Warning: There is profanity – but if you’re here reading this review – you won’t be bothered by that. 😀
Captivated and engaged by the very first page, I have enjoyed every bit of dialogue between Derek Swannson’s characters, along with their background and the thought processes shared. Their idiosyncrasies and flaws are brought to the forefront as a means to show the lessons we might learn from adversity. It’s reading that reminds you how to be thankful, without the condescension typically applied in other books. The suggestion that there is a plan and that it isn’t necessarily some big celestial idea will be found intriguing by anyone who questions traditional religion.
Gordon’s pseudo-uncle, Johnny Hoss, was my favorite character—a cantankerous but well-intentioned devils’ advocate who helps Gordon let off steam, gives him a beer every now and then, and generally eases the blows when Gordon is rejected by his father. When Gordon is feeling like a general disappointment, Johnny picks him back up and dusts him off and even helps him forget his problems. Johnny reminded me of a favorite uncle of mine that I looked up to; I’d have a hard time imagining that he wouldn’t be a favorite to anyone else.
I’ve utilized all my free time to read this book and I’m eager to read the second in this series. I’ve also heard whispers of another book from this author that could maybe potentially theoretically be in the works… but don’t quote me. I love an author who can fully develop his or her characters, and I love the underdogs most of all—I identify with them almost exclusively and begrudge the alpha dog characters even when they show humility and pain. I’m sure that says much about me, but regardless—don’t hesitate to buy this book. I’ve been wowed and enthralled since page one. I immediately felt for Gordon because his parents really suck and his friend who is his neighbor is not the nicest kid, although maybe that’s just how boys behave.
To a certain degree you almost expect Gordon to die halfway through the book. His life is just filled with knock out after knock out. I won’t tell you any more, except to say that I’ve read a lot of genres and science fiction is becoming a favorite by far. This book is a great example of why. There’s real life written into these pages. The characters and the places the author takes you will tap into your own memories, both good and bad. This is DEFINITELY one of those books that will stay with you long after you finish reading it.