October 03, 2012
Flexon Vale by Raeden Zen
I can freely admit that this isn't my style of book. In fact, I expected something more of a dystopian with some satire based on the back description on the cover that talked about super technology. But I was wrong; while there are some elements of satire in this book, it definitely was not really a dystopian in the general sense of the genre.
Chason Vale is the manager of a large hedge fund. Thanks to his intelligence and a partner named Felicia Sandorf who has remarkable ways of getting information, he is also one of the richest people in the USA. But his life isn't complete, reeling from the news of a beloved football coach and the scandal surrounding him, Chase is desperate to find satisfaction in something, and a new business deal is too irresistible to give up. Then there's Julian Flexon, a college student with a love of drugs, alcohol, and earning money, he manages to get himself in trouble quite often, and there is a parallel between the two characters and their actions.
Chason and Julian are not really likable characters. And that's fine, main characters don't always have to be likable, but I didn't really connect with any of them. My main complaint is that it's very hard to sort out who's talking about what, when, where, why when reading about them. I was halfway through the book before I could figure out who was being focused on. It doesn't help that both have the same taste in pursuits and the only difference is one is grown with a family and the other in college. Some of the side characters were ok though. Like Sierra, Chason's wife. She was someone that I was able to identify with. I do think it should be noted that the football scandal had people who acted very much like those in the real life Penn State scandal, and this is something Zen notes in the beginning of the book; so if that's a touchy subject for some people, they may want to steer clear.
This book definitely has a knowledgeable tone to it. That being said I'm not much interested in the world of finance so I can't say whether or not the parts of the book that talk about it are accurate or not. They read as being accurate, but I definitely wouldn't take them to heart when playing the stock market just to be on the safe side. And aside from that, it's just not an engaging topic for me so I found myself looking forward more to the flashbacks of the college days where I could understand even if I couldn't identify with what the kids were doing. I thought the subplot of the football incident was done well and liked that it drew from real life events, so that was a positive aspect of this book. The main plot meandered along at a decent pace, but then in the last part of it, it suddenly went lightning speed and I completely lost track of what was going on. I do think the book could be benefited by going back and slowing it down so that it makes more sense.
It should be warned that there is plenty of cursing and descriptive sex in this book; just so the reader can be fairly warned. It didn't detract from the book at all in my opinion though, but rather showed the mood of the book and its characters.
This isn't a book I would probably return to reread. I found the premise interesting but ultimately could not sink into the book and enjoy the reading experience. Perhaps someone with a different taste from mine could appreciate it more, but for me, this book hovered somewhere between two and a half stars and three.