Title: Coffin Dodgers
Author: Gary Marshall
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 181 pages
Reviewed by: Sarah
Summary: (from Author)
Eighty is the new thirty. Nobody’s having babies, the old massively outnumber the young and the hip crowd has become the hip replacement crowd. Twentysomething barman Matt Johnson would be bored senseless if someone wasn’t trying to kill him.
When Matt isn’t playing silly pranks on his elders with his colleague Dave or laughing at Dave’s dating disasters, he’s trying to summon up the courage to ask best friend Amy out on a date. Then Matt narrowly escapes a car wreck, and he discovers that his accident was no accident. Someone’s murdering young people, and dozens are already dead. Can Matt, Amy and Dave stop the killings? The answer involves guns, gangsters, an angry bear and plenty of irate pensioners.
When I received this review submission, I was immediately drawn in by the premise. Plus it was obvious that Mr. Marshall knew the ins and outs of clean, enjoyable writing.
This is a hard review for me to write because I enjoyed the book and the story despite several things that really bugged me throughout. For one, the .epub formatting was terrible with lines overlapping just slightly. I checked it on my phone, my tablet and my nook and it was the same on all of them. This is why it took me so long to read this book – every time I took a break, I dreaded going back.
On the other hand, I really enjoyed the story and always wanted to know how it ended. There were some really funny lines and the interaction between the three MCs felt genuine and fun.
In the beginning, most of the action involves the characters getting/drinking beers. I like beer as much as the next ex-Busch employee, but it’s boring to read about over and over again. Especially when the conversations this action is supporting are all of the “what does it mean?” variety.
On that note, all this time is spent thinking and talking about what’s going on – and it’s finally figured out spontaneously “off-screen” without any additional input? No new information is gained, but Amy just comes up with this idea and nobody even doubts that’s what’s going on? I didn’t buy it and this spontaneous inspiration totally pulled me out of the story for a minute.
The character development was severely lacking. I didn’t much care for Mark or his attitude and the characters didn’t seem changed by their experiences – especially Mark, who [MINOR SPOILER ALERT] saw a girl who he was trying to protect get murdered and then didn’t seem to think about it ever again. [END SPOILER ALERT] The boss antagonist appears primarily in two scenes – and he’s a completely different person in both of them. In the end, I did not understand his motivation one single bit.
I would have liked to see more world building. I can’t imagine a world in this situation wouldn’t fall into some kind of chaos, but everybody seems to be going on about their business. Also, the cars drive themselves, but that’s the only bit of advanced technology seen.
I know I’ve said many things that bothered me in this book and very few things I liked, so you might be surprised to hear my overall impression of Coffin Dodgers is favorable. It’s intriguing and the prose is light-hearted and clean (i.e. no mistakes). It’s a recommendation, if not a glowing one.
Oh, and though it's simple, I love the cover!
Amazon Kindle ($1.29)