Review: Without A Spark by George Berger- Landra’s Take

Genre: Thriller

Rating: Yay!

This  book was a surprise, in multiple ways. First off I’m not a big thriller fan. I don’t get all jazzed up with a mystery and guys with guns, etc. in books; with movies it’s a completely different story. So, when I started this book I tried to keep my mind a blank slate, and open to possibility of getting involved. Let’s just say myself and the book got along famously. For one thing I laughed, out loud, a bunch. This laughing thing is an excellent sign of a well crafted story, and not just stupid raunchy humor. No, some of this stuff is what I call intelligent humor. 

The entire story is from main character Kevin’s POV, and he’s a hoot! First off he suffers from a condition that makes him sneeze when he’s aroused. That’s right, he sneezes and not just once, but multiple times. Kevin’s not your average college student. He lives in a girls-only dorm, and is pursuing an English degree on a computer geared full ride scholarship… insane right? But it gets better. Within the first 5 pages he and his awesomely, deaf roommate Maura bring down a gun-toting crazy dude with a baseball bat, strip the guy, paint rapist on his chest, and load him up with a small druggie cocktail.

Let’s just say everything goes downhill from there, and I fell in love. Kevin’s way of thinking, and his internal dialogue are a constant source of comedy. He’s got a unique way of thinking that’s the right mix of intelligence, and late- adolescence ignorance to keep me reading. I can relate to this male kid with a unique job, and the philosophy that he can’t face the world until he eats breakfast. Kevin’s also an omelet man; my kinda guy!   Maura is an awesome character, and writing a deaf romantic interest is unique to books I’ve read. Berger does a fabulous job of giving Maura a unique personality, even though she never utters a word. Add to the fact that she’s just a bit sadistic when it comes to punishing bad people, and a genius with computers she’s the best sidekick you could have on your side.

There’s a couple of other secondary characters that produce giggles, and by the end of the book I was thrilled with the character development. Each character offers something refreshing from the desire to take down gun-toting idiots to being confident enough to review fetish equipment. I will say this book is about being a fun read with an ultimately happy ending. Berger doesn’t let the bottom drop out completely or make things too challenging for the characters; which in this case wasn’t a bad thing. Honestly, it was nice to read a thriller that resolves itself without characters getting needlessly shot at or trying to save the United States from oblivion. With a decent plot point and a character driven adventure Berger gives you a light romp with a bit of mischief. The stakes are high, but easily overcome. The mystery not to mind baffling that someone looking for a basic read can’t enjoy.

If you’re hardcore thriller fan this book probably isn’t for you. If you’re scared of intimacy between book characters or prefer your thrillers to be sans intercourse then this book is not for you. Otherwise I suggest this as a great summer read that will make you laugh and be thankful for your uneventful life… since you get to experience Kevin’s.


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