Adult, Fiction, Suspense/Thriller

Review: So Say the Waiters episodes 1-5 by Justin Sirois

So Say the Waiters Eupsides 41-5 book cover
Image from Justin Sirois; used by permission

Title: So Say the Waiters Episodes 1-5 (So Say the Waiters #1)

Author: Justin Sirois

Genre: Thriller

White-collar everyman Henry, is hired by a successful software developer and college friend who has created kidnApp, an app and social network that allows people to kidnap each other for fun. His friend wants to groom Henry as the Mid-Atlantic regional manager with part ownership of the company, but he will need to become a seasoned kidnApper first. The problem is, Henry is stuck in his conservative job, suffering from post-fiancée breakup depression, and he definitely sucks at kidnApping. But this is an opportunity he cannot refuse.

Danielle (Dani) Hardly is an aimless bartender at a rundown nightclub. She is barely scraping by, but she is one of the first users of kidnApp in Baltimore. During a botched kidnApping, she is rescued by newly recruited Henry – someone she has nothing in common with until Henry opens up to her about his less than mediocre kidnapping skills.

This is one of those books that I picked up on idea alone. The characters sounded okay, the plot seemed pretty meh, but a KidnApp that lets people get kidnapped for fun? Fantastic! Even before I started the book, it got my imagination running.

Henry was a different kind of character than I usually read. He wasn’t kick-butt or even mentally resilient. He was a computer programmer dealing with the emotional (and financial) aftermath of a bad breakup. I didn’t really enjoy him, but I found him interesting, at least.

Dani was the exact opposite of Henry – a tattooed twenty-something bartender living on tips and playing keyboard in a little local band. She was exactly the kind of character I would expect to find in this book, only I would have expected her to be a kidnapper.

This book did not read like a traditional novel. There was no easily-identified climax or major disasters, and the ending felt more like the end of a chapter than the end of a novel. (It might have been more structured within the individual “episodes” – I wasn’t paying attention to where one stopped and the next began.) But I enjoyed the story, figuring out the details of kidnApp, and trying to understand how Henry and Dani’s plots fit together. Justin Sirois was brilliant at bringing together random plotlines into a great story.

The very, very best part about So Say the Waiters was the idea. An app for people who want to be kidnapped for fun – awesome! “Waiters” who want to be kidnapped can specify how long they want to be taken, how rough their “Taker” can be, even little stuff like if they want a bag over their head or just a blindfold. I want to be kidnapped. And then I want to kidnap people. I don’t even know if this would be legal, but it would be fun!

My only problem with this book was that it was an adult book. There was language (most of it mild) and sexual references – nothing explicit, but enough that I could suspect what’s going on. It wasn’t over-the-top or enough to make me stop reading, but I didn’t like it.

This is a different sort of book than I usually read. Very different. But I enjoyed it. I would definitely be interested in the next…book? Installment? Episodes? Whatever it’s called, I want to read it. Because after Dani’s and Henry’s plots intersected in the end of this book, I seriously need to know what happens next.

I received a free review copy of So Say the Waiters Episodes 1-5 from the author. His generosity in no way influenced, or sought to influence, this review.

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