Review of Dodgers by Bill Beverly

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Dodgers is a dark, unforgettable coming-of-age journey that recalls the very best of Richard Price, Denis Johnson, and J.D. Salinger. It is the story of a young LA gang member named East, who is sent by his uncle along with some other teenage boys—including East’s hothead younger brother—to kill a key witness hiding out in Wisconsin. The journey takes East out of a city he’s never left and into an America that is entirely alien to him, ultimately forcing him to grapple with his place in the world and decide what kind of man he wants to become.

Written in stark and unforgettable prose and featuring an array of surprising and memorable characters rendered with empathy and wit, Dodgers heralds the arrival of a major new voice in American fiction.

I received a digital ARC from First to Read.

The story moves really slow and I would put it down for days with no motivation to continue. My first problem was I never connected with the characters. My second issue was that I was so bored by the story. I expected an action packed road trip adventure. What I got was a story as mundane as watching the trees and flat plains outside your backseat window.

Just when something exciting would happen, it was short lived. Then it was back to the boring road trip. Blah, blah, blah. I was not much of a fan of the style of writing either.

The climax wasn’t even climatic. I began to skim the last 90 pages but even then I was so bored I gave up. Honestly I don’t know or care how it ends.

1 out 5 snores.

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Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown – non-spoiler review.

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Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied – and too glorious to surrender.

Morning Star is a great, fantastic end to the Red Rising Trilogy. Pierce said he wrote it for the fans and it shows. This is my favorite literary science-fiction trilogy. Hands down.

So much happens. It’s a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I laughed, was nervous, touched, and sometimes sad. I could not put it down. After having a headache on a Friday and a Saturday I wanted to catch up on those lost days. So I read 100 pages on a Sunday and another 100 pages on Monday (Presidents’s Day). By Monday night my right eye was bloodshot. I finished it on February 18 and I still have a book hangover. I am going to fall behind on my Goodreads goal.

The character development was well done and the evolution of the plot was seamless. Not just from beginning to end in Morning Star, but the whole trilogy.

The action was great and heart pounding, but some of my favorite moments were the quieter ones between Darrow and his friends. So much emotion is felt. Particularly Chapter 22 and Chapter 50.

One critique was that I would have liked to see more scenes with a few minor characters from the previous novels.

I am going to elaborate more in a different post (here). I feel it is difficult to describe my feelings without spoiling the whole book. I like giving examples and quotes.
4.5 out 5 Broken Chains