- Reviewed by: Kol Anderson
- Print Length: 264 pages
- Posting: Literary Fiction, Noir
- Publisher: Self
- Book Provided by: Author
- Author: Aaron Estes
- Posting Date: July 3, 2014
- Rating: 5 Stars
Drug Business 101.
Nothing goes unpunished.
An eye for an eye—fuck it if the world goes blind.
That one dialogue was perhaps one of the most powerful lines in the book.
Not only did I enjoy this book immensely but it was a nice surprise to see an indie author produce a book that was not only original, but well edited and free of the usual problems that publishing on your own can cause. The writing is beautiful, I read and re-read some of the dialogues multiple times. This is the kind of book you want other people to read because you don’t want them missing out.
Obviously this is not genre fiction, and as such doesn’t have the usual storylines and the content is definitely on the dark side. The story revolves around the Bolder family who is actually a mob family and in the drug business, living and working out of New Jersey. Mr. Bolder is the King (as in Kingpin), and has three boys: Rebel is the youngest and in high school, Jameson and the
Personality wise, all three sons are nothing like each other but the bond of family connects them regardless. Rebel, the youngest, is gay and the oldest brother Anthony, who is nothing but a
miserable excuse for a life with his drug habits and his foolish behaviors, doesn’t let Rebel be with anyone and that makes Rebel’s life a living hell growing up. Jameson is the brother that
Rebel feels closer to.
Jameson took a hit.
“Only the best! California is a mind trip, man!” Jameson said and passed the blunt to Sam.
Sam took a hit and coughed, getting used to the new smoke inside of his lungs.
“I need to move!” Sam joked. Rebel was offered the weed but refused; instead, he laid on
his back staring at each star. Something always made him feel like his father was watching
down on him.
What would his Dad think of him?
Would he be alright with who and what he was?
These are the questions Rebel asked himself each time he watched the stars.
Every star was a dream that got lost.
Either forgotten or the dream got the best of the dreamer to where it was no longer a
Instead, it was a nightmare of living the dream.
One awful day, something happens to Rebel, and that incident ends up stirring a storm that takes away their father’s life and puts Anthony in the position that his father had assumed until now.
But power changes Anthony and we witness his decline into the world of drugs, and when he gets really stuck with a man who is even more powerful than he is in the drug world, Anthony makes some bad choices that will ruin not only him, but everyone else in his family. There is also a supernatural touch to the story, which I feel like could have been better, not in the sense that the scenes weren’t plotted well or written well, but I found the whole finding faith (Jesus and angels) business a bit typical.
Nothing scared Rebel more than finding the American dream on the dark side. Yet, he still dreamed at night when he was alone in his head. He dreamed of leaving New Jersey and finding those dreams. He knew he couldn’t just leave life behind.
Jameson looked over at his little brother staring into the sky. He lied back, as well, right next to Rebel.
“What do you see?” Jameson asked while staring up at the stars. Sam lied down next, and Rebel was in the middle of the two; Sam’s arm touched Rebel’s, but Sam didn’t pull away.
“Dreams,” Rebel answered.
“I see the future. Everything ends up in the sky. The stars telling a special story,” Jameson said.
The story breaks your heart but still manages to end up on a positive note. For me that felt kind of anticlimactic, and I would have preferred a darker ending, but I feel like the author was trying to show the way life is sometimes, how hope lasts long after you think the fire has died down and the flames have all burned out. For all the issues that I had with the supernatural aspect of the plot, I stand by my 5 star rating, because this book was really worth my time. I’d buy the next book without any second thoughts whatsoever.
The Book Description:
Anthony, Jameson and Rebel Bolder are three brothers living in rural New Jersey. Anthony is the eldest of the crime family and in charge, Jameson is returning home from California while Rebel is dreaming of another life after graduating high-school.
When powerful Tommy Shay comes to town and puts the Bolder brothers in danger, the new threat causes all three brothers to make choices that will change their lives forever.
The Social Links:
Go to the Aaron Estes Author page
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