Shutter Release is the third part of the Hook Pick and Lens (HPL) story.
(Possibly the last part? It would be so fitting for this to be a trilogy as threes abound in this intricately woven story. However, who would want Ryan Sylander to stop at three? Nobody.)
You don’t have to know the first thing about fishing, photography nor, increasingly, music, to be able to enjoy this story. You can revel in the complicated journey into music making and probably learn something even if, like me, you’re tonally challenged.
So step inside the muddled mind of a teenager having deep thoughts about shallow immature impulses. That’s cruel, but the protagonist Matt keeps repeating the same self-centred cycles and about half of the emotional turmoil of those near him is because he can’t damn well grow up and get some perspective! When will he notice this? Do you get the sense I want to throttle Matt sometimes? Its because I do! And because I care; you can't read this story without caring about these kids and wanting it all to turn out okay in the end.
Lara, more peripheral than ever, bares her beautiful heart on her album sleeve. Perhaps she can right the boat? But don’t get me started on Heather, that Icarus of the deep who flashes only those facets that the mortal see.
This story ought come with a health warning and a perimeter of caution tape least the unwary stray into this muddy bog of warm spring water where free time and free will evaporates as pages get turned long after you need sleep. Seriously, this is one of those epic stories where, as you approach the end, you get a sense of dread that the journey is over too soon and a realisation that you haven’t left the couch in days.
So read the story, then re-read the review, then groan. Sorry if I hammed it up.
I love the writing style and I love the trajectory. This is a story about emotions of extraordinary people hiding in plain sight in normal life and not your typical lottery-winning premise that catapults some two-dimensional protagonist into a life of meaningless sex. This story is the antidote to the normal run-of-the-mill coming-of-age descriptions-of-mechanical-sex.
The level of detail and completeness is overwhelming. The characters are so real and each little step – and some big leaps – each so believable yet when you put it all together and look back and see where things have gone you realise it that nobody has such a complicated unbelievable life!
So be lucky we get to read about it because we didn't live it.