We weren’t all that impressed with episode 1 of adventurer extraordinaire Wayne Shelton but Wayne Shelton 2 – The Betrayal, has a lot more gallop to it than the limp opening volume.
Following directly on from the previous episode, Shelton and his band of merry men venture into the Khalakjistanian prison (I’ve no idea how to pronounce it either) to liberate the unfortunate truck driver who is at the centre of a political upheaval that could result in unthinkable damages to Shelton’s employer.
The set-up is all rather laborious, and the reader is in as much danger as Wayne is in trying to fully digest the reasons behind this impossible mission, but fortunately, The Betrayal has enough Hollywood-heavy action to see you through to the final page.
Wayne’s plans hardly go to order when one of his colleagues falls in love with the innkeeper of one of the group’s hideouts, and Wayne himself comes a cropper with a more than suspicious Russian major who becomes deeply interested in Wayne’s deception. The climax itself is riddled with explosions, bullets, death, and of course betrayal (more than the one act of backstabbing which the title suggests), and the novel itself is all told without much sincerity on the reader’s part.
It’s all engaging and hooky, but rather obvious in its unfolding of plot. The crisp, realistic art remains a treat, but it’s so real that it doesn’t match up with the novel’s camp development in its story and characters. If one puts both The Mission and The Betrayal together, you get one hell of a convoluted thriller, but it could be worse, because while Wayne Shelton 2 – The Betrayal may well be all of the above, the one thing it isn’t is dull.