After taking several days off of work for familial reasons, I managed to find this little nugget in the archives. It is a coming of age story from roughly a boy's early teen years until his early college years. What makes this story different from many other coming of age stories is that the boy is not a huge person, nor what many consider an alpha male in many ways. Instead, an early tragedy simply makes him one of the most determined characters you might ever read about.
For plot, I give the story an outstanding 10. It is definitely long enough to be able to explore many facets, not only of the main character, but also of some side characters.
Technical score is where this one suffers some. Early chapters nearly merit a 10, but somewhere near the middle of the story the author starts making many mistakes, dropping some of the chapter scores to a B (7) or worse. Many of the mistakes are common homophone errors. Women/woman, freshman/freshmen, and many others. In some instances, words are simply misspelled, while in others, whole words are in a sentence with no true indication how they got there or where they truly belong. On average, I would say it earned a B+/A-, so I am giving it an 8, although a 7.75 might be more accurate.
For personal appeal, I give it an A+ (9). There is just enough character development, romance and action mixed in to the story. What, in my opinion, could have made it better? As a reader, I would have liked to have seen what happened in the next few years of the MC's life. Other than that, it was great.
This story can't decide whether it wants to be romantic or action/adventure or sports or coming of age or..... For the most part, I think you get some of the best of each genre.
Successful relationships happen with too much ease and frequency. The protagonist seems to rarely face a setback. There are events which, while portrayed as inexplicable, really are. The author's grasp of physics is a little wobbly Most of the villains are flat, with their only redeeming quality being the occasional sports mastery. The book is misnamed as it covers more than one year. :-)
The main characters all have flaws. The major antagonist is not purely evil, though enjoyably antagonistic. Many of the problems, both large and small, follow a logical if bigger than life arc. People important in the beginning, like in real life, become less important later (with satisfying notable exceptions). The plot manages to stay interesting, pointing out the minutia of everyday life, then glossing over them.
In the end, if you want the extra-long extended highlight reel of a young man's life, with the ups and occasional downs and all the angst and tribulation and realization and awe that comes with that, this is the book for you.
This is the story about a young seemingly naive boy named 'Cal' Banner, his family, his friends, and his enemies, as he grows up into a naive young man. It is also about football, basketball, and his loves and sex life. We are led to believe that his personal code of ethics makes him feel guilty about vigorously defending himself and his loved ones from dangers most real; even to the deaths and debilitating injuries of the 'black hats' who have no compunction about trying to kill him. The descriptions of his basketball and football games are quite vivid in their detail, perhaps too vivid, but I'll leave the dear reader to decide.
It is exceedingly well written, and deserves the attention of the reader.
Some characters in the story surface, and after a time disappear never to be read about again.
But with any good story such as this I recommend it to you to enjoy. As I did!
What a wonderful book. I'm a Division 1a college athlete, or I was until I graduated last year. For those that don't understand the rankings, that's the highest level in college sports. I rarely read a story all they way through about athletes, because so few understand what the life of an athlete is like in the real world. Banner year has a few mistakes, minor one that concern NCAA rules, but the way the characters are portrayed is so accurate that I'm sure I know several of the folk in this story.
The story is full of action and a very strong plot. There is sex and it's great, but this isn't a straight stroke story. What makes the sex great is that the author shows us as much about what is going on in the minds as the body parts. I do believe the brain is our primary sex organ and this story makes full use of it.
Do I have complaints? A few, I don't know any athlete with as much free time as the characters in this story have. I do think the author falls into the trap of the "winning" team, but he redeems himself by showing how exhilarating it can be to exceed you expectations. I've been on teams that frankly suck, and I've won championships. However, personal success or that impossible win can be much more satisfying that winning a state championship.
I also have more respect for the American legal system than the author. Frankly the story sounds like it takes place in my country rather than the USA. I found at least one of the "conflicts" to be a little forced, but I'm picking nits. I loved the action and I was sorry to see the story end.
I like a long story with plenty of plot and sex where it makes sense to the story. Here, we have a young hero, who, because of a traumatic event early in his life, decides that he will never be unprepared again. As with many heroes, he's smart, artistic, athletic, determined, and gets more sex than any of us ever did at his age. He is uncompromisingly loyal to his friends and family, he is mature beyond his years, and he is highly introspective. Very much the kind of hero we can like.
The author has surrounded him with a collection of family and friends who show the same kind of depth, and who we quickly come to care about. There are also some really nasty villains who we find it very easy to dislike.
The writing quality is IMHO good enough for print and the story is one that you will find hard to put down. At the time of this review we're up to chapter 26, and I'm certainly looking forward to seeing where the author takes our hero and his friends. Try it yourself!
This serial is one of the best that I have read in a long time. There is a fair amount of conflict in this, and the hero doesn't always make the right choices. The characters have, well, character and are more than just stereotypes or role-fillers.
The writing is top-notch and very smooth.
The story is doing a very good job of drawing me in, although at times it seems like there are a lot of balls up in the air. It sometimes gets confusing when trying to remember what is going on. However, that cannot be avoided when writing a story of this scope, both in time and in character development.