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Bullets Aren't Kosher
Ezra Barany, author
Ever wake up wondering where you were, who you were, and why you were wanted for murder? That was the start of my day. How was yours? Unfortunately, unlocking the secret of who I was released a Pandora's box of trouble. From getting top-billing on the Most Wanted list, to sharing a room with a ticking bomb in the TransAmerica building, to being chased by a gang of motorcyclists in suits across Golden Gate Park.  Yeah. I should have left my identity unknown and ordered a pastrami sandwich instead.
Plot/Idea: 6 out of 10
Originality: 6 out of 10
Prose: 6 out of 10
Character/Execution: 6 out of 10
Overall: 6.00 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: This comic thriller makes amnesia a major plot point, which provides for ample moments of comedy as well as mystery to keep it engaging. The plot unfolds a bit unevenly, but maintains a steady pace that will keep readers turning pages.

Prose/Style: The writing is accessible, propulsive, and humorous, with lively dialogue that manages to imbue energy as well as aid the plot. Yet, the unusual choice to have chapters switch between the amnestic first person narrator and a third person narrator, like Sarah, Holly, Lance, or Alessandra, ends up creating some confusing moments that hinders the plot and could be avoided by paring down the number of point of view characters.

Originality: This novel, while not especially inventive, is entertaining and interesting, and it manages to be unique in its balancing intensity with moments of heart and humor.

Character Development/Execution: The amnestic narrator is the heart of the novel, and his distinct voice and humor keep the story engaging as he discovers himself. The supporting characters are also important to the story and most are well developed, but the villains feel like tropes at times and require another layer of characterization.

Date Submitted: May 30, 2021

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