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Friday, December 19, 2008

Young Junius

I'm currently listening my way through "Young Junius," an audio novel by Seth Harwood. It's sort of a prequel to Seth's first "dead tree" novel, "Jack Wakes Up," and the rest of the Jack Palms series, all of which have been previously available on Podiobooks.com.

In "Jack Wakes Up," Junius Ponds was a player, a mover and shaker in a dark world. In "Young Junius," we see him as just a kid in a dangerous world, where trouble, crime and death are part of the neighborhood. When his brother Temple is killed in the street, Junius goes to Marlene, the Oracle, to find out why and by whom. And things pretty much go downhill from here.

I listened to book one, "Jack Wakes Up," and loved it. I listened to book two, "This is Life," and liked it. Different tone, different style. I listened to Jack Palms 3 -- don't know if it ever got a formal title -- and didn't finish it. Got too violent for me, about halfway through. Too many people, and one in particular, loving violence, cruelty, and causing pain. I'd imagine people who aren't me might like the third book as well as the other two. And some might like it better.

This book hearkens back to what I liked about "Jack Wakes Up." There's violence here, people die. But no one takes joy from it -- it's just something you do, when you have to. It's a different world than where I live, though not so different from some places I've lived in the past.

Young Junius is clearly the boy who becomes the man we see in "Jack Wakes Up." He doesn't entirely understand the world he's fallen into, but at least he knows that. And he knows that he's been put into a situation he really can't control, and doesn't want. But there's stuff he's got to do, and it'll be ugly. It's do or die.

I recommend you check out "Young Junius" on Podiobooks.com, if you've listened to the Jack Palms series first. And if you haven't, well, you can appreciate this book without the first three. But they'd be a good place to start.

Come to think of it, the first book in the series, "Jack Wakes Up," will be available in paperback via Amazon.com, coming up in May 5, 2009. And to think all Seth's success was due to my reviews! ;-)

Here's a link, if you wanted to pre-order.

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