Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Speed of Life’ by James Victor Jordan organised by Blackthorn Book Tours. I hope that you will check out the book and the author.
What happens when a brutal crime threatens a mother’s love for her son?
An old Florida family and those in their orbit get caught in a torrent of passion, a deadly legal system, and the mythology of the Everglades, which runs as deep as this story does.
This was a difficult review to write, in part because The Speed of Life is a difficult book to define as it is a novel that touches on many different aspects. However, at its heart, it is a legal thriller about a crime and everything that spirals around that, from what lead to that moment, to the aftermath and fallout. It is also, unfortunately, a book that I struggled to connect with, something which is certainly more personal than anything else, because this is a beautiful book. The writing is fantastic, with some genuinely stunning descriptions paired with the illustrations done in with Eric Savage and Lorraine Hall.
“After all, what is consciousness if not a dialog between the past, the present, and the future? What are memories and dreams if not an expression of the speed of life?”
This quote is quite an apt representation of what this book is, and there was a dreamlike quality to the book which kept me reading to the end, even with my own complicated feelings about the book. The Speed of Life is one of those books that grabs hold of you, and makes you think about far more than just the clever, twisting crime story in the centre, but about questions of family and justice, past and present. It is a brilliant, multi-layered story, and I can see why many people have loved it.
I think perhaps for me the disconnect came through the characters, because this is a fast-paced story, with multiple POVs and time jumps. Which has the potential to make for a very confusing story, but in this case is woven together to make a coherent story that moves back and forth through time. However, it did feel as though as I was never able to truly make a connection with the characters, and with the jumps, you couldn’t take your eyes off the page long enough to make sense of what you did have because otherwise, you would lose the flow or an essential thread of the story. That said, I did feel that each of the pov characters had a strong, individual voice, and you could always tell who you were following.
This is not an easy read, with a brutal crime (tw: rape) and a complicated, interweaving of POVs and timelines. Still, I would recommend for anyone who wants something different from your usual crime thriller—a beautiful book, a strong debut, and one that many will fall in love with.
About the Author:
James Victor Jordan, a descendant of Eastern European shamans, writes fiction to explore justice, multiculturalism, spiritualism, and nature. His short stories have been widely published. He is an attorney holding a JD degree from UCLA and a Master of Professional Writing degree from the University of Southern California. He lives in Santa Monica, California with his best friends: Andrea, his wife and UC, their standard poodle.
The Speed of Life – James Victor Jordan – *** (3/5 Stars)
If you’ve read it or read in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.