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Kick by John L. Monk
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This story is an exploration of vigilantism sanctioned by a higher power. The "what if" supernatural theme is unique, with Dan Jenkins spending time in various people's bodies, then languishing in an empty void during the interim.

For me, the first half of the book feels too much like a series of short stories, as Dan possesses a series of bodies. These people are clearly bad guys, and Dan's purpose is straight forward. Aside from Dan's spirit taking over these various people's bodies, the vignettes lack a clear, cohesive plot. This first half quickly became repetitive and lacked any element of surprise.

Right about halfway through, Dan takes over Nathan, his final body jump for the book. This second half is where we have a cohesive plot. Nathan is far from the typical bad guy that Dan is used to inhabiting. Much of the second half is about Dan trying to figure out why he was sent to possess Nathan, while also trying to maintain Nathan's persona. The plot twist at the end, involving Dan's purpose with Nathan, didn't surprise me at all. Given the way the particular characters involved were portrayed, I thought it was obvious from the start.

Dan is an intriguing character, and, for the most part, I enjoyed spending time with him. The pacing, though, tends to lag in spots. For instance, we spend several pages with Dan as he goes fishing, and several more pages at another time when he's learning to drive a high-end sports car. Also, his 'woe is me' attitude gets a little tiresome.

In the end, we still don't find out why Dan was chosen to do what he does. It appears he will go on for eternity, existing alone in a void until he temporarily inhabits the next person's body, performing whatever sort of vengeance he deems fit. ( )
  Darcia | Feb 2, 2017 |
My original Kick audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

When Dan was a confused college kid having issues with his girlfriend, he committed suicide. Since then he's been in - what he calls - "the Great Wherever" but regularly gets sent by "the Great Whomever" into the bodies of living humans - usually violent criminals - to dispense justice. Typically, he has about 3 weeks to figure out what the person, or his "ride" as Dan calls it, has done and what vigilante action is required. Then he is kicked out of the body again by the original owner's consciousness.

It took me a little while to become fully invested in this story, as it started off with a couple of episodes showing the usual cycle Dan goes through. At that stage, the story seemed to lack continuity. It was almost like listening to a string of short stories, but I can appreciate why the author structured it in this manner. Then Dan enters the body of Nate, who seems to be totally different from his usual rides, and by that stage, I was hooked. Dan was a very likable character, remorseful, generous and a bit of a nerd, and in spite of the fantastical nature of the story, he felt like a very authentic person. The story was well-paced and delivered in a snappy, lighthearted style with plenty of wit and some very funny remarks, although the plot was obviously quite dark and at times violent.

Steve Phelan did a great job portraying the protagonist Dan in exactly the way you would imagine him. His normal voice, pacing, and rhythm were very pleasant for listening and the male characters were portrayed well and with distinct voices. The female characters, however, not so much. It was the common case of a male voice artist making females sound like Minnie Mouse or worse. Because of the type of story it was, it wasn't too frustrating and I would definitely listen to Mr. Phelan again, as the rest of his performance was excellent. There were no problems with the quality of the production, which contained some nice sound effects.

I'm hoping John L. Monk's sequel, Fool's Ride, will also be made available on audio.

Creative, well-written and enjoyable, I would certainly recommend this if you like supernatural thrillers or remember Quantum Leap and Dexter with fondness.

Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator. ( )
  audiobibliophile | Jul 19, 2016 |
A suicide wakes up betwixt and between and is then sent at random to spend time in someone's body...the someone is usually ghastly. He feels his duty is to bring them to justice and he does so with extreme prejudice. Interesting setup when he pops into someone and then tries to piece together who they are and while they need to be dealt with. Can be quite violent. ( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
Very enjoyable paranormal mystery. More detailed review to follow. ( )
  glindaharrison | Oct 19, 2015 |
Very enjoyable paranormal mystery. More detailed review to follow. ( )
  glindaharrison | Oct 19, 2015 |
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