Crown (January 14, 2014)
I have to point out right off the bat that I really loved Shovel Ready. It was probably one of my favorite reads in weeks. But there is some rather graphic content about 2/3 of the way through the book that kept me from giving it a 5/5 stars. I used to read a horror novel a week when I was young so, graphic violence and even somewhat graphic sexual content really don’t bother me too much. But when you start dealing with pregnant 18 year olds and their perverted fathers…. Well, I can’t get too far past that kind of stuff. Sorry… I have no doubt that the author knew it was disturbing and he was probably going for this. But hearing about what happened earlier in the book was a little different than getting the blow by blow, later in the book. I would have been fine with the former, the latter bothered me.
Leaving all that behind, I found Shovel Ready to be an extremely good book with amazing dialogue and a really good story. There were certainly some points where you felt like the author might have been searching for the next plot point or perhaps not taking something all the way because it was too ambitious. But in the end, it works out to be a good story with some good work all the way around. I really liked the way the author incorporated New York into his work almost like it was a foreign country or alien planet he was describing. This is a future New York not the New York of today. But the actual dates of the occurrences are never mentioned therefore considering the circumstances the whole thing becomes a very real, very plausible situation.
While I did feel that some of Shovel Ready was a bit too over the top. On the whole, I felt it was an excellent book with a unique voice. Certainly something that science fiction fans should take a look at. Just be mindful of what you are getting your self into.