Kick (The Jenkins Cycle #1) By: John L. Monk
Dan Jenkins returns from death for a chance to live again. The vacated bodies of killers are his rides. Before he’s kicked out, he’ll need to stop his host from hurting anyone else. It’s one of the rules if he wants more rides. More rides means more movies and fishing trips, and more of those little apple pies they sell at gas stations and convenience stores, because they’re just that good. For a dead guy, it’s a pretty good gig…until someone changes the rules.
I could not predict this book at all. Sometimes that happens because the book is poorly written but that is so not the case in Kick. It was such an original idea that I had nothing to clue me in and yes I realize the TV show Quantum Leap has a similar premise, but Sam is nothing like Dan.
About two thirds of the way through I was afraid I was about to be disappointed, there had been a slow steady build up and I was scared it wasn’t going to be a big enough pay off. I wasn’t even sure how there could be a pay off. All my worries were for naught because it was everything I could have hoped for and more. I devoured the last twenty percent of this book and was amazed when I looked down to see I was at 97%.
This is not my usual book and I’m going to be honest and say the only reason I read it was because I’m familiar with the author. I’ve never met him in person, but I follow his blog and we’ve commented back and forth. To be clear he did not give me a copy of his book or even ask for a review. I purchased it a few months ago, before it was free, and then put off reading it because I was afraid I wouldn’t like it. When I finally started reading I was incredibly impressed with the quality of writing as well as the story and ended up being unable to put it down.
Anyway, Dan Jenkins was a great flawed character. He was lazy and put off doing his “job” so that he could do whatever he wanted and enjoy being “alive.” He had morals, though, and for the most part stuck with his self created rules. Of course when he didn’t it ended up biting him in the ass. He was a great character because he was so relatable. I could easily see myself acting the same way in the same situations.
The ending brought some closure for Dan as well as the reader, but it left enough up in the air that I’m curious to see what happens next. Will we ever find out more about the Great Wherever, ruled by the Great Whomever? Will Dan take some lessons to heart or continue being lazy and living other lives to the fullest? (I lean toward no on that one)