Adam Martinez and Marcus Veers quickly became best friends in the sixth grade but sadly as time marched on, into adulthood, their friendship fell to the wayside. It wasn’t until Marcus’ untimely death did Adam revisit his past and reopen old wounds. In doing so, he uncovered the truth behind Marcus’ demise and the discovery of the underground society he belonged to.
The ever present hidden demons we all suffer rear their ugly heads in The Rose Society #1. What we perceive to be the truth and what we think is real often ends up shattered by the revelations these demons bring. Upon the death of his best friend from childhood Adam finds himself face to face with his demon. The reality is he’d not kicked the old habit and his drug use proves to die hard. Grief, regret, and the weight of loss kick start a spiral for Adam that sees him find that Marcus’ mother has passed. No rest for the weary though as Adam is on the end of a seemingly unprovoked attack from his dealer. Surprise surprise though, he has a savior … and it shatters his reality. Marcus isn’t dead and comes to Adam’s rescue.
Secret lives and societies are always a good sell. The marriage of these with the element of a deeply personal relationship is an excellent hook. This inclusion helps create the stake for the reader in tandem with the characters. As the pages turn and the road gets ever winding it is hard not to be fully immersed and genuinely intrigued as to where the book is going. What is happening with this underground society and their plans? What is Marcus’ relationship to it and/or involvement. Is everything Adam knew a lie or something else entirely? How can all of it be resolved between Adam and Marcus? Can it be at all?
The underground society brings the thrilling conspiratorial aspect while the relationship between Adam and Marcus delivers an emotional tale of friendship. Both parts of this book are built very well. We readers are immediately submerged in Adam’s world and invest in him as the main character of the story. He’s introduced as being in a bad place that is quickly getting worse. Then everything he knows is tossed into the grinder. Helping this progression is the presentation of the book. Proper color gradation from the start to end of the book helps invoke the changing climate of Adam’s life and the danger he now finds himself in. Flashbacks are appropriately golden lensed and the overall look of the action brings an air of fantasy that represents the collision/shattering of Adam’s perceived reality and what’s really happening. The entire creative team flows in a seamless effort that even “big” publisher books have trouble doing.
The Rose Society #1 is well worth the read folks.