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Posted July 24, 2008
Once a Hood Rat...Always a Hood Rat!
When does change embody storylines to take on more intrigue without damaging an author's muse and stylistic rendering? Is it a case of `once a hood rat always a hood rat'? Okay, you get the picture. If you've ever read a book by K'wan you would know what to expect, and perhaps understand my pet peeve about not giving readers a little more flavoring that would make the dish appealing. You would also know the types of settings that have been definitive of his writing and surely you would be able to predict what would be subsequent to the plot if his brand of characterization plays true to the game. The `game' in this instance is the same with a new address. It's the streets of Brooklyn centered on media madness in the form of music and the videos that fuel it. Our main characters are Yoshi and Jah. Yes, you met them in the author's preceding book, HOOD RATS. More of the same, you say? You betha! This time around we have have the two whom have embellished their relationship to the degree that romance is a thin unbalanced line between imaginary illusions and good intent. Yoshi plays her game to the hilt, always being in the right place at the right time while Jah is always a day late, and perpetually playing catch up and wondering how to acquire equal parity albeit with a streak of jealousness. The plot finds True, a somewhat successful artist who catapults to fame and fortune, only to find the enemies who want him out of the picture. The author paints Dena Jones as a quasi-tragic figure, who realizes that there's something more on the other side of the street, but circumstances says otherwise. She gets caught up in the game and manages to be two thirds of the catalyst that gives meaning to violence begetting violence. Others in the mix are Shannon, the older brother of Dena who only knows one means to an end - mischief and murder and the two-timing Lance,Dena's boyfriend playing up to a taboo relationship with Michelle. Mix in the usual gunrunning, dope dealing, and sexual machinations and you get a book this time with no significant improvement from the author's last offering. I read the book hoping to find solace in the fact that K'wan would give me more of his storytelling skill sans the sameness to his usual writing. The video shoot transforms the rest of the novel's depressing violence, including multiple murders, a less than appealing gang rape and the repeated acts that leave a less than memorable impression of an author that can write better. Greed and deception will always be major selling points in urban fiction, but what about enough denouements to keep us glued and clamoring for everything to tie in best for a story beyond the streets? I felt too, that the novel's cast of characters was a bit overblown that tend to cause a crowded environment. For K'wan fans, I'm sure would revel in the very uniqueness of writing Urban Fiction that they are used to. However, I rated it 3 stars out of 5.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.