2020 Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 6 books toward her goal of 240 books.

Book Review: The Desire Card by Matthew Lee Goldberg

This was a solid concept that drew me in from the beginning. I fully expected not to like Harrison, and I wasn’t disappointed – he’s fairly vile, representing the “ME, ME, ME!” attitude that seems all too common these days… Despite this, his story grabbed me from the opening pages and I was exceptionally curious to see where the Desire Card would take him (knowing full well it wouldn’t be anywhere good). Somewhere about a quarter of the way in things went off the rails for me, story-wise, though and I had a hard time finding my way back into any sense of connection or engagement with the story – until the very end…

I think that is as much about me as a reader/person as about the book – although I definitely think the book could use a bit of tightening as Harrison’s life devolves into (and immediately after) his experiences in Mumbai. I am not a person who enjoys watching a train wreck – and I especially don’t enjoy watching it D R A G out. That’s what it felt like the story did – torturously dragged itself on and on, milking every drop of negativity possible out of Harrison’s life. I get that this is a cautionary tale and this was likely intentional, but it made for a tough slog of a read. It was especially difficult to deal with after the engaging beginning – which was also about Harrison confronting his demons, but felt like it was presented in a much sleeker, crisper fashion that rolled along at a much faster and more enjoyable clip.

The ending picked up and the book hit its stride again, but I almost put it down and left it down a couple of times in the middle – it was only my curiosity that kept me rolling along. I’m glad I know how it wrapped up, but definitely think we could have gotten there in a more streamlined fashion without sacrificing anything in the overall story. It’s a timely and compelling concept with a lot of potential for future story lines (the author mentions that there will be more books), and I think a tighter edit to bring the pacing into a more even keel in line with the start/finish of this one would turn this into a superb series.

My review copy was provided by Reedsy Discovery.

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