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The Voting Machine Book Review
Can voting actually kill you?
Have you ever felt that you live under a black cloud, that things seem to happen around you? Perhaps you are a medic a police officer or a nurse, and even when off-duty somehow accidents or injuries just seem to happen around you. What if it is more than coincidence? What if it really is you? Perhaps you are tangled in an imperceptible web of events and people who have a much larger agenda that you can scarcely grasp. This is the world of Temo McCarthy.
Image credit FreeRepublic.com
When a person hits rock bottom, they find themselves taking chances and doing things they would otherwise never do. When you find yourself penniless, without friends or family, homeless and jobless; perhaps taking extreme chances doesn't seem so crazy. This is where Temo McCarthy is at as the book opens, going from employee of the year with a beautiful and loving wife to very quickly alcoholic, jobless, soon to be divorced felon. Interestingly enough, this story is placing a window that can show the reader how perhaps any of us with just a couple of seemingly missteps and some small environmental factors, could take a successful happy employed person into a dangerous rabbit hole of prison and self destructive behavior.
In that rock bottom state, Temo starts to make new friends and work on new opportunities that are designed to help him rebuild his life, yet actually take him into a whole new world that could actually end his life. Who would think that volunteering at an election could be so interesting let alone dangerous. Sure, intrinsically we know that results from state and national elections can have great impact on society and individuals but what if those impacts are so great that it is suddenly worth working to change results perhaps in manners not quite legal. Perhaps those rewards are worth killing over? Temo is now caught in the middle of a vortex of secret societies, big money and dangerous drug gangs. Two people close to him are already dead, how many more will get hurt before he can help solve what is going on?
Do you typically enjoy book series?
My Overall Review
I should start with a cautionary note that this is actually book two of a series, the first being "Employee of the Year", and while there are throwbacks to the first book, there is enough explanations that if you are like this reader and have not read book one, you will be just fine.
"The Voting Machine" is a fast paced adventure novel that is bound to keep you reading regardless of the hour or other personal obligations. Like fast food fries, it is addicting in a way that you scarcely realize until you look up and realize how many fries you have eaten on the drive home. Sadly like fries, this book will leave you asking for more, which will most likely come in the form of book 3. If you are one of those readers that wants their questions answered and clean outcomes at the end of 346 pages, you will walk away hungry and looking for more.
The story itself is a crazy adventure that requires a slight amount of reader acceptance that somehow one person can always seem to be in the wrong place (or right place) at the wrong time. This is not a new characteristic to stories, there are no lack of books and movies that require the same level of acceptance of convenient character interaction. If the reader is willing to provide the right indulgences, the writing and the story will not disappoint you.
If you need some junk food, this book is sure to satisfy.
Interview with the author
Q: Many authors find writing a book an exhausting marathon. What is it like to write knowing that at the end you will need to quickly start on your next book in the series to keep your readers satisfied?
A: It's true writing books is like a marathon... I have some experience with long distance running and you learn how to apply pacing, patience and discipline to what you do. You make it part of your daily life in a measured way and once that happens it's not so exhausting.
I thought it was best to structure the Temo McCarthy stories as a series of inter-related books. I've always been a big fan of authors who take the time to map out complex plots and themes that might span a series of novels, whether it's Proust or Tolkien or Stieg Larsson. This episodic approach to the medium allows the exploration of different themes and plots and characters on many levels. It allows a certain richness, scale and complexity in the story telling that I find very satisfying both as a reader and a writer.
There are certainly near-term disadvantages, both for the author and for the reader, during this intermediary stage between the release of The Voting Machine and the publication of the next book later this year. But in the long run, I think the majority of readers will enjoy being to be able to explore the series and go from one book to the next at their own pace.
Q: Being the author of a series, do you have a master plan to where you think your authors will go over the course of 2-3+ books, or do you discover it as you are writing?
A: I have a general outline of the plot, characters and themes over the span of a couple books... little details and tweaks occur a long the way.
Q: What have you found to be the most challenging part of writing in general a book or perhaps an entire series?
A: The most challenging part for me is deciding the story I want to dedicate my time and attention to developing. I typically have many different ideas that I am interesting in exploring but very limited time... so I have to choose.
Q: What are your overall future goals? Continue with the series, start an entire new series, or something different altogether?
A: I am doing a little bit of all of the above. The sequel to The Voting Machine, titled The Watch List, will be published later this year. Separate from the Temo McCarthy series, I recently published a separate novel The Fugitive Grandma. The Fugitive Grandma has a very different tone and structure, it's a comedy-thriller about a boy and his grandma who devise a Robin Hood style scheme to rob a retail pharmacy chain for cash and medicine. (I'd be happy to send you a copy of this if you'd like to review it.) The Fugitive Grandma works as a standalone novel but could turn into a series of adventure books later on..
Get your own copy
Perfect for summer reading on the beach or entertainment on your next airplane trip. Not a book you will find in the normal airport shops, but well worth the extra effort to obtain.