Review by K. Robert Einarson


Danny Carter has it all; a good job, a good life and a loving girlfriend. But still he is haunted by his past and the night when he turned his back on all of it, the same night his childhood friend Evan McGann was arrested and sent to prison for a job they both committed. But the nightmare becomes real when he discovers Evan is back and eager to resume their alliance. Danny wants to refuse, but after Evan threatens Danny’s girlfriend and to expose his role in that last job, Danny realizes he has no choice but to help. They decide to kidnap the son of Danny’s millionaire boss. But as things progress, Danny realized that Evan has changed into someone much more dangerous than before and who threatens everything Danny has and values.

Sakey has crafted an interesting tale that has many unexpected twists and turns. His storytelling has an unusual intimacy to it. I found myself easily getting into the heads of his lead characters and empathizing with their challenges. However I had an issue with frequent chapter breaks, which I found a little disruptive to the reading experience. I also found myself pulled from the narrative by excessive jargon and slang that was unfamiliar to me and required me to reread portions to determine what it meant from the context.

However it was the hype that surrounded the book caused me a serious issue. I already knew a great deal about Sakey before his book arrived. When I opened the box and saw phrases such as “An extraordinary first novel with major buzz!” and “More phenomenal praise for Marcus Sakey and The Blade Itself” staring at me from the covers, it ramped up my expectations to such an unrealistic level that no book could have met.

This is a very good debut that shows that Sakey has alot of promise and I believe that if he keeps polishing and honing his writing skills, he’ll be worthy of the lavish praise he is currently receiving.

So don’t buy the book or avoid the book because of the hype. Buy it because you want to read an interesting debut about how you can never really escape your past.

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