The year is 2020. We have people living on Mars, but haven’t sorted out life on earth yet. In an age of robotics and rail-less magnetic trains, life at the bottom is probably worse for the ware.
Pepe doesn’t know his true identity but his existence poses a national security threat. He lives in an abandoned construction site with Po, his “sister”. President Don Juan Clemente, a quadriplegic, brain linked to massive computer system including killer robots, is poised to destroy any threat to his power, and the hunt is on. Help comes from a young computer hacker named Raul, and an aged mystic named Atsuko, and a few others. But will that be enough to save Pepe?
Concept: The concept behind this was pretty simple. Cardovia was a country in civil unrest until General Don Juan Clemente seized control and changing the structure from a monarchy to republic. Now there’s talk of members of the former monarchy still being alive and that’s not something that can be tolerated.
Story: The year is 2020 and Pepe is just a regular little street hustler out trying to make just enough money to take care of him, his little sister Po and their grandmother. They are living in the aftermath of the ten year rule of General Don Juan Clemente, and the streets of the Dockside Community are not easy. Life for Pepe and Po are about to get harder and more dangerous as they soon become a part of a revolt against the government that will lead to Pepe learning a lot about his past that he had long forgotten. Having had to grow up so quick, now he will have to mature to deal with this new road he must now travel.
Character Development: As the leading character, Pepe seems to take a lot of time developing. Understandably he is rather young from the onset, but being a street kid you would think he’d have just a bit more “savvy” about him. I felt that it took him too long to actually figure out his role and then once he did he still had to accept it and then grow with it and by the time he came to acceptance part the story was almost over and the rest of it felt rushed.
The secondary characters were all pretty slow in development as well, except for Raul who seemed to be a steady constant as he became a very important party in the ending of the story. I rather expected a little more of the sister Po and even Raquel – we do get a bit of growth spurts from both of these young girls but there could have been more done with them.
The only other person of real importance to mention was Atsuko and I’m still very curious as to how he became a part of the old regime… I really feel that a back story on him could have given a whole new light to his place and position in the overall story. I kept wondering how this Oriental mystic fit into this world that the Author developed.
Dialogue: There were moments when the dialogue was just not believable and other times it was just forced. Overall I found very few moments when I could actually get into the conversations.
Structure: I believe that the structure of the story could have been worked on a little more to make the story have a more sound foundation. There were moments when I believe that the Author was making the reader feel as if they were getting a news report but you didn’t get that feel for it at first. The balance was not always there and it felt as if the story was all over the place.
Overall Review: Overall, I was really hoping to dive into a world in shambles and walk out the other end feeling that everything was right with the universe, but that didn’t happen. Pepe is not a bad story, but it’s not really a complete story. The storyline was there, the plot was obvious, but the direction sometimes got lost and you never really got to see the world around you at times. It’s not a hard story to read, but it was a hard book to complete. And what really didn’t get an applaud from me as to how it was all wrapped up… I kind of felt like the air was just suddenly released from my balloon. I would recommend this, but not highly because it just doesn’t give that POP that you would want for the attempt of the build up. In the end I give this 3 stars