JCP is like a one woman awesome show. She writes, promotes, creates on her own terms, no compromises and for this reader, it works like a friggin charm...This story was like nothing I have read in this genre as of yet, smart, edgy, kind of horrific at times, blunt and with a substantial dose of OPEN YOUR EYES BAD SHIT HAPPENS A LOT!!!
Nelson Oliver is sitting at an atrocious job fair snooze fest for Canaan Products in NYC. Canaan are the main producers of Manna. The synthetically made food introduced to the world in the 1960s that has effectively staved off famine, and has kept the world fed for 50 years.
But Manna is not some philanthropic 'save the world' miracle food anymore. It's Big Fucking Business. Nelson is an expert in Manna, and even though he knows he'll never get a job, he's still at the fair. He has a tendency to tell those who follow the party line to go fuck themselves, which might have gotten him a bit of a reputation. He stays anyways, he needs the money, just the medication he needs for his migraine is enough to leave him permanently broke. Oh also and the dude sitting next him...Javierrrrrrrrr has an EYE PATCH and is so damn hot...Like a "Sexy Pirate" (his words not mine). While Nelson is desperately trying to flirt with Javier WHO IS NOT BITING, all hell brakes loose. There is a shooting, and when they manage to step out of the conference New York City is in the midst of violent rioting.
With Javier leading the way Nelson plus two more newly made friends, are rescued just in time by Tim, Javier's mysterious friend. Tim takes Nelson, Javier, Marianne and Randy to his place while things cool down and tries to figure out just what exactly prompted such violence at the door of Canaan Products. Tim aka The Voice of Reason (a subversive blogger) knows Canaan must be up to no fucking good, and he plans to finally figure out why, and SAY IT. With Javier and Nelson working with him he might just do it...If they can only take a brake from the lust triangle from hell they all have going. What with Nelson panting after Javier, Tim pining over Nelson, and Javier practically wanting to pounce on Tim, things could get dicey in a one bedroom in Chinatown...Oh and there's also the thing with the two others that have no clue what the hell is happening.
This book was just awesome story making goodness. The Manna... The miracle food. No famine in the world because of it, but the greed of the corporations has let it descend into a corrupt thing. They've gone to the dark side and all kinds of bad shit is going down in these corporations. There are some crazy ass conspiracy theories weaved into this story. In addition to that we had the stories of the characters, there was very little frustration to be had here. Things were revealed precisely and as they were need. The pace FOR ME, was perfect, things kept uncoiling, and I swear I wanted to actually absorb this book by osmosis because the more I knew the better it got.
The action was really great, the setting of NYC was fab, the characters...WOW. Palpable. Nelson was so brilliant that self-deprecating/self-destructive charm that JCP can do so well with her characters. Tim was so open and vulnerable, and Javier was a big mystery. Those three men dancing around each other, finding how they went together was delicious. Randy and Marianne were also so great, and added so much to the story.
But you know what the best thing about this book was for me? It cut me no slack. There was a story for me to figure out, there was bad stuff for me to see, there were harsh realities that were not going to be glossed over for me to get a perfect ending. Nope, not here. This was edgy, brutal at times, so different, and simply good writing. I was totally taken in by this story to the very end.
Alternate fiction at it's best Ladies and Gents. No Fooling.
Jordan Castillo Price man...She brings it, like every time.
The Starving Years is for sale at jcp books and Amazon.com