Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Officer Tequila Shots by James Dearling

     We have all, at one time or another, had the desire to just drop our lives and become somebody else. For many of us its a drive of envy that fuels us, though for others its just simply the fact that we've had enough and we're ready to just make a change. This same desire is the driving force behind my book for this week.

     Officer Tequila Shots follows Norman; a man who is simply fed up with life in general, at least his. As he sits in his cubicle, in a scene reminiscent of the movie Office Space, enough becomes enough for Norman and he sets out to find some type of purpose in his life, other than selling insurance.

     After a short walk he finds himself standing at the doors of a costume store, thoughts of what could be still filling his otherwise normal life. As he enters and stares at a realistic police uniform, his new lease in life becomes apparent. After a quick exchange with the clerk, and a change of clothes, white bread drone Norman becomes Officer Tequila Shots.

     Taking his role, and misplaced respect he fells, very seriously, Norman struts around town tipping his hat and exchanging pleasantries with the 'civillians'; keeping a sharp eye out for anyone he can help. His eagle-eyed patrolling leads him to a pot-smoking group of young teens, and his life, both of them, becomes changed forever.

     Throughout this story I found myself caught in a love-hate relationship, though by the end I'm happy to say there are plenty of pros to reading this story:
  • Norman and his supporting cast are very real people. Their speech patterns, interactions, and decisions they make are almost what you would expect.
  • I appreciate the comedic undertones of this book to no end. While it isn't foremost a comedy, the parts that are meant to be funny really hit the right notes. 
  • The book feels like a good action movie in the way it reads. Each page keeps you hoping for another gun fight or fight scene until the end. 
     While I did enjoy the book as a whole, there are a few thing that I didn't care for as much:
  • The 'Urban' feel felt a bit forced and almost a bit stereotypical, though as I mentioned above it does add to the movie feel. 
  • Some of the characters become a bit one dimensional as the story goes on.
     In the end Officer Tequila Shots by James Dearling is a fun, action filled novella about a man wanting to become someone other than himself. His vigilante ways brings him toe to toe with one of the largest crime syndicates in the city. Though it did have it ticks, what story doesn't, it was a wonderful weekend read that I would recommend to anyone who is a fan of action stories. 

     Overall I'm going to give Officer Tequila Shots a solid 7/10 based on:
     8/10 for readability - Though being a novella, the story moves at a great pace throughout. Each page has been edited down to the necessities, as a good novella should be, and no word is wasted. The writing itself has a great flow and keeps you turning pages. 

     6/10 for characters - Don't confuse this with a rating on all the characters. The main characters such as Norman, the lead woman and her son are wonderfully written real people. The ancillary characters such as the cops, drug dealers etc are all a bit one dimensional. None of them really distinguish themselves from the others, though to be fair some of them only have one or two lines before they are killed off. This could be a reflection of the amount of characters over the course of a novella and thus the limited space for the reader to connect with any of them. 

     7/10 for story -  I have mixed feelings about the story, but overall really liked it. On one hand the character of Norman has no experience or training so he shouldn't be able to do the things he does. On the other hand Dearling does a wonderful job giving his ineptitude a nod and showing how he almost gets himself killed...numerous times. 

     9/10 for action - One area where this story really hits the mark, and the area that I feel is its X-factor, is the action scenes. Whether it be a fight scene, gun battle or chase scene everything is choreographed perfectly. Each scene feels fluid and moves wonderfully, each punch and ricochet builds a scene in your minds eye that's real and belongs in a movie. 

     I have to thank James Dearling for reaching out to me about Officer Tequila Shots; it's a strong, fun work that makes a great addition to any one's digital library or bookshelf.

If you would like to check out this title for yourself click here.

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