Kings and Pawns, by Zach Beckmann

kingsandpawns

This novel reminded me simultaneously of both Friday Night Lights and the Matrix. Not only does it underscore the oft ignored underbelly of sports teams, but it also focuses on the seedy underbelly of a country that has been, quite literally, turned into corporate America. Cronus Enterprises, much like the current state of politics has an iron grip on everything, using the dangerous and exhilarating sport of Breakers Unlimited to keep the population complacent, mindless, and completely under their control.

Beckmann has a knack for excellent action-telling, however it was applied to the majority of the novel and not just where the action scenes were. This made things a little difficult to visualize and you never really got to immerse yourself in the character because you were constantly being told how they felt versus allowing yourself to feel it. Some of the character chemistry was incredibly awkward and a little off-putting at times, but they pull together very well and you find yourself in the midst of a team of individuals who would do anything for each other. From prologue to finish, the story is mired in twists, turns, and (somewhat) cliche outcomes, but for the most part, it actually keeps you guessing–something very rare for a novel nowadays.

The author has also done a wonderful job of creating an entire novel that isn’t too far off from our own, current society. Sure, the setting is in 2083, but realistically, that’s only 69 years from now so it’s frightening to think that we–as gun-toting, revolutionary Americans–could quite possibly end up in a situation very similar. Kinda makes you think, doesn’t it…?

Buy it here!

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