Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review: The Hoax

The Hoax
Adrienne Jones
Available through Amazon in paperback and Kindle e-book, through
Barnes & Noble as a Nook e-book, on Kobo as an e-book, and Mundania Press in paperback.

Good evening constant reader.
In a nutshell, if you like off the beaten path stories, with characters so well drawn they leap off the page and help you keep turning the pages until you find out what their ultimate fate is, then this book is for you.

Part horror, part science fiction, and all compelling, The Hoax starts off with an attention getting prologue that jump starts the action and then starts revving to full throttle.

How well do any of us really know our "best" friends? That's one question The Hoax poses, as it explores the friendship of three men: Patrick Obrien, Joey Duvaine and Melvin Shepherd.  Their friendship seems genuine and honesty bound, until little by little, layers start to flake away and cracks begin to appear. It all seems so innocent and unremarkable at first, the result of a recent tragedy. Joey, in the space of a year, has lost his entire family and is now on his own, trying to decide what direction his future holds. Patrick and Shepherd (he hates to be called Melvin) are there to support their friend, onlooking bystanders to the melt down Joey has at a local bar after the funeral of his father. Fists fly, shirts are taken off, drinking accelerates and this is where the story takes off, when we are given a glimpse of Shepherd's back and the horse shoe shaped scar he has...a result he says, of an abusive father.

That's round one

Round two has our three friends at Joey's apartment, hanging out, with Joey trying to decide what his options are. Joey laments he has no family to the extent Shepherd blows a gasket, asking what are he and Obrien? Chopped liver? Words fly fast and furious until it gets physical and blood is drawn, with Shepherd sneering that Joey doesn't think anyone is "family" unless they're blood family. A knife surfaces and all three cut themselves and make a blood bond, with Shepherd uttering some strange words, words he claims the ancients used to bind themselves together before battle: unity and brotherhood.

And it's with this sharing of blood that things really take a turn into Weirdville.
If I say too much more, I risk giving too much away.
I will say Shepherd manipulates Joey and Patrick into staging something miraculous at a church, which sets the rest of the action in motion, heading into a hell of a climax.

Jones has crafted an absorbing tale, whose characters come alive. As you read, you feel like these are people you know. The dialogue perks along and never seems forced - the characters actually say what you'd think a real person would say in a situation like they're in. A situation, which constant reader, as you read along, starts to take some really fantastic turns.
The story is paced well with suitable down times, and packed at the right time with action.

I loved every minute of reading this book, and that's not something I say too often.
My only complaint is there's no's in the works.

Adrienne Jones is a writer to watch.

For more on Adrienne Jones:
Author Adrienne Jones
Mundania Press

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