Dare to Know Review

Author: James Kennedy Publisher: Quirk Books

Page Count: 299 Pages

Journey surrounding death – except the journey is a little crazy and random.

Dare to Know Cover Art

I would like to thank Netgalley and Quirk Publishing for the chance to read this ARC in return for reviewing this novel.

Dare to Know is a book that has a simple concept within its pages and the blurb very much encapsulates this – hence why I asked to read the novel. The story follows a deadbeat salesmen but their product is a little bit unusual. Instead of selling cars or a holiday; he sells the knowledge of when you will die. The novel follows this unnamed character as he discovers his own death date, the story then unravelling to follow his life up until this point and how he got into this business and how he discovered this information. However, what the blurb hides really well is the fact this book is hazardous in the way the story is written and the quirky sections that are mixed in.

Dare to Know has a selection of characters in which the story introduces – I didn’t mind any of these characters and found them at times interesting, however I felt at times the story didn’t take the characters anywhere of interest or left them in limbo without much explanation. The main character himself, I liked and his inner dialogue were sometimes amusing and awkward – questioning his circumstances and generally demonstrating that he doesn’t a full grasp of the situation. It was these pages that pulled me along the most – enjoying his pondering, wondering if it will lead him anywhere.

The issue that I had with this novel was the randomness – especially within the first half of the novel. The novel would jump from past, present and future, stuffing randomness in between these pages. This made it at some points tricky to follow the story or to build a connection with the character. I didn’t find myself enjoying the book until a third of the way in and even then it was a slow build up. This randomness is calmed down during the later half – with the author concentrating the story more on the unnamed main characters but they did slide in some extremely stage moments. Now the ending itself was……odd – their were connections that were linked within the story, which was great to see the story coming into a full circle, however this didn’t prevent or fully explain the ending itself.

Overall, I did enjoy Dare to Know in parts and I always enjoy reading a novel that is a different and more original, and this story fits that bill nicely. I think readers may find this novel challenging and it would be more enjoyable for the niche Sci-fi reader, who enjoys a crazier story line.

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