Friday, March 20, 2009

Perpetual Check by Rich Wallace

Author: Rich Wallace
Release Date: February 2009

Category: Contemporary
My Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

Summary: Perpetual Check by Rich Wallace is about two brothers, Zeke and Randy Mansfield, and their relationship with not just each other, but also their father. Zeke is a high school senior, a good soccer player, and a natural chess player that started beating his father at the age of six. Zeke can beat almost anybody, except his little brother. Randy on the other hand is a high school freshman, he’s a little pudgy with a haircut paralleling a Cub Scout, he likes to make up words, and he’s a chess whiz that beats his brother nine times out of ten. But this time, tension runs high since both Zeke and Randy have qualified for a major high school regional championship. If the boys bring everything they’ve got and play their best, then it could quite possibly sit one against the other. Their father is there from the beginning, putting more pressure on the boys, coaching from the sidelines and intimidating everyone until they break or try too hard. Now it’s time to see who wins, who loses, and who is loyal.

Review: This wasn’t the best book, but it wasn’t the worst either. Knowledge of chess would have been really helpful, because it can get a little confusing when they are talking about the pieces and the moves if you don’t know anything about chess. Each chapter goes back and forth between perspectives, starting with Zeke. That can also be confusing at first, since you have to continue reading the chapter to know who is talking; but later their personalities show through enough to recognize who is “speaking.” There are some conflicts between the brothers that seem trivial, but then you remember they are brothers and it’s understandable. It’s an extremely quick read, something that can be read in one sitting, seeing as it is only 112 pages. I usually like reading from a male perspective, but this is just not a book with much character development or really story. I can’t say I would recommend this to most people, I would recommend this for someone younger, male, and into chess; but probably not most females.

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