Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Book Review: The Texas Twist by John Vorhaus (Radar Hoverlander #3)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great characters and a truly complex plot
Cons: The first chapter didn't quite work for me
The Bottom Line:
A twisty con game
Who will come out the winner?
Challenge for Radar

With All the Texas Sized Twists, Who Will Come Out Ahead?

When my ultimate Frisbee buddy JV, aka John Vorhaus, wrote the first in the Radar Hoverlander series, I naturally had to buy it.  And I enjoyed it so much, I went back for seconds and now I’ve bought and read The Texas Twist, the third in the series.  It’s the best one yet.

The series stars a con man.  Yeah, it’s not exactly on my normal list of main characters, but I’ve truly fallen for Radar, his girlfriend Allie, and his best friend Mirplo.

After their last adventure, Radar, Allie, and Mirplo have landed in Austin, Texas, although they run their cons out of state.  They’ve settled into a nice, quiet condo complex, and Allie has become good friends with their neighbor Sarah.  Sarah’s son is very sick with a rare disease that will kill him unless a miracle comes through.

When Sarah is approached by a stranger who offers her hope, she is ecstatic while Radar smells a con in progress.  As they go about trying to prove this to her, they begin to get sucked in as well.  Can they get Sarah out of this con without getting in over their heads?

The plots in this series are more like onions than anything else, and this book is no exception.  As the various layers are peeled back, your view of the events changes.  And yet it always makes sense from what came before.  That’s the most amazing thing to me.  All the twists and turns of the caper follow what came before and set up a logical conclusion.

And the characters?  Our main trio is wonderful and continues to grow in this book.  I find their antics at times funny, especially comic relief Mirplo, but also like them enough to want them to come up on top.  The new characters brought in for this story are real as well.

My only real complain is the first chapter.  I’m not sure if I just wasn’t used to John’s writing style quite yet or what, but I couldn’t really get into it.  It was a way to reintroduce the main trio and bears little to what happens in the rest of the plot, however.  And once I hit chapter two, I was pulled in and never looked back.

I should mention that John’s writing style is unique and does take a few pages to get.  But once you have the rhythm down, you’ll be engrossed in the story and enjoying the word manipulation with a grin firmly on your face as you race to see what will happen next.

So, yes, I recommend The Texas Twist.  This book will keep you engaged until you reach the logical and improbably final page.

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