Every Kingdom Divided – Stephen Kozeniewski
So, when asked to read and review his newest novel, I of course said yes. It doesn’t matter to me what he is writing, I will read it. Even if the topic doesn’t sound like something I would normally pick up. He is an excellent storyteller. There are a few elements that are classic Kozeniewski — a light tone that pervades many of his novels (no matter how dark and grimy), a sarcastic and quib speaking narrator delighting my funny-bone, and always an interesting ending that I didn’t see coming. This story was true to the Kozeniewski I have come to know as an author. And as a result, I enjoyed it.
I wasn’t sure where the story was going all the time, or exactly why we were going at all, but I didn’t care. I was drawn into the flashback-telling narrator as he told his tale of adventure to the man with a gun to his head. It was just a crazy story, that you might hear over a glass of Old Crow. It was fitting.
If you are a fan of the movie Inglorious Basterds, Kozeniewski might be an author for you. There is a large vein of that kind of humor that seeps onto the pages of Kozeniewski’s stories.
What I didn’t enjoy has nothing to do with him as an author, but has to do more with the publishing team. His editor/proofer failed him a bit, at least for the version I received. I know this book would have benefited from another editing review. I was surprised because I am used to his books being very clean. I’ll blame it on the publisher being green? I hope in time they will enhance their editing focus. It let’s the reader and author down.
Regardless, this is still a Kozeniewski novel and deserves to be read. It’s labeled as a sci-fi story, but really it’s the subgenre dystopian fiction.
If you like death defying, smart talking protagonists, who never have anything dull to say, then you will likely enjoy this story as much as I did.
It’s a new take, on a popular genre. As always, Kozeniewski brings his full imagination and gift of language to the story and I am happy to have had the chance to read it.
Synopsis: Jack Pasternak, a laid-back California doctor, receives a garbled distress call from his fiancée in Maryland before her transmissions stop altogether. Unfortunately for Jack, citizens of the Blue States are no longer allowed to cross Red America.
He is faced with an impossible choice: ignore his lover’s peril or risk his own life and sanity by venturing into the dark heart of the Red States. When the armies of the Mexican Reconquista come marching into Los Angeles, Jack’s hand is forced and he heads east in an old-fashioned gas guzzling car.
Stephen Kozeniewski, writer of Braineater Jones, The Ghoul Archipelago, and Billy and the Cloneasarus, brings an epic future adventure.
THE MAN BEHIND THE BOOK
During his time as a Field Artillery officer, he served for three years in Oklahoma and one in Iraq, where due to what he assumes was a clerical error, he was awarded the Bronze Star.
He is also a classically trained linguist, which sounds much more impressive than saying his bachelor’s degree is in German.
CONNECT WITH STEPHEN
*I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.