Sunday, April 1, 2018

Review: The Hockey Saint By Howard Shapiro

The Hockey Saint By Howard Shapiro
Publisher: Animal Media Group
Release Date: September 10th, 2014
Format: Egalley, 153 pages
Source: Netgalley*
My Rating: 
★ 1/2

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

The highly anticipated sequel to "The Stereoypical Freaks" and the 2nd book in the "Forever Friends" Trilogy, this is "The Hockey Saint"

Twenty-one year old Jeremiah Jacobson is the world's best hockey player, but he wasn't prepared for the frenzy and scrutiny that came with that title. Tom Leonard is an average college sophomore... just a guy trying to find his place in the world as he sorts through issues that are both very real and seemingly insurmountable. 

Through a chance meeting, these two strike up an unlikely friendship. Their bond is tested when Tom discovers that his idol isn't as perfect up close as he seems from afar. With Jeremiah living a little too much in the moment and with his past catching up to him, will Tom be able to help him before it's too late?
I initially requested the book that comes after this on netgalley, but was granted access to Animal Media Group's catalog so I discovered that this book was available, so I decided to dive in here. I had no idea this is actually the second book in the series. I don't think I missed much from not reading the first book. I think the story in this comic stands well on its own, so if you haven't read the first one you can still pick up on what is going on.

There isn't anything particularly special about the art in this one. I liked it, but there was nothing that really jumped out as "wow" to me. It had some pretty standard clean lines in the art, which I think makes sense for this story. The story in this comic is what really stands out, and I think that is kind of the point.

I think this story is interesting, it's all about how not everything is what it seems. When Tom meets his idol hockey player he has some preconceived notions about what he is supposed to be like. He expects a glamorous lifestyle, which he gets some of that, but Jacobson also tries to show Tom how it's important to give back to your community. It actually made me feel bad that I don't do enough charity work! Jacobson is somewhat of a "hockey saint" with how much he gives back to his community.

This was a decent one, but I had a hard time with the main character Tom. As soon as he meets his idol he kind of gives up the rest of his life to hangout with this dude. His grades drop, he starts missing practice and he's kind of crappy best friend. It seems to "all work out in the end" in this comic, but I felt like it was wrapped up a little too perfectly. His best friend forgives him for basically ditching him way too easily. The neat ending just didn't sit that well for me.

I was initially interested in this one because it's about hockey, and I am a huge hockey fan, but it's less about the game and more about how it holds captive some of the people that make a living off of it. It also seems like the author was throwing mad shade at sports journalism and how everything these athletes do is scrutinized to the Nth degree. I don't think he's wrong in this assessment, but I found it really interesting to read about here. It was so interesting to me that Jacobson would refuse to do interviews with the traditional media, but will do stuff for smaller blogs. I know when I wrote for smaller hockey blogs this was a hard feat to manage!

The next comic in this series is also about Tom and Jacobson again, so I am really interested to see where their story goes next.

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

Happy Reads Everyone!