Like Lions

Like Lions

Clayton Burroughs is sheriff of Bull Mountain and last surviving member of the brutal and blood-steeped Burroughs clan. It's been a year since a rogue government agent systematically crippled the family's criminal empire, leaving two of his brothers dead and Clayton broken and haunted by wounds that may never heal.Now Bull Mountain is vulnerable, ripe for predators wanting...

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Title:Like Lions
Author:Brian Panowich
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Like Lions Reviews

  • karen

    NOW AVAILABLE!!!

    before sitting down to write this review, i wanted to verify how long it had been since

    came out, and according to goodreads, i finished reading b.m (heh) on january 19, 2015, and i finished reading THIS one on january 19, 2019.

    THAT'S WEIRD, RIGHT?

    it’s a shame about all those years in between, but i gotta say- this sequel was absolutely worth waiting for.

    i really liked

    NOW AVAILABLE!!!

    before sitting down to write this review, i wanted to verify how long it had been since

    came out, and according to goodreads, i finished reading b.m (heh) on january 19, 2015, and i finished reading THIS one on january 19, 2019.

    THAT'S WEIRD, RIGHT?

    it’s a shame about all those years in between, but i gotta say- this sequel was absolutely worth waiting for.

    i really liked

    , but 2015 was a year in which i read a LOT of grit lit, and i was worried that after four years, there would be a lot of oldlady memoryblur and i'd be scrambling to find my footing in this follow-up. and i was, a little, at the beginning, but once panowich started dropping in little refreshers along the way, it all came rushing back, and honestly, i liked this one even more than

    .

    this book is the perfect middle ground between grit lit’s tendency to either lean in and embrace nihilistic lawlessness or to polarize the “good” and “bad” characters. here, sheriff burroughs is barely holding it together a year or so after the explosive events that occurred at the end of

    . i’m going to try to avoid spoilers, but suffice it to say that he’s still recovering from his injuries, and he’s drinking a lot and taking painkillers, which is straining his marriage, his work performance, and his focus. the power and protection his criminal family’s name once had over the mountain is on the wane, which is allowing outsiders to flex their muscles and attempt to make inroads into the region, and burroughs needs to make some difficult choices about how much of his character is determined by the law and how much is determined by birthright or blood, especially when the safety of his wife and infant son are threatened.

    kate burroughs is my new favorite mama-bear badass. she’s fierce and capable and stoic and patient - whether she’s dealing with the problems in her marriage or facing down a more immediate threat. she never comes across as unrealistically endowed - she’s not a superhero warrior type nor a strategic mastermind, but she’s someone who has grown up in an environment that requires a certain amount of self-sufficiency and a willingness to get one’s hands dirty, literally and figuratively, and she rises to her challenges with a plausible amount of quick-thinking, survival instinct, and doing what needs to be done, even when it is something as comparatively low-stakes as cutting down a tree that had some significant emotional value to her:

    what shines for me the most in panowich’s writing is his characters, and the balance he maintains with his readers’ sympathies. there are a lot of gray areas here, both in the legal sense and also in how a character is perceived - there are some irredeemable baddies, for sure, but even those are people who have been whittled down by drugs, pride, ambition, low intelligence, misguided ideas of honor, etc. the majority of the characters are straddling the moral divide, and while our loyalties are with sheriff burroughs, as compromised as he may become, it’s hard to not feel some empathy towards

    of his adversaries.

    this gives the story a sense of realism - these aren’t heroes and villains; they are people making decisions that come from living in-between the big-picture laws of the country and the codes and customs of the mountain, having to create their own opportunities. panowich knows when to use restraint and he knows when to be unflinching in his violence. and WOOF, there’s some tough stuff here.

    tough, wonderful stuff.

    i

    anticipate the *gasp* at the end, but i also appreciated the way he handled the reveal - it wasn’t a LOOK AT THIS THING I AM DOING!, it was a casual, "if you didn't notice the breadcrumbs i dropped, here is this sandwich anyway," and, like the rest of the book, it was handled very thoughtfully.

    i got this from netgalley, but i am for sure going to buy a hard copy of this whenever it finally, actually, gets published here.

    oh, and a question - was nails mckenna in

    ? i feel like i should remember a character like that, but i honestly don’t, and he is balls-out fantastic.

    **********************************************

    i do not understand the publishing history of this book. the UK, head of zeus release was a year ago and there are promises of a summertime 2018 US release in

    , which happened? didn't happen? but then there's a feb 2018 putnam edition listed here on gr? but is maybe a ghost? and then bn and netgalley and other sources seem to be listing the official US release as april 2019, with st martin's. i don't know what to believe. all i know is that i was waiting for this book forever, and some of you fine folks seem to have gotten your hands on it long ago, which would ordinarily make me very jealous but it's on netgalley now, so that would be a pretty foolish waste of my jealousy.

    here we go now.

  • Melissa

    A rare literary feat,

    is even

    impressive than its predecessor,

    . Yeah, I said it. I kind of had to. What

    pulled off here, with the elevation of this sequel, is something that almost never happens.

    I think what makes Panowich’s accomplishment even more noteworthy—other than the riveting qualities of the storyline and characters—is his frankness. If the 4-year span between releases isn’t enough of an i

    A rare literary feat,

    is even

    impressive than its predecessor,

    . Yeah, I said it. I kind of had to. What

    pulled off here, with the elevation of this sequel, is something that almost never happens.

