Friday, March 14, 2014

New Release March 14: The Quest for Truth (Paranoia #2) by Jonathan-David Jackson

Today, I am happy to announce the release of a sequel I've been looking forward to for some time.  I don't usually get the inside scoop for releases like this, other than for David Estes books, so I'm excited to be one of the first to tell you about it.  I think those of you who like humorous, quirky books will like this one and its predecessor The Quest for Juice.  

Oscar's orderly paranoid world has been turned upside down by the Red Fist Army and he now lives in exile. With the help of Penelope, Jim, and Mr. Hodge the hedgehog, he must free their hostage town, take on the Red Fist, and discover the truth about Dr. Boggs.

However, when things go wrong and Oscar loses his closest friends, he has to rely on an unlikely group of refugees with surprising mental abilities. As he continues on his journey to freeing the town and himself, he finds out more of his own truths than he ever imagined, and absolutely nobody shoots lasers out of their eyes. 
I first discovered this series on the CreateSpace message boards before The Quest for Juice was quite finished, read a preview of the work in progress, and was immediately hooked. After that, I kept an eye out on the message board that had first pointed me towards the preview, looking for the typical excited post that authors tend to leave when their hard work is done and their books are going live. When I finally saw it, I snatched up a copy of the book immediately (kindle version) and devoured it, leaving what I think just may have been the first review for it.

Since then, I've been waiting for book two, because the first story ended with a promise of more, a prospect I looked forward to. Imagine my surprise when the author contacted me on Goodreads to offer an ARC copy and a heads up that his book was going live on the 14th.  Of course, I jumped at the opportunity.  

Check back in next week for my review of The Quest for Truth, but in the meantime, here's my original review for The Quest for Juice.  


The Quest for Juice (Paranoia #1)The Quest for Juice by Jonathan-David Jackson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Quirky, dark and funny.

Oscar Wells suspects 'they' are up to no good in his town. All of his extensive research, documented meticulously on a wall in his house, points towards a dark conspiracy. First, it's little things, like his key not quite fitting and having to jiggle it to open his door. But when his favorite Sunshine Juice is replaced by Sunlight OJ, "now with 50% more real orange pulp," they've gone too far. From there Oscar spirals into a paranoid breakdown that lands him first in jail and later in a mental ward, and then it gets really interesting.

Oscar is a mess. The book is told from his perspective and he freely walks you through every connection, suspicion and thought that lead him to his often tenuous conclusions and decidedly odd outlook on life. I found myself laughing aloud many a time.

On the other hand, the unlikely outcome requires quite a leap of faith, even through the eyes of the delusional main character. Entertaining, yes; believable, no. I'm not certain I would read the next one in the series when it comes out, because I'm not sure what's left to tell based on where the story left off.*

Overall, The Quest for Juice is an enjoyable read with a ton of humorous, though at times dark, insanity sprinkled in. I highly recommend it to people who like stories where reality and perception clash in interesting ways. This story kept me guessing and second guessing, and I loved that about it.

View all my reviews

*Having started the sequel at this point, I can say there is plenty left to tell, and so far it's on par with the first one. I think at the time I originally wrote this review, I was having trouble picturing a sequel. The story is completely unpredictable (rare in most books), which probably led me to that conclusion. How could I predict the unpredictable? So far, the author seems to be proving me wrong, and that's a good thing.