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Excellent voice, lots of promise, but in need of an editor.

By Robert Rodgers, author of The Last Skull

Apr 12, 2010: Canadian rangers and Yakuza-on-the-run are slated to collide in what’s billed as a comedy adventure—only five chapters have been posted at the point of this review, but right now it seems fairly obvious as to where it’s going.

Joel and Yukihiro are the main characters—the former a park ranger who’s still recovering from a nasty break-up with Nathan (a police officer briefly touched on in chapter 5, the latest chapter) and dealing with an over-meddlesome family, the latter a yakuza who’s on the run for reasons as of yet not explained. He also must deal with meddlers, but in this case, the meddlers have brought guns and knives.

The comedy is mostly brought out during Joel’s bits, and involves his relations with his family; there’s an interesting and neat contrast between Joel’s domestic woes versus Yukihiro’s life-or-death woes, and I look forward to the point where these two narratives will clash. The story’s strongest point is its voice—the author uses some clever twists of phrases and gives both characters a strong inner narrative that illuminates their personalities and makes us (well, me, anyway) interested in what happens to them. But like my rating—and title—implies, there’s a problem.

This story needs an editor. There’s a lot of great stuff here, but it’s under a lot of clutter—the author uses a ton of exposition to get us where we need to go. If you’re willing to make an investment, it looks to be a promising narrative to submerge yourself in—but it takes a little work to slog through some of the bits. The situation—characters—and narrative—are all very interesting, but require a bit of dedication to attach yourself to.

Anyway, I look forward to future chapters—as well as the point where Joel meets up with Yukihiro!

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