I enjoyed reading this much anticipated if a bit choppy new start of the Rob Tacoma series. I was quickly immersed in the story and couldn't put it down. Read it in one sitting! For those of us who have read the previous Dewey Andreas series many familiar characters return including Dewey, Calibrisi, Katie, Igor. Rob Tacoma, himself, was pretty much consistent with previous depictions. Still, there was something missing in his interactions with other characters. The character interactions felt forced, almost uncomfortable. There were jarring moments with other characters when I felt that a particular character (Katie) would not behave the way its was portrayed. I found myself yelling at the book, "Katie would never get that emotional, she's a woman of brains, logic and action! She doesnt cry! She solves problems!" Dewey's cameo left me feeling sad and the scene felt artificial. It damaged his image and made him look like a loser. He and Rob are both pro's. They would not make those kinds of mistakes that led to the final chapters. They are better than that. And really, the author missed an opportunity there towards the end, instead of plugging in Dewey he could have introduced a new character that could grow and be a foil for Tacoma. That would have been a great hook for the next book. There were parts of the book that felt like they weren't written by Ben Coes but by Ben Coes Lite. In short, the book felt "dumbed down" compared to previous ones. Now its like all the others. I miss the depth and complexity of previous works. I want the REAL Ben Coes! It doesnt feel like the author's heart was in this book. I hated the ending! Understandably, its not easy starting another series after so many years spent with a much loved character. I'm hoping the next book will hit its stride and smooth out the rough patches started in this one. So here's to hoping the next book returns to Ben Coes quality because as long as Mr. Coes writes it. I'll buy it. Like Dewey and Tacoma, he is a badass and we love them!
***I received a copy of this book from netgalley for an honest review