Wednesday, April 17, 2013

First Chapter Review: No Hope for Gomez! by Graham Parke

The first chapter of No Hope for Gomez! was sent to me by author Graham Parke. I've featured Graham more than once on my blog. He's known to run all fun kinds of promotions for his book. He actually toured with Pump Up Your Book when this book first came out. Since then, he's run other promotions on his own, which have kept me curious about No Hope for Gomez! 

BLURB: It's the age-old tale:

Boy meets girl.
Boy stalks girl.
Girl already has a stalker.
Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.

We've seen it all before, many times, but this time it's different. If only slightly.

When Gomez Porter becomes a test subject in an experimental drug trial, he is asked to keep track of any strange experiences through a blog. What Gomez isn't ready for, is so many of his experiences suddenly seeming strange; the antiques dealer trying to buy his old tax papers, the phone-sex salesman who hounds him day and night, the super sexy research assistant who falls for him but is unable to express herself in terms outside the realm of science. But when one of the trial participants turns up dead and another goes missing, Gomez begins to fear for his life. No longer sure who he can trust and which of his experiences are real and which merely drug induced delusions, he decides it's time to go underground and work out a devious plan.

Now, years later, his blogs have been recovered from a defunct server. For the first time we can find out firsthand what happened to Gomez as he takes us on a wild ride of discovery.

COVER: This cover has always intrigued me. It's simple black and white with a dash of color, so normally, I would say, blah, yuck, too bland. But as I read the first chapter, it fit. Gomez is a big thinker, so the thinker statue on the cover matches perfectly. I'm guessing the sombrero is hint at the character's ancestry, but I could be way off. And maybe, the black and white cover is a good symbol for black and white thinking.

FIRST CHAPTER: As a test subject for an experimental drug, Gomez has been instructed to blog about everything, leaving nothing out. While reading the paper, Gomez discovers a man he knows has turned up dead. Suddenly, he fears the same fate awaits him.

KEEP READING: Definitely. Parke knows how to attract an audience and bring them along for the ride. This opening chapter captures the attention of the reader with its odd style and immediate conflict. Written as a series of blog entries, you're immediately pulled in by the (possible) ramblings of an experimental drug subject. Because you don't know what the drug is--neither does Gomez--and you're unsure of his mental state before or while being a test subject, you don't know what to make of Gomez. You're not quite done digesting that information when you discover the same subject is afraid for his life after reading an article about the death of another participant in the drug test. It's a zany premise for a book, which is partially why you're captivated by it. The main draw, however, is that Parke's writing has caught you--hook, line, and sinker.

Paperback: 194 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (January 12, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1432752480
ISBN-13: 978-1432752484

This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.

The author is offering a free sequel to anyone who purchases one of his novels. You can find the details here.

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