Sunday, December 13, 2015

Break Me, Shake Me: Breaker Review

by Richard Thomas

You know that moment when you're on a roller coaster, at the top of that first hill and realizing how stupidly long the drop is going to be? And you maybe wish you could reconsider because you're not sure you can deal with what's about to happen, but, damn, it's too late and here we go, you're falling.

That's kinda like this book.

Okay, so, there were some points in this book when I thought, 'Man, this is batshit. This would never happen'. Especially when I thought about DisintegrationThen I realized I'm kind of dumb. Both of these books take place in a world that is... adjacent to ours, but not actually a part of. Like, everything is where you'd expect it to be, but the alleyways are a bit darker, the white vans more ominous, the strays more starving, and the snow a little colder. In the Windy City, kindness is gold in both rarity and value.

I think it's important to note that "batshit" does not mean bad. Like, some crazy things happened, but like that roller coaster, it was a great ride.

I only really have two, minor nitpicks. The first is that I wish we had gotten a bit more of the mystery. The book read more like a character study with a dash of mystery for flavor. Which isn't necessarily bad. It's just about taste on that one.

The second is that Natalie reads a bit young to me. She's supposed to be fifteen, but he breadth of knowledge seems closer to that of a twelve-year-old.

The characters themselves, Ray and Natalie, are great. Their friendship and the care with which they are handled is beautiful. Make sure you read the dedication at the end.

Ultimately, this is a book about empathy and complex, problematic people doing some sketchy things to survive.

Side note, can we talk about that cover for a second? I really dig that cover.

This is a standalone story, but it you like it, I definitely suggest also reading Disintegration. While you're at it, you'd probably also like Songs of the Maniacs by Mickey J. Corrigan.

Breaker doesn't come out until January, according to Amazon, but it's available for pre-order now.

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