Monday, April 9, 2018

Review: Hockey Karma by Howard Shapiro

Hockey Karma by Howard Shapiro
Publisher: Animal Media Group
Release Date: November 1st, 2016
Format: Egalley, 160 pages
Source: Netgalley*
My Rating: 

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

The highly anticipated sequel to the award winning “The Hockey Saint” taking place ten years after “Saint” ends. The legendary Jeremiah “Jake” Jacobson, now thirty two, has been the world’s best hockey player over his fourteen year career because of his out of this world talent level and his smart play. But he can’t stay on top forever, and when he starts making mistakes on the ice, his career and family life start to crumble.

At the same time, Tom Leonard, his agent and best friend, is completely overwhelmed by a project that he and Jake were supposed to be working on together. A project that could have a huge impact on people throughout their city in need of a helping hand. As Jake sinks deeper into a funk over his lost status due to his deteriorating play and the emergence of teammate and rookie phenom Barclay Pedersen, Tom realizes he’s on his own. At the same time he rediscovers someone from his past who he never thought he’d see again. In that burgeoning relationship, Tom discovers the importance of taking chances and starts to believe in himself.

Can Jake break out of his downward spiral and Tom finally find the courage to step out of Jake’s shadow?
Hockey Karma is the sequel to The Hockey Saint, and also the third and final book in Howard Shapiro's Forever Friends Trilogy. Immediately starting this comic I noticed a huge difference in the art from this one to the last one. The characters in this book are older, more adult and the art felt that way. I'm not 100% sure if that was why the art was so different, because I checked and it looks like a different artist did this book. I think because the characters looked so different in this one that I had a hard time reconciling that this was the same naive Tom we met in the last story. Although, I think that was maybe the point.

There were parts about this book that I liked better than the previous one. I felt like this one showed more about actually playing hockey and less about the talking sports heads. That's what I look for in a sports book, so that interested me. I also really liked that we saw a female head coach for a team! That was awesome!

What I didn't like was the character of Jeremiah Jacobson. He straight up sucks. He acts like such a petulant man-child the entire story. He's mad that he is getting close to retirement and his body can't handle playing hockey anymore that he takes it out on the new rookie on his team who has done nothing wrong. His family also suffers a lot. I didn't get a feel from this story that him and Felicity actually ever wanted children, and it feels like they have a pretty unhappy marriage. I felt really bad for Felicity, because it seems like over the course of what we have seen of their marriage she has to take care of him all the time. Honestly I felt like she would have been better of without him. I understand that Jacobson clearly has an issue with addiction, and I'm glad we see him get help, but it felt like we went over all that stuff in the previous book. 

There is a subplot of Tom finding love, and of him trying to make a plan to revitalize the city. I found this stuff interesting and it was cool to see Tom actually taking what he learned in the last book and trying to do go in the community.  

The book ends on a high note, and I think this a good place to end with the story about the friendship between Jacobson and Tom. I enjoyed this one, but I don't think I need to read more about these two at this point.

*I received a free egalley copy of this book in exchange for my honest review
Happy Reads Everyone!