Flowertown by S.G. Redling [Book Review]



S.G. Redling

I go to turn on my Kindle about a week ago and there is an image of a tattered fence with a biohazard sign hanging in the landscape of Smalltown U.S.A.  Sorry, but you drop an image like that in my face and you have all but marketed yourself into a sale.  I follow the link to learn more and the plot summary tells the woes of a small rural town in Iowa that became the site of a chemical spill.  The grounds and town folk were contaminated and the residents quarantined… the residents that survived that is.

Flowertown is the type of book that makes you glad Kindle was invented.  Published independently by a morning radio host, S.G. Redling, this is exactly the type of book that likely would not have been published a decade ago, but has flourished under the ability for Amazon to take low-risk, high-return on rookie authors.

Redling’s tale of residents held in drab conditions under an almost dictatorish regime of the same pharmaceutical company that caused the disaster to begin with creates a twisted irony that if you are shot by a doctor he would be the one to treat you in the trauma center.  So crazy it is clearly possible in our society.

The one fallback of the book is it takes a good 50% of the book to really get wound up in the conspiracy that is blindly tearing the last hopes from Flowertown.  And when the conspiracy does begin to take form it does so at a pace that can at times be confusing, but not by any means unable to follow.  But with medical terminology and medications the learning curve appears much more steep than reality.

While the conspiracy may take time to develop, the book is almost get go from the start.  Ellie, the protagonist is a short fuse, high-energy pot head stuck in a small town she was only breezing through making her a loner not only by choice, but by a society stand point that small town folk seem to shun outsiders even when you think they are smiling at you.  From page 1 she is a reader’s hero, the type to want to succeed and genuinely like.  Not because she is the hero so to speak, but because she is the flawed hero with baggage, not the white knight without fault.  A John McClane (Die Hard) if you will.

Like any good conspiracy everything you think you knew about the story is flipped upside down and the author tries to give the perceptive reader some signals,  some are a little more obvious and give you a strong sense of what is going to transpire.  While  you can identify players and motives of some characters, the book is good at hiding the true nature of their intentions.  At points you will be telling yourself, how can they be so blind, wanting to yell through the Kindle at them to open their eyes and see someone for who they are, by the end of the story Redling does a good job of laying her cards on the table and explaining how people could miss the information just laid before their eyes.

At just under 400 pages the book is a breeze to read even for a conspiracy.  Aside from the medical jargon and medication that are all but required for a story of this nature the author does a good job keeping the story flowing and easy to read without needing to look up words or terms.  If you have ever read Robin Cook, whose books I love, you would know what I mean.

At first I was feeling like the book ended abruptly, lacking an epilogue.  But after thinking about it for a few it was fitting that it is resolved, but slightly mysterious.  In society we are fairly used to having everything wrapped up in nice little bow these days, but it is nice to have that ambiguous ending.

Read All You Want.


About Not Clark Kent

Geek, lover of Baseball, avid comic reader, Bruce Lee fan, follower of Jesus and last but Never least Dad and Husband. View all posts by Not Clark Kent

3 responses to “Flowertown by S.G. Redling [Book Review]

  • silver price

    When I originally read Flowertown, I had chosen to start just before bedtime, thinking 3 to 5 chapters and I would be good. What followed was 16 chapters read that night. The author’s choice of words, and descriptive passages, immediately pull you in to the story, and keep you there. The surrealistic landscape painted by S.G. Redling in Flowertown, is one of a martial law, media manipulation, and conspiracy. As I devoured this book, I realized that I was holding my breath at a few points, and based on my thought process, I thought I had the book figured out. I was 100% wrong. As I neared the end of the book, I was so caught up in it, that (without adding a spoiler) when Ellie, the main character that I hoped the author based on herself, has a shocking revelation, I actually had to stop reading for a moment. This twist, this surprise, is the only time in my life, that while reading a book, I had to go back to the beginning of the chapter, read forward, just to make sure that I had read the words correctly. It was too mind numbing for me to embrace, and I could truly see the intent the author had in presenting this twist, as I mimicked the actions of the main character. I eagerly await more books from this very talented author. If you have any doubt about purchasing this book, I can promise you, you will not regret it. If I could give it more than 5 stars, I would!

  • David

    Great reccomendation. Just finished the book, I had it sitting on my Kindle for over a month and started it this weekend and could not put it down.

    Please keep finding books like this.

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