a regulated flow and I found it jarring to process and try to connect with as a reader.
More than once I set this book aside and it was nearly a DNF. Had it been a full length novel, I wouldn’t have bothered working my way to the end. The story failed to engage me at any point and I found myself just wanting it to end. Nothing about this book appealed to me and with its poorly developed characters and half-hearted plot, Big Balls and Brass Knuckles just didn’t work. I hate doing a negative review because authors work so hard to bring these creations to life, but I really can’t recommend Big Balls and Brass Knuckles.