This is the review I provided for Amazon. Written a few days after I finished the book, I think it nails down what I like about it. Post script to follow.
There’s a lot going for this book: loony characters, more marijuana than you knew existed, a Canadian wilderness setting and the self deprecating humor of my friends to the north, and some fun musings about what it would take to make a better world. Jack Steele is ostensibly the lead in this farcical situation, a xenophobic and somewhat murderous secret agent whose assignment with the IRS involves a lot of snappy banter and people getting punched in the nuts. But there’s a lot of others that you come to like: an IRS bureaucrat seeking to distinguish himself in the most hilarious way possible, a trio of stoners who get themselves in way over their heads, a Mormon who uses his high for inspiration, and an unlikely femme fatale. The POV’s move around enough that you never beg for another character, though for me, Jack was the most fun to read. There’s some fun touches in here that will make you laugh out loud, and it moves at a pretty fast pace. This was the first time I saw footnotes used to develop asides for the story, and I clicked on every one of them. There are some pop culture references, but plenty of original humor. It has some of the rough edges that you get when reading self published fiction, but nothing that broke the book. Overall, a great read for anyone seeking something fun, sometimes deranged, and lighthearted!
PS: a few other notes:
- Jay wrote this as a screenplay, originally, so you get a cinematic feel to each scene. That’s a good thing, in my opinion. It makes the dialogue and action snappy.
- There’s a quasi interview at the back of the book, where Jay talks about writing, which is something I like.
Final ranking: Sit down and enjoy a bowl and a read! This is a fun one.