    I think what makes Panowich’s accomplishment even more noteworthy—other than the riveting qualities of the storyline and characters—is his frankness. If the 4-year span between releases isn’t enough of an indication of the struggles he faced while attempting to write this book, maybe his own words will be, “

    ”. In the

    , Panowich owns up to the mounting expectations and pressure that came along with extending the Burroughs storyline, as opposed to starting with a blank page. For me, despite the clever plotting showcased in

    , the tidy conclusion didn't exactly scream for a sequel. In hindsight, had there been any indication Panowich would take things to this height, I would have been singing a much different tune. The character growth, exploration of morality and family presented within these pages, makes

    an

    to the Burroughs storyline. So, kudos to Panowich for raising the bar.

    Carried over from

    is Panowich's skillful plotting and attention to detail.

    opens with a jarring prologue—set in 1972—that poses a possible answer to one of the lingering unknowns surrounding the Burroughs clan. That particular night in question is incredibly emotional in some respects and defeating in others, setting the tone for what’s to come.

    When readers come face-to-face with Clayton, he’s no longer the level-headed pillar of moral strength he once was. Now a complete and utter mess of a man, he gives those around him little choice to but to sit back and watch as the guilt and physical pain gnaws on his very being. His bouts of self-medication and regret bleeding over into his relationship with Kate, their baby Eben, and his duties as sheriff.

    Being the sole Burroughs man left standing means the aftermath of the family’s drug and gun running empire set atop Bull Mountain has now fallen to him—wanted or not. With escalating tensions from outside families looking to step in and take over, Clayton has little choice but to work with his childhood friend and brother Hal’s second in command, Scabby Mike. Wrapping up loose ends is the only way to ensure his little family’s safety and put an end to the criminality of Bull Mountain.

    On pages gritty to the touch, Clayton’s newfound acceptance and borderline appreciation for the older brother he distanced himself from so long ago unfolds. His wavering thoughts and feelings at constant odds with his steadfast morality. And he's not the only one in the thick of it. Pushed to the brink, his wife Kate finds herself in fight mode—holding on to that

    title she awarded back in

    .

    And, with what readers will probably now come to expect from Panowich—no pressure or anything though—another wow-worthy finale. Just in case my words haven’t adequately conveyed my feelings to this point,

    left quite the impression. From beginning to end, the characters, revelations and Panowich’s very words proved to be mesmerizing. The pages practically turned themselves.

    Be it a third Burroughs novel or a new family to contend with, let’s hope Panowich finds the words and soon.

  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

    I've been drooling for this book since the very second that I finished it's predecessor

    . I will admit...that book is hard to top.

    Was this one as good? No

    Is it still worth it? Totally

    The story is set a year after the events of Bull Mountain. The family legacy of the Burroughs clan has pretty much ended. Clayton is not the man that he was in the first book. And let's be honest, for me the whole first half of this book pretty much had me not liking him in the least. AND I don't mean t

    I've been drooling for this book since the very second that I finished it's predecessor

    . I will admit...that book is hard to top.

    Was this one as good? No

    Is it still worth it? Totally

    The story is set a year after the events of Bull Mountain. The family legacy of the Burroughs clan has pretty much ended. Clayton is not the man that he was in the first book. And let's be honest, for me the whole first half of this book pretty much had me not liking him in the least. AND I don't mean that he had to be perfect. I like flawed characters. I don't mind if they bend some laws, heads whatever...things need to get done. You can't fault a guy that. It just seemed like his character in the first book was so fleshed out. This character seemed written by someone else trying to be Brian Panowich. I'd one star the first 45% of this one.

    I will admit that right before the halfway point in this book I was tempted to throw in the towel. I'm very glad I didn't.

    Because...if that first half was a one...the second is a full on five star. I got wrapped up in the story and once stuff and thangs started happening I was entranced.

    By the time that the reason the book is titled Like Lions came out..I was cheering.

    And then that little twist for the ending.

    I was going to three star it but I just can't because of that.

    I buddy read this with

    and

    even though they knew I was a slacker in the reading dept lately.

  • Annet

    Great followup to Bull Mountain. Again, dark & grim & gritty, great writing. Reads quick, keeps you on the edge of the seat from start to finish. More to follow, would definitely recommend these two books to those who like crime and dark stories. And who can stand a pretty grim story.

    Love the deep red cover by the way.

  • Jen

    The Burroughs sequel to Bull Mountain continues in the same gritty fashion with Clayton, the Sheriff, whose bloodline is connected with those redneck hillbilly criminals.

    This one was a little slow to get some traction but once it finally did, it took off like a jack rabbit.

    The twist at the end made me actually consider rereading the whole dang story but I have a mountain of books to get through! Just put it this way - things aren’t always as they seem and sometimes one must just go with it.

    I’m g

    The Burroughs sequel to Bull Mountain continues in the same gritty fashion with Clayton, the Sheriff, whose bloodline is connected with those redneck hillbilly criminals.

    This one was a little slow to get some traction but once it finally did, it took off like a jack rabbit.

    The twist at the end made me actually consider rereading the whole dang story but I have a mountain of books to get through! Just put it this way - things aren’t always as they seem and sometimes one must just go with it.

    I’m giving it 4⭐️ -not only because of the slow start but the character who I loved in the first story, didn’t find his footing until nearly the close of this one.

    I am hoping there is another one so he can have full redemption:)

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