Friday, November 14, 2014

The Hostage Heist~Jorge Ortiz | Review/Thoughts

The Hostage Heist by Jorge Ortiz.
Length: 97 pages (double spaced)
Genre: Young Adult
My rating: 1/5 stars.

I received a free copy of this novel from a giveaway on goodreads. These are my honest opinions.

The Hostage Heist follows Brian, a freshman in college whose father abandoned him, his mother, and younger brother ten years previously. While working and going to school, Brian also races his Dodge Charger in local races with the help of his best friend Erick.
After beating the local racing king in a match race Brian's mother and brother are forcefully taken from their home by Ben, a criminal who knew Brian's father. Ben demands that Brian start an illegal street race in order to gain the attention of the local police while he and his cronies rob a nearby bank. If Brian fails to keep the police on his tail and way from the bank he will never see his mother and brother again.

My Thoughts
I really wanted to enjoy this novella. It sounded like a somewhat intriguing (if cliche) story. I enjoy helping unknown/unrecognized authors get their work out there if I can. After winning this giveaway I was looking forward to reading and reviewing this novel. Unfortunately, it was not the enjoyable read I was hoping for.

The writing is all over the place. I honestly felt like it was something that would have been written by a much younger author. It seemed more the rough outline of a story idea from a middle school child than the work of an adult. There were many misspelled words, typos, and misused words. I would think these mistakes would have been caught by an editor, but apparently they were not (since I noticed afterward that an editor was listed in the novel). 
The writing also switches randomly between tenses within sentences and paragraphs. The beginning of a sentence/paragraph will begin in past tense and suddenly switch to present tense halfway through.  It was very confusing and I found myself trying to edit the story in my head as I read. Punctuation was another shortcoming. There was very little punctuation used throughout dialog, forcing me to reread several sentences to make sure I understood what the characters were trying to convey. Semicolons were used many times throughout the novella and often not correctly. 

The story itself had many holes and inconsistencies that I found it hard to overlook. Brian and his friends and family seemed to live in a rather small town making it seem unlikely that a criminal like Ben would target the bank (for what I believe was the second time). The small town just didn't seem like the target of someone after a lot of money. 

Brian was all over the place as a character. One minute he was angry and the next he was willing to forgive everyone in order to finally have a "normal" family. He had weird outbursts of anger that didn't make sense. His thoughts were jumbled and all over the place (it was a first person narrative). His ability to race seemed almost nonexistent and it made no sense that everyone around him thought he was such a fantastic driver. It seemed like he was just a teenager who occasionally went out and raced other teenagers in their somewhat nice (but not particularly fancy) cars.  The rest of the charters were equally underdeveloped.

The ending of the novella was completely illogical. Instead of going to prison for illegal street racing (and perhaps murder, but I won't get into that) Brian along with his friends and family are recruited by the police to help them catch criminals they can't keep up with because they themselves are not racers and have never participated in street racing. The whole conclusion to the story just doesn't make any sense.

The concept could have been made into a story worth telling, but needed much more work and detailed planning. I hope that Jorge Ortiz continues with his writing and is able to improve. I strongly believe in doing the things you love. I also strongly believe in improving in the things you love and this could use much improvement. A more developed plot line and better editing would help the story tremendously.

Where to find me: YouTube, goodreads, Twitter.

Until next time. This has been your book loving friend Courtney.



No comments:

Post a Comment