Matador Series: The 97th Step book review

Appraisal

Taking the life of a character from childhood through old age can be a daunting task in just a short 290 pages, but the author did manage to capture Ferret’s life to where you remember the events that he went through, many in vivid detail.

The presentation of these events, treated as a kind of “flashback chapter” is somewhat disconcerting at times, and could have been handled a little more smoothly in the transitions between them.

There are many encounters between all the characters and the author chose to describe them without much detail allowing you to fill in the blanks and it was more effective and smooth than what other authors have done.

The overall story, if you take it that way, was good and if there is a sequel, it would be a worthwhile read. These were definitely some elements that the author could have improved upon such as location and surroundings development, but with so few pages, perhaps there wasn’t enough room.

If you get an opportunity, take a look at this novel. It is worth your time.

Pros

The character development by the author is colorfully done with significant attention given to the physical appearance and background of the major players in the novel.

All of the romantic and physical encounters between the characters are portrayed tactfully and obliquely, and leaves you with the understanding that there has been an involvement between them.

The story flow is even and consistent allowing the readers to follow the action easily and not get lost in frivolous side stories.

Cons

The author jumps around in the storyline quite a bit, which normally isn’t that big of an issue. But, when the story spans over 45 years, it gets a little confusing at times, but to be fair, only for a moment until you get oriented to whichever point in the timeline you have been taken to.

The novel has four distinct time frames for the main character. Him at sixteen, running away from an abusive father, five years later with a close friend, ten years after that when he’s with a beautiful woman and partner named Stoll, and then 5 to 25 years later where he becomes a trainee, then active member of a religious faction.

The author jumps around from later timelines seemingly to explain Ferret’s current actions from what occurred in his past. It did help with understanding the events, but the initial jump sometimes felt like a different story was beginning.

There were many errors in editing where words were left out of sentences, which causes you to stop reading to determine what is meant.

At first, it seemed like it was done to give Ferret some local color, but then it started happening in the narrative too. From an otherwise okay novel, the editing was disappointing. Fortunately, we didn’t encounter any spelling errors…