Book Review: Run Like Hell by Adam Gaffen

Due to some strange machinations of the universe, I have had rather a lot of futuristic sci-fi/dystopian books cross my review desk lately. I am perfectly alright with this, as they are a favourite of mine. One of these books to become involved in this weird phenomenon is Run Like Hell, the first book in the Cassidy Chronicles by Adam Gaffen. And, by golly, the title says it all.

1. Thoughts on the plot

This book takes place some couple hundred years into the future, when the current United States has evolved into several different countries and collectives, some at war, all with different levels of rules and currency and the like. The main characters are Aiyana Cassidy and Kendra Foster-Briggs, and the book starts with their wedding. Before the vows can be said, someone tries to kill Cass and things, naturally, devolve from there. Now, Ken and Cass go on the run while trying to figure out what’s going on, while also not getting killed. Old secrets come to light and our main characters may be in for more than they expected.

The plot in this book moves very quickly. That is to be expected, given both the nature of the plot (run away, someone’s trying to kill me) and the title. However, despite the fact that it moves very quickly, I never felt overwhelmed. The plot was very well structured, with the salient points precisely where I would expect them to be. And, given the drama of the ending, I fully expect the pace to continue into the next book. 

2. Thoughts on the characters

It can be occasionally difficult to have two main characters of the same gender unless their personalities are wildly different, even opposites. The main characters here were not opposites, yet I think they were both very distinct and fun to read. I liked the dynamic of their relationship, with each pushed the other just enough for growth without turning into a problematic argument or situation. I will say that I wish there were just a bit more growth to the characters as they moved through the story. Generally, they did change and develop, but after about the thirty percent mark, they stayed relatively static. However, given the vast nature of the series, I think that the growth I want is likely to happen further into the books, when the situations become more involved/intense and more information about the situations is presented. 

3. Favourite part

The car. Oh, stars. That car!

4. Critique

I really liked this book, with all its adventure and fast pace, so the critique is slightly ironic in that sense. Most of the plot was portrayed to the reader through character dialogue. There was very little narration, very little action, that was not shown with dialogue. This is a very valid style, and it did work well given how swiftly things needed to move in this book, but I wish there were just a little more narration outside of dialogue. Mostly to do with character interaction, simply because I think body language and movement is equally important as dialogue. It’s a fairly minor issue, but i did notice it.

Overall, I think that Run Like Hell was a very good book with interesting characters and a premise that was fascinating to explore. I enjoyed the situations, the plot, the drama, and the characters, and would recommend this book to any interested. A very good book.