Review: Kick by CD Reiss


5 shattered Stars

I’ve tried to figure out an angle from which to present this book to you. A specific theme or thought or emotion from which to start my summation. But here’s the thing about CD Reiss’ books – they defy summation. They just do. Part of it is that they’re serial works, so they’re ramping up into something so much bigger and it’s always easiest to describe a whole instead of its parts. The other thing is that like all of Reiss’ works, this book shattered me into tiny, glittering pieces and then threw me back together again just as violently all in a heartbeat. It’s hard to replay that kind of disassembly in any kind of competent way unless you’ve read the book.

Fiona Drazen is a hot fucking mess. She is like a comet hurtling through space that occasionally gets trapped in another planet’s gravity. Planets like cocaine and sex and crazy town. You feel lucky if you happen to catch a glimpse of her as she streaks across your sky, but at her core is the hard, cold lump of accumulated rock, dirt and metal giving it just enough weight to do real damage should it happen to crash into anything substantial.

Deacon Bruce just might be Fiona’s sun. The one entity that possesses enough light, gravity and power to capture Fiona and hold onto her. Not because his rope is stronger or more special than anyone else’s (although it is) but because he never tries to change her nature. He encourages her to careen through life exactly as she wants but he has managed to tether her just enough to keep her a little more safe.

When Fiona wakes up in a mental hospital, she comes face to face with Dr. Elliott Chapman and his role is yet to be determined. He may end up being one part black hole and one part meteor storm – devouring pain and pelting everyone around with him with reality and sharp edges. On the surface he is calm and beautiful and nurturing, but I get the feeling that he might have a chain reaction within him. A huge explosive something waiting to be lit.

I don’t know how these three characters are going to fit. I have zero idea where this story is going. It’s as elusive as Fiona’s drug-addled memory currently. But I know it’s going to be huge and loud. It’s already like trying to board a bullet train without stopping. It’s already so full of sexual tension, shimmering mirages and broken disco balls that it might just explode under its own weight. It’s already brilliant and I can’t even wrap my hands around it.

I spend a lot of time trying to tell you about Reiss’ writing style. Trying to come up with the perfect way to describe the lethal precision and the intrinsic posh-ness with which she tells her stories. Attempting to pick out the exact sentence or quote or scene to adequately summarize the fact that this woman puts words together in a way that, quite simply, blows my mind. Her writing is a diamond wrapped in snake skin, dipped in come, immersed in whisky and lit on fire. It is so multi-layered and yet so strikingly simple that it will take me a long time and a lot of brain cells to figure out how to coherently talk about it.

Kick is the beginning of a whole new chapter in the Drazen cannon and I can already tell it’s going to be in a league of its own.




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