4 out of 4 stars
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Garbage Man is an exciting fantasy thriller written by Erik Dean.
This is the best night of David’s life. His girlfriend, Julie, is awarded Graphic Artist of the Year in advertising and she just agrees to make him the happiest man in the world. On their way home, however, after taking a detour, the happy couple unknowingly enters the territory of a vicious, ruthless, and highly organized gang. David ends up with a hole in his head.
Luckily, a concerned stranger lurks nearby and calls for help. David is taken to the hospital where a brilliant neurologist uses a new drug on him. The drug is designed to promote the regeneration of damaged neurons. It saves David’s life and gives him a special ability to heal fast.
Sadly, probably due to the severity of his injury, David suffers from amnesia. Without any proof of identification, he doesn’t remember who he is, and how and why he got shot. However, the gang remembers David and the leaders will not allow him to live and testify against their crimes. So, shortly after David wakes up, he is attacked by gang members. He barely manages to escape his pursuers in a stolen ambulance but finds himself in the same gang’s territory. Just when his attackers are closing in on David, a huge creature covered in trash from head to toe comes to his rescue.
Told in the third-person perspective, this is a fast-paced and exciting book with eight chapters and epilogue. It depicts human depravity and perversion. It shows how wicked people relish inflicting pain and instilling fear on others. Similarly, the book portrays the resilience and tenacity of level-headed people; how they refuse to give up on life and go on living with nothing but a sliver of hope. Moreover, it illustrates the willingness of some individuals to lend a hand, to share what little they have, and even to put their own lives at risk to do what is right and necessary.
The author successfully keeps the story intriguing by revealing the identity and origin of the Garbage Man at the final chapters. This revelation gives the story an unexpected twist to the already exciting plot. The book is, basically, an easy read, with scenes described in graphic detail (including fighting scenes at the landfill which may gross out some readers), while dialogues are infused with humor, probably to give levity to an otherwise serious premise.
Needless to say, this is one enjoyable book. However, I find the dialogues unnaturally cheerful for a life-and-death situation, and the eye-rolling and jocular banters feel, somehow, inappropriate. Moreover, I would appreciate additional backstories on each character especially David. Though he is, undoubtedly, a good guy, there is not enough information to make it easy for readers to visualize him and relate with him. Finally, the ending felt a little rushed.
I, therefore, rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It is exciting and suspenseful. I recommend it to fans of fantasy, crime, and thriller. However, scenes of violence, abuse, and gore may not be suitable for young readers.
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