I have to apologize to Qwantu for not getting this review done to coincide with my finishing of his book One Blood. I finished back at the beginning of April and wrote down my thoughts and then misplaced the important piece of paper. Looking through a stack of rough drafts this morning, I discovered it had gotten mixed up with them. Better late than never…
The author of this book, Qwantu Amaru, approached me at the beginning of the year to read and review his book, One Blood. I have to admit that I was excited to do so. I offer my opinions on books quite often, but never before has an author actually asked me for it! So, I said yes. I didn’t even go and look at the book, I just said yes. After reading the synopsis on Amazon, I have to admit, I was intrigued…
“A governor and his sordid past are at the heart of a tale of retribution in Amaru’s stunning debut novel.
When Karen Lafitte disappears, her father, Louisiana governor Randy Lafitte, is initially skeptical of the ensuing ransom note. The governor believes that he’s responsible for his father’s death years earlier, resulting in a curse that’s been passed down the Lafitte line. He’s particularly concerned that his daughter is now the same age as his son, Kristopher, who was 18 when he was killed. In fact, in addition to money, the ransom note demands the pardon of a lifer, Lincoln Baker, who was imprisoned for the murderer of Randy’s son. What follows is an elaborate pattern of revenge involving multiple parties, delving into the Lafitte family history and Randy’s dark road to an elected office. Amaru’s greatest achievement is a nonlinear story that still manages to be clean-cut and precise. The plot bounces readers from one time period to another–flashbacks sometimes occur during other flashbacks, and dream sequences meld into memories and back into real time. Despite this narrative style, the story is, surprisingly, never perplexing.
A gutsy book that blazes trails, plotted at breakneck speed that won’t let up.”
One Blood is an excellent discourse of interwoven tales. The story is engaging and as it unfolded, each of the characters came to life in their own way. The cast was well written and none of them shone more brightly than any of the others. In a book with a huge cast of characters, you sometimes find that one or more of them are written with more depth, either by design or accident. In One Blood, each character plays an integral role and as a result, are all believable, and even more importantly, could exist in the society that we inhabit today.
The prose that Amaru uses throughout is fluid and quite lovely at times, while in others they hold the edge that they need to. It’s a tool that helps the interwoven plot to move smoothly. If I were to offer a criticism, it would be this – as the interwoven story unfolds, there is a necessity for each story to be told at a certain pace. There were times, while reading, where all I wanted was the chance to read more than a snippet of certain stories. The brief glimpses are a necessary evil when creating tension and mystery, but there were times I found it distracting. I wanted to know so much more of a particular story that I found I had to slow down and read what was in front of me, otherwise I would miss something important. And that’s not a bad thing in any way, since it only serves to keep the reader engaged and waiting for the next piece.
If you’re interested in picking up One Blood, you can find it on Amazon here.
4.5 out of 5 stars!