Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Pact Book Tour and Giveaway with Mitchell Karnes

The Pact
By Mitchell S. Karnes
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Published: Sept 4, 2013

Amazon Synopsis:

Scott Addison never set out to be a hero. But sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can’t run away from destiny. On the heels of his father’s death, Scott and his mother move from Iowa City, Iowa to the small Southern Illinois town of Meadowbrook. Scott just wanted to blend in…to observe quietly…to be one of the kids. Unfortunately for Scott, his instincts, heart, and integrity took over on his first day at his new middle school. Scott stood up to and faced down three larger boys torturing a wiry little boy named Paul. This simple act of kindness and chivalry put Scott in the midst of the conflict and on the receiving end of the bullies’ antics.

Paul introduces Scott to two high school friends who just happen to play Warriors & Thieves, Scott’s favorite role-playing fantasy game. The game and his new friends provide a much needed 

escape from both his past and his present troubles…at least for a while. But no matter how hard Scott tries to blend in at school, his pet peeve of bullying and his overwhelming sense of right and wrong continue to push him into the limelight, bringing praises from many, but more opposition from the bullies. When the hazing goes too far Scott decides it is time to take a stand…no matter the cost. Of course, sometimes, that’s the price heroes must pay.

Book Links
Amazon  *  B&N  *  Goodreads

My Thoughts:

The Pact is an excellent novel for middle-school youth. It deals heavily with a theme of bullying. Paul is a student who is bullied at school, when a new student, Scott Addison transfers in. Scott refuses to be intimidated by bullies and saves Paul from the school’s gang of bullies. Paul and Scott become great friends and Scott continues to protect Paul from the gang, but then Scott falls prey to the gangs bullying tactics.

Scott has just moved to the small town after the death of his father, and Scott has to rely on the lessons his dad taught him about taking the higher road. Scott has a hard time when even the youth pastor of his grandpa’s church seems to be against him when Scott tells him that he feels his gift is creativity. Once the pastor heard that Scott played role-playing games, the pastor became very defensive and judgemental and negative towards Scott, making Scott feel unwelcome and awkward.

This book is rich in the development of its characters and relationships. The emotional difficulty that Scott goes through when he goes from being defender-of-the-bullied to being the bullied feels very real. The author also gives us great insight into what might be some of the possible issues that might cause a person to be a bully in the first place and helps us not just to be angry with the main bully Joe, but also to empathize with him.

Michael Karnes does a commendable job in exploring the consequences of bullying and how it affects not only the individual that is being bullied, but his/her friends and family. He also shows what can happen when that bullying is taken to extremes, though he doesn’t go into it in depth.

The pacing of this book was excellent, fairly consistent throughout. I did have some difficulty deciding where the author stood on whether role-playing games were good or not, though I suppose he may have been saying that all things in moderation are acceptable. In the story one of the characters became so immersed in his role-playing characters that he began to feel personally affronted if the others did anything averse to his role-playing character. It was as though he and his character were one and the same. That can’t be good. Yet the other three boys had no such problem and could retire their role-playing characters without any issue.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Pact and am looking forward to the sequel to this book. I gave The Pact 5 stars out of 5.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours who provided a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Mitchell S Karnes was born in Kansas and spent his childhood in Illinois.  He lives in Franklin, TN with his wife, Natalie, and five of their seven children, where he serves as the Pastor of Walker Baptist Church.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree and three Master’s degrees.

Mitchell’s first novel, Crossing the Line, made the Southern Writer’s Guild’s “Must Read” list.  His short stories include:  “When Nothing Else Matters,” “A Family Portrait,” and “Grampa Charlie’s Ring.”  He hopes to entertain, challenge, move and teach through each and every story.  The Pact is just the beginning…the first book in a four-part series.

Author Links
Facebook  *  Blog

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1 comment :

  1. "all things in moderation are acceptable" I agree! I run role playing games for my son and his friends and I would certainly be concerned if one of the boys began taking the game too seriously.

    Thanks for your review for the tour!