Official Review: Rebirth of the Gangster Act 1

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Miriam Molina
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Official Review: Rebirth of the Gangster Act 1

Post by Miriam Molina »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Rebirth of the Gangster Act 1" by CJ Standal.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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CJ Standal, writer, and Juan Romera, artist, team up to produce Rebirth of the Gangster, a noir series in six acts. This review covers Act 1: Meet the Family, which introduces the six main characters: Marcus, Andrea, Hunter, Linda, Lorena, and Dennis. Who among them is the gangster?

Marcus Thompson is a lawyer. His father, Curtis, is black, and his mother, Andrea, is Asian. The Thompsons are well-to-do, and Curtis is a known philanthropist. However, Marcus feels pressured to uphold the Thompson name. Hunter was yet a child when his father, John, died. Hunter believes John was betrayed by his business partners; he is out to avenge his dad. Linda is Hunter’s cancer-stricken mother. When Lorena Sanchez, a Latina, was young, she saw her father nabbed by agents from the Immigration and Naturalization Service. She initially rebelled but later decided to conquer her pain. She is now a dedicated cop. Dennis used to hang out with Hunter before he was incarcerated. Now out on parole and a new Muslim, Dennis vows to live a crime-free life. All these people share a secret past; their present lives will intersect in this intricate story.

The story happens in contemporary America. The characters are multi-racial, come from different walks of life, and are of diverse genders. We see the usual issues that besiege people of color, those in the LGBTQ community, and ex-cons. The dialogues, including texting, are realistic, making it easy for the reader to get immersed in the goings-on. The character building is excellent, at least for the six main characters. The secondary cast needs more work, but I think this is intentional to keep the mystery for the next installments. I would have appreciated a name for the lady lawyer, though.

The story is written in the comic-book format. The characters are unique enough for quick identification most of the time. The black-and-white illustrations give the story a classy look, but the reader may have some trouble recognizing the flashbacks. The different sedans, save for the police cars, are also difficult to distinguish. There are likewise some inconsistencies in the illustrations: Curtis’ suit is different on page 8. Is Andrea left-handed (page 83) or right-handed (page 119)? Marcus is not wearing safety glasses while shooting targets in one frame on page 121. Linda’s bracelets are inconsistently drawn on several pages starting on page 106. These may be petty imperfections, but they can bother comic-book fans like me.

Other than comic-book enthusiasts, people who are into family stories will find this book appealing. Those who like following mysteries and solving cold cases will be hooked. Readers interested in human drama will find several points for introspection. Many of the characters in the book are angry and confused, so one who is after a relaxing read may opt out or choose to read the book in small doses.

This piece is meant to be read before the other acts in the series. Also, the story is unfinished. However, I feel invested enough in the story and the characters, and I am itching to know what happens next. The last page is a clever place to end this first act.

The grammar in the book is less than impeccable, but the errors do not detract from the suspenseful story. Coupled with the drawing slipups, though, they take away one star from my rating. I award 3 out of 4 stars to this first installment in the series. Now I am off to hunt for Act 2: What’s Old is New.

******
Rebirth of the Gangster Act 1
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Kenesha L Fowler
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Post by Kenesha L Fowler »

I'm not typically a comic book reader, but I find they can be good for telling stories that are otherwise very serious. (I read about the Holocaust in comic form and found it much easier to get through.) I hope Act 2 will scratch that itch this first one left you with. 🙂 Thanks for another great review.
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Post by NetMassimo »

I read comic books only occasionally, but this ones seems interesting despite the flaws you pointed out. I'll look into this series. Thank you for your great review!
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Post by Anna_TB »

The premise sounds interesting, but based on the cover I don't know if it's for me. I'm quite picky with the art style when it comes to comic books and, if I don't like it, it makes it difficult for me to enjoy the story. In any case, congratulations for the review!

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Post by Josephe-Anne »

I have to agree with your statement that this comic book has an intricate plot with a diverse cast of characters. However, I would have preferred full-color illustrations.

Thank you for a very detailed and perceptive review.
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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina »

Kenesha L Fowler wrote:
29 Jul 2020, 01:42
I'm not typically a comic book reader, but I find they can be good for telling stories that are otherwise very serious. (I read about the Holocaust in comic form and found it much easier to get through.) I hope Act 2 will scratch that itch this first one left you with. 🙂 Thanks for another great review.
Thank you! I was sad to see that Acts 2 and 3 were reviewed by someone else. And each book sells for $6! It seems I'll have to put a lid on my curiosity.

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Post by Vic Chimezie »

I think I will pass on this one as it is not my kind of book. But I enjoyed reading your review. Thanks for the recommendation.

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Post by Misty20058 »

I don't usually enjoy comic books, but I may give this one a try as it sounds like a good plot. I will keep in mind the grammatical errors that you have mentioned. Thanks for the review.

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Post by Olabode Joshua »

A comic book! I haven't read one of those in a while. It seems to very different characters. How well did they blend? Good one!
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Post by Honest-reviewer »

The plot seems promising. I wish to read this book and also its successive parts someday. Thanks for your wonderful review.

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Post by unamilagra »

I'm not normally into graphic novels, but the collection of characters in this book sounds very interesting. I hope the errors get corrected soon. Great review!

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Post by kaitlyn-souza »

I’m not typically interested in comic book but this does seem like something i’d enjoy reading. The plot is good and hopefully the errors in grammar soon get corrected.

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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina »

kaitlyn-souza wrote:
01 Aug 2020, 20:58
I’m not typically interested in comic book but this does seem like something i’d enjoy reading. The plot is good and hopefully the errors in grammar soon get corrected.
I hope you get to read this one soon. Thanks for the visit.

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Post by Ellylion »

Comic-books usually are not my cup of tea but this one sounds intriguing enough to give it a try :) Thanks for a great review!

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Post by Dominik_G »

I'm not usually a comic book reader but now I really feel like checking Rebirth of the Gangster Act 1 out. I enjoyed reading your review a lot and I was completely blown by the tiny details you noticed, such as a character's inconsistently drawn bracelets. I tend to be quite annoyed by such mistakes as well, and it's really nice to see I'm not the only one, haha. Thank you for your amazing review!

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