J159, by Renee Logan

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*one of these days I’ll remember that Patreon isn’t cooperating on mobile and I’ll upload from home instead*

The pure juror system is designed to keep any kind of bias or if the ‘trial by peers’ mentality. If selected, you’re moved to a facility and isolated for years, on the premise that you’ll be released when your allotted time is up. Corruption runs deep, however. And jurors don’t always get what they want.

J159 was written entirely from Eddie’s point of view. With that, the author challenges themselves to get the entire story across using, essentially, one person and one setting. Kind of like the first Saw movie. There’s significantly less action and suspense, but it still tells a good story. And that’s what this novel focuses more on: the story. It moves a bit slow in the beginning, but after the halfway mark, things pick up a bit with tension and suspense.

The entire thing is at least well-written, and populated with just enough foreshadowing to hold your attention through the slow times. I enjoyed the way the entire thing was orchestrated. The reader really got to know Eddie as a character. The reader gets a really interesting and—might I add—isolated, unbiased view of the overall setting and state of the world. Showing, not telling was expertly used throughout the novel, and so the reader is able to use their own imagination to piece together the outside, instead of handing it to them on a platter.

A novel set this way is going to have inevitable lulls and boring exposition. It happens. There are very clear attempts by the author to make these as painless as possible. I really liked the ending. It felt very fitting to the rest of the narrative, and contains allusions to current events. Definitely worth a read.

Buy it here!

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