By Syntell Smith
Publisher: Syntell Smith Publishing
Date Reviewed: November 20, 2020
Release Date: September 25, 2020
Book Endings: Loss, Pain, and Revelations is an entertaining and riveting story, filled with complex characters that showcase the best and worst of the 1990s. It is the second novel in the Call Numbers series by author Syntell Smith and continues to follow the lives of the characters readers meet in his first book.
The book is set in 1994, with Robin Walker trying to navigate workplace politics, family tragedy, and betrayal while trying to figure out his place in the world. Sonyai Yi and Augustus Chavez's personal conflicts are making it difficult for Robin to enjoy his position at the 58th Street Branch, especially considering the emotional toll the young man is already under. His grandfather is in critical condition and his family is shutting him out again.
Smith does an impressive job showing readers what life was like for people of color. It tackles sensitive subjects like racism and class discrimination with grace. Using his array of characters from all walks of life, Smith is able to show readers what life was really like in the '90s. With his ability to create vivid and realistic settings, Syntell Smith draws readers into the lives of his characters. Satire and strong characters keep the story moving along while also helping readers connect with the struggles Robin and the rest of the 58th Street Branch face daily.
Secrets come to life in the book and it also looks like Robin must transfer to another branch. Lakeshia is continuing to explore her sexuality, and the secondary characters are also going through personal dilemmas. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, but the author brilliantly manages all of them preventing any confusion by readers. It may seem like Book Endings: Loss, Pain, and Revelations is a melodrama, but it's not. While there are dramatic elements, they are skillfully handled by the author's characters. Instead of drama, readers get an accurate and realistic view of life and all of the problems that often come with it. Smith captures the emotions of the characters without dramatizing it.
Smith's second installment in the Call Numbers series won't disappoint fans. Old favorites return and are still on their journeys of self-discovery. Like the first Call Numbers book, the second one will also make you think. It might even help you remember that everyone goes through life's hardships regardless of skin color or social class. An excellent read!
"Robin made it back to Presbyterian by seven. He got off the elevator on the third floor and signed in. Jon was sitting up slurping on chicken broth in bed when Robin stepped through the doorway. The sight of his grandfather still alive and eating brought him to tears. Then he remembered what the doctor said and put on a brave face."
Syntell Smith was born and raised in Washington Heights, Upper Manhattan in New York City. He began writing while blogging his hectic everyday life experiences in 2004. After gaining an audience with a following of dedicated readers, he studied scripts and plays and got into screenwriting. "Call Numbers" is his first novel that he plans to develop into a series. He loves comic books, video games, and watching reruns of Law and Order. Syntell is active on Facebook, Tumblr & Twitter, and currently lives in Detroit.
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