Review: Stringers by Chris Panatier

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Knowledge can get you killed. Especially if you have no idea what it means.

Ben is NOT a genius, but he can spout facts about animals and wristwatches with the best of experts. He just can’t explain how he knows any of it.

He also knows about the Chime. What it is or why it’s important he couldn’t say. But this knowledge is about to get him in a whole heap of trouble.

After he and his best friend Patton are abducted by a trash-talking, flesh-construct alien bounty hunter, Ben finds out just how much he is worth… and how dangerous he can be. Hopefully Patton and a stubborn jar of pickles will be enough to help him through. Because being able to describe the mating habits of Brazilian bark lice isn’t going to save them.


Stringers is the adventures of Ben, a seemingly normal guy who works at a bait and tackle shop, follows a diet where healthy food cancels out the sweets, gets high with his best friend, Patton, and builds a huge Lego sculpture in his apartment while sucking down rows of cookies. He also knows way too much about the mating habits of insects, wrist watches, and something called the Chime of Jecca. He does not know how he knows this but he does. It also makes him valuable to intergalactic bounty hunters. 

The story is decent. Ben is kidnapped by string hunters who will sell him to the highest bidder. Ben and the other kidnapped stringers do not want this so they try to escape. The kidnappers have a way to dig into their mind for information, and Ben is of particular interest because he knows the location of the Chime of Jecca, and this Chime can destroy the universe. He has to escape from the hunters, find the chime, and destroy his memory of it so that nobody else can find it. 

I did not care much for this novel, mostly because I did not like the characters enough to carry the story. Ben is pretty insufferable, and I did not care about anyone in the universe that he was trying to save. The only decent person in the whole novel is Patton, and this is because he kind of reminds me of one of my friends growing up. He has a deep loyalty to Ben, even when Ben is not loyal in return. Besides the relationship between Ben and Patton, there does not seem to be much that is interesting about any of the other characters. The jokes are mostly unfunny, juvenile, and immature, and it makes almost all of the scenes unbearable. The worst part about Stringers is the slew of completely unnecessarily footnotes scattered throughout the novel. These are absolutely pointless and nothing but a nuisance. I actually stopped reading the footnotes about twenty pages in because they were not adding anything to the story but distracting my reading. The book starts fairly interesting, but it was a chore to get through the second half. I did not care about the characters or the story enough to really be interested in the outcome.  The best part about Stringers is the awesome cover art.

I received this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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