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Bobby Sky: Boy Band or Die

Review

Bobby Sky: Boy Band or Die

For those who loved I BECOME SHADOW, Joe Shine’s fans will find the same snarky humor and action in this companion novel, BOBBY SKY: BOY BAND OR DIE. Through thick and thin, readers will become invested in Hutch’s (Bobby’s) mission to beat the most powerful organization in the U.S. and save the people he cares about.

 

Diamond in the rough Hutch has been in and out of juvie for the greater part of his life --- but when his bad boy charm fails to stop him from reaching the end of the line, Hutch is given an odd offer: be murdered the next day, or work for a top-secret training facility for teenage bodyguards. After he ‘accepts’, Hutch is introduced to the world of F.A.T.E., where the rule is obey orders or die. Period. Excelling beyond any other student, Hutch is quickly given his assignment…as a boy band member? You got it folks: Hutch, now ‘Bobby Sky’, is the top-notch guardian of “Future Important Person” Ryo Enomoto, rising boy-band star. But when Ryo’s life is in danger more than Hutch would have ever expected, it may be time to break orders, shed the pop-star look and go back to doing things his own way --- the Hutch way, or the highway.

 

BOBBY SKY seems to take place simultaneously yet separately to I BECOME SHADOW; however, it is not necessary to read Shine’s first novel to understand this story. All the background details are explained, and readers who read I BECOME SHADOW may recognize a few characters. With an excellent beginning, readers will jump right on board with Hutch, and maybe sing along to a few catchy songs. Told through Hutch’s first-person perspective, the writing style is conversational and direct, focusing more on the situations and the action that leads to the end. A large buildup followed by fast-paced action scenes builds suspense as the reader is left wondering how Hutch will manage to save himself and Ryo, and what --- or who --- he will have to sacrifice to protect Ryo.

 

Though other characters are not fully fleshed out, the story is really about Hutch and how he manages to succeed in this ‘mission impossible’ type scenario. Hutch is unable to build real relationships with others in his line of work; still, Hutch is practical and never becomes angst-y or ‘woe is me’ over his predicament. An interesting conflict Hutch faces is his ‘knight-in-shining-armor’ characteristic to protect girls while simultaneously crushing on them, or to recognize them as capable fighters. While all of the danger happens separately from their normal surroundings of concerts and screaming fans, there are a few instances in the plot that provide for situational comedy and relief. With his signature confidence and tough-boy attitude, Hutch learns to use his talents, tools and training to overcome the odds.

A quick novel with humor, a charismatic character and an intriguing plot, BOBBY SKY: BOY BAND OR DIE is a great book for a light yet exciting read. Watch out --- after reading this book, you may find yourself anxiously waiting for Shine’s newest installment to rock your world.

Reviewed by Lauren Conser on April 10, 2019

Bobby Sky: Boy Band or Die
by Joe Shine