Dana reviews BOYSTOWN Season 5 by Jake Biondi (Published December 19, 2016, 338 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
To read the review for BOYSTOWN Season 1 click here. To read the review for BOYSTOWN Season 2 click here. To read the review for BOYSTOWN Season 3 click here. To read the review for BOYSTOWN Season 4 click here. To read the review for BOYSTOWN Season 5 click here.
“The gun fired in one direction and then in another direction soon after, causing quick flashes of light and sound. Blood splattered in every direction. From the pier, three bodies could be seen falling from the deck into the dark waters of the lake. The water disturbed by the bodies splashed high into the air and then calmed as the smoke from the fired guns slowly dissipated into the air. The moonlight danced on the surface of Lake Michigan without a care in the world.” -BOYSTOWN Season Five
While divers search underwater for victims of the yacht shootings, rescue crews search the rubble of the hotel explosion for survivors and detectives search for Cole O’Brien and for Joyelle Mancini’s newborn daughter. Meanwhile, Keith Colgan rushes Michael Martinez to St. Joseph Hospital in a desperate attempt to save his life. Some live and some die, but from the tragedy and devastation, an unlikely hero emerges.
As Camille Ciancio gets closer to solving the mystery of the body found beneath the Mancini winery, members of the Mancini family scramble to keep their secret buried. Camille continues to manipulate Mateo Martinez, this time to finally get her hands on the elusive key that her brother left behind. At the same time, Keith struggles to keep his past from resurfacing and Jensen Stone finds himself at the center of a trial that could cost him his friends, his relationship, and his freedom.
Preparations for the Halloween gala rekindle passion between former lovers and tear other couples apart. Cardinal Franco Armani and Max Taylor form an unlikely and unholy alliance that impacts the lives of several people around them — and Boystown’s newest resident, Ethan Anderson, finds himself at the center of the war between the Ciancios and the Mancinis. Everything culminates in a costume party that brings about two marriage proposals, a frantic rescue mission, sinister schemes, a deadly crash, and a shocking revelation that rocks Boystown to its core.
There’s no place like BOYSTOWