This book completely took me by surprise and I love it! While the premise is really depressing (the female character is going to die sometime soon fro...moreThis book completely took me by surprise and I love it! While the premise is really depressing (the female character is going to die sometime soon from a brain aneurysm) and there are several other bad things happening, this book is anything but. Throughout the whole story, it managed to put a constant smile on my face. Sometimes it was only a small, shy smile, but more often than not it stretched into a broad grin. Can a book make you feel happy? This one definitely does! I've never experienced feeling so good just by reading a book. While desperately turning the (virtual) pages to find out what's happening next, at the same time I was hoping that by some magical trick there would always be a steady number of pages still ahead of me, making it never end.
While Kumquat may be categorized as a romantic comedy, it thankfully avoids any cheesy clichés. The main characters are no beauty models with homes out of magazines and their lives are anything but perfect. But it is exactly this awkward and slightly nerdy tenor of normalcy that enables the reader to relate to and fall in love with Todd and Amy and enjoy every moment of their being together as much as they do.
Pessimists may criticize that the positive attitude towards even the most unfortunate situation is completely unrealistic, and with all that happens throughout the book this rather should have been a drama. But I admire Todd's ability to cope with each rock (or, to try to fit with the book's theme, banana peel) fate throws in his way and Amy's general calm mood anyway. Of course Todd is upset with every loss he has to endure, but he always manages to get back on track and remember what's truly important: being together with Amy. OK, maybe some romance cliché after all, and you may need a tissue or two now.
I really do hope that Kumquat will get the attention it deserves and hopefully will become 'a major motion picture soon' - and I'd gladly join any fund raiser for the realization of Exit Red.
'The Broken' introduces us to a new character named Holt. We first meet him as a ranger returning runaway slaves to their merciless owner. Later on, H...more'The Broken' introduces us to a new character named Holt. We first meet him as a ranger returning runaway slaves to their merciless owner. Later on, Holt fights with the Confederates, but is betrayed and forced into slavery himself. Forced to fight against the invading undead, he manages to escape and later on joins a group of already well-known outcasts we met in previous installments. Together, they decide to stop the general who is responsible for the undead plague spreading through the chaos of war. While not everything is explained, more details about the origin of the zombie plague are revealed.
This was another action-packed and fast-paced adventure in the Red Dust series. However, the numerous changes that marked Holt's fate (ranger, soldier, slave, slave soldier, fugitive, ...) followed each other too fast, overloading the story with ideas. Either it should have been longer so the development of things could have been more elaborate, or the authors should have focused on a single event and summed up the rest as a short introductorily background. Reading this short story felt much longer than reading its predecessors, and I wonder whether this one would have better been put into a novella-length book.
I guess I said it somewhere in the past, but I would appreciate a detailed full-length novel for Red Dust sometime, and reading 'Broken' confirmed that the authors do have enough great ideas and potential to do so. (less)