Jean's Reviews > The Last Summer of the Death Warriors

The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork
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's review
Jan 25, 2011

really liked it

Stork follows up his phenomenal "Marcello in the Real World" with another exploration of life through the eyes of someone who is forced to see life through a different lens. In this case there are two boys, who are opposites in so many ways. Pancho is physically strong, active, a fighter, unsure of his own intellect and his future. He is angry over the death of his sister, sure that he must find the person who caused her death. D.Q. is physically weak and he knows he is dying of cancer. He is sure of his intelligence but he is a fighter who uses his intellect rather than his body. He is angry over his treatment by his mother, sure that he must find a way to control his own future.

Pancho is sent to the boy's home where D.Q. has lived for several years since his mother left him there during a bipolar episode. D.Q. asks for Pancho to be assigned to help him and their relationship grows from there in fits and starts. When Marisol, the girl that D.Q. is in love with, comes into the picture, the relationship becomes strained between the boys. But through Marisol, Pancho learns that he enjoys helping sick kids and that there is something more to live for than revenge.

D.Q. has been writing the Death Warriors Manifesto. This is is way of working through his thoughts, feelings and philosophy. He explains to Pancho that a Death Warrior fights against death by living each day to the fullest and loving as much as they can. Although Pancho initially resists D.Q.'s philosophizing, he begins to internalize what D.Q. is saying and to open himself to new possibilities.

I did not anticipate the ending but found it to be consistent with Pancho's inner growth and newly found awareness of his own strengths and the possibilities for his future.

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