Monday, April 16, 2012

The All Pro


Before I begin, let me say that even though "Go Packers" was the first sentence my grandson spoke, I am not a football fan. I know enough about how the game is played to follow a play-by-play and listen to a sports show when the topic is discussed. Further, let me say that this is the only series I have read by Scott Sigler I am not a fan of horror either.

Having said this all first, let me talk about The All Pro, the third book in Sigler's Galactic Football League series. I listen to the first book, The Rookie in Scot's podcast feed. This meant I listened to a chapter every week and listened to other announcements and comments along the way. I purchased The Starter when it became available in audio and the same with The All Pro.

I tell you this because I can't imagine why you would buy this book in print or as an ebook. Part of the fun is listening to Scott read. There are sound effects, too, so you know what species each character belongs to. The crowd goes wild; the hits are audible.

In some ways The All Pro is a departure from the first two books in two ways:

  1. These are now young adult books. The Rookie as I recall, was definitely classified as adult language and themes.

    • The language has been cleaned up from the first two books in audio.

    • There is a teaching element to the story. This may have been in the two earlier books, but it is pronounced in The All Pro At first, I thought this was just clumsy writing. When I learned these were YA books, I thought the writing was then less clumsy but the emphasis seemed distracting. We want our hero to do the right thing, but the decisions Quenton makes are over simplified. In my experience, figuring out what is right and being able to do it is much more complicated.

  2. Although the earlier books did not resolve all the story threads, the The All Pro is a cliff hanger. We have to wait until MVP to find out what happens to our team.

I am also puzzled by the title. The previous book titles described Quenton himself. This title does not. Nor does it play a significant role in the thoughts of the characters and their actions in the story. Admittedly, <All Pro is a football term. Would Play Off have been more descriptive?

By now, you are probably asking yourself why I enjoy these books so much-enjoy them enough to purchase them and anticipate the next book in the series. This is quite simple:

  • It's a good tale.

  • The characters are well-drawn.

  • The species are different from humans and from each other with distinctive values, shapes and sizes.

  • Names are descriptive and easy to remember.

  • Although there are explanatory sections, they are relatively short and inventively inserted into the story line:

    • Excerpts from larger works

    • A sports call-in show

    • A summary of the standings -- the set-up for this is amazing.

    • Play-by-play -- I would have liked more of this in this book.

  • The universe in which the GFL operate is fleshed out though mysteries remain--mysteries which I hope get resolved in the course of this seven book series.

  • The book is hilarious.

I also hope that other books and stories will be recorded which take place in this universe.

Note: As of this writing, The All Pro is currently in Sigler's podcast feed.

,em>A good read when you've read the first books in the series.