Kennar Chasny

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Carlton: Downsized
Hollywood Book Reviews

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Most of the time, a book has to build up to the action, but Carlton: Down Sized wastes no time getting right into it. This story hits the ground running from the beginning and never lets up. To truly understand what makes this story so compelling, you must delve into the pages and learn more about Carlton at the same time he does.

When Carlton wakes up after a vehicle accident, he doesn’t even know he’s Carlton. After being transported to a local hospital for care, the amnesia patient goes by “Jim” while waiting for some spark to remind him of his past. Little does “Jim” know that he has something to do with a group of fugitives holed up nearby.

One of the many ways this story is captivating is by switching between the actions of the fugitives and Carlton’s hospital bed while trying to figure out the connection between the two. Whether intentional or not, the story almost takes on a yin and yang aspect where you see Carlton, who seems to be an overall good guy trying to remember his past and how he got there, juxtaposed against the gang of fugitives whose ring leader is the most despicable kind of evil. Reading the things the fugitives do while on the run is uncomfortable and almost unbearable at times, but it is the mark of an excellent writer to make you feel what you are reading.

For a first-time author, Tawnee Chasny has a fantastic tempo. It is hard for a seasoned writer to keep the pace that this book does without adding unnecessary filler. Some parts of the story do seem to wander off into the paranormal, which is a departure from an otherwise grounded book, but even those parts play into the broader lens of the story as it unfolds. Carlton: Down Sized is a genre salad with a bit of everything, including mystery, action, drama, and some adult-themed scenes that leave this book a read best for mature audiences.

Tawnee Chasny’s first book came roaring out of the gate with a vigor that I don’t think most people would expect from a book with this title. It is a perfectly crafted page-turner that won’t let you put it down. From the mystery behind Carlton’s real name and memory loss to the worry you feel when you find out that his memories can put him in danger, it is a wild ride from beginning to end.

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