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Later, as Roscoe went fishing, he (finally!) got something on his line, and it's a heavy one too! As he reels it in, he finds that it is a bag. Inside the bag is some propane, matches, etc. The things you'd find an arsonist might have. Most shocking of all, it contained a list of places. Roscoe immediately rushes to Mitch to tell him about this development. Mitch wants to go to the police like a good citizen, but Roscoe has bigger ideas. He wants to become like their favorite superhero, Rip Orion; a very unknown, but amazing superhero in their eyes. After much debate, he finally convinces Mitch to try to catch them by staking out the next house that was to be burned. During the stakeouts, Mitch is having many problems with his wife even has Roscoe has suddenly got himself a girlfriend (an extremely attractive one at that). Roscoe calls his girlfriend his 'Lyra', who was Rip Orion's girlfriend. As Roscoe drifts closer and closer to his girlfriend, Marcy, Mitch draws further and further away from his wife and son. With all these problems, they still are no closer to finding the culprit. When finally Mitch's wife is tired of him staying out late and leaves him, Mitch goes beserk. As he does the unthinkable, another house burns down. An address on the list Roscoe had found earlier. Roscoe is utterly confused by what his friend has done, the arson, and all the action swirling around him. He is on the brink of finding who it was, but does he really want to know?
In general, I thought the author did a lot of things right. I liked most of his characters and how he portrayed them. From Roscoe being shy and not really defending himself to Marcy, who was brazen and outspoken. He showed this for Roscoe via kids who would come into the cemetery and completely and utterly destroy Roscoe on a psychological level, just with a few words. He show's Marcy's brazenness by the way she talks and acts, with things such as pissing on her stepfathers grave, which is where Roscoe first meets her. I thought the dialogue and action was fulfilling, even though it was short story, which impressed me a lot. I don't generally read short stories because, well, they're short. I don't feel like most short stories completely tell the story the way a novel of the same idea could.
The author did make a few mistakes in my opinion. Minor mistakes were things like some spelling problems here and some grammatical problems there. Nothing really big, just getting an editor or even carefully scanning it would fix most of those up. The one big problem I have with the story is two characters, Damon and Jason. They're best friends who teased Roscoe and Mitch the most in high school. This only tells me that they should be extremely important characters. And for the first 2/3 of the book, they pretty much are. For me, suddenly after that they have no relavence to the book. There are some scenes in the end that they are in, but I don't think it's particularly relevant or useful to have them there. I don't think they really add anything towards the end. If they were more integrated with Roscoe towards the end, have them seriously tied up in the plot towards the beginning and middle, perhaps I would accept it. But they weren't too involved in the plot in general, and especially at the end. So i question why they are really there.
That being said, this book was a really great one. Well, novella. Whatever it is, it's a great one. The thing that I must reiterate is how much action was stuffed into such few pages. Also, the idea of turning a superhero-esque book into something so strange is what I really like. The reason I call it strange is because you normally think of superheros and bad guys as black and white. This book could not be farther from that. There is no black and white, but only grey. The decisions Roscoe makes are definitely not what superheros would do, no matter what his intentions were. Marcy is the really grey area, and really influences what Roscoe does. In fact, every single character seemed to mean well, but had lots of darkness tied up with them. That's what made it so interesting, was its originality. It's hard to understand without reading the book, but I hope you guys give it a chance! I'd give it a 4 out of 4 stars.
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