*I received a free copy of this book from the author for an honest review.
Red Bang by Brandt Monroe is about a man named Adam Murphy. He’s a Hollywood screenwriter who doesn’t quite know what to do for his career. Jess, his wife, used to be a Los Angeles publicist until she lost her job. In need of money, Adam decides he will take a chance on a new opportunity offered by a billion-dollar company called The Company. Adam ends up getting the job, but it’s not exactly what he was led to believe.
The Company portrays itself as a sort of work playground filled with benefits; however, Adam finds out that there’s little room to breathe from all the meetings he must attend to all the urgent e-mails he gets every few minutes. Plus, The Company wants Adam to be innovative while keeping up with his every day tasks. He must either learn the customs of The Company on his own or fail miserably. To succeed he must deal with competing employees and create an alliance with a distant Company founder before he is fired. While he is facing this difficulty at work, Adam has to also help Jess through her growing depression from the gloomy weather and from feeling unaccomplished.
This novel is filled with references. The references consist of modern technology, pop culture, entertainment, and so on. Some pass unnoticed, while others are hilarious and memorable. It’s easy to relate to the main character through the use of these references because he seems more realistic and it makes him a unique character. Even if the reader doesn’t understand every reference, it doesn’t take away from the book. There is enough explained about each reference to make the reader understand why it was used and even provide some new information. While the story is well-written, I do wish there were shorter chapters and not only months with short breaks every now and then. Sometimes I found myself wanting a break but the end of the chapter was still many pages away.
The characters are the highlight of this story. My favorites being the protagonist and his family. Adam is witty and sarcastic, and I found myself enjoying his personality. I love his comebacks and responses to other people, especially with Jess. Adam and Jess go well together. They seem like a fun family, and their humor bounces off of each other perfectly. Plus, their daughter Kate is adorable. I even enjoyed Adam’s competition with his nemesis, Romy. It was interesting to see the contrast between Jess and Romy. Both are motivated women who want to do something great, but Romy has the tendency to squash people beneath her while Jess works with others to solve problems. It was nice to see determined women taking charge while showing a difference in how they obtain power. They didn’t have the same methods, and I liked that a woman could be in charge without stepping on others (Jess). All of the characters are believable because they are not perfect. They slip up and make mistakes. It makes them feel human, and it’s even more realistic since The Company is based on actual American companies.
While The Company is a fascinating place, I would not want to work there. However, it provided a great location for the story. I loved that American companies were poked fun at for their customs with new employees and for the “fired” ones as well. The novel brought forth the main problems in them and created this insane work environment that I’m sure a lot of people would fail in. A lot of the products being developed by The Company are similar to things we have in the real world but that doesn’t take away from creative aspect of the story in any way.
Red Bang is an enjoyable read. It has relatable characters and takes place in a realistic world. I enjoyed watching Adam develop through the story. While the story is based off of real life companies and products, it refrains from being predictable and has a satisfying ending. If you’re looking for an interesting story with lots of real-world references, you should definitely check out Red Bang. You won’t be disappointed!
My Rating: ★★★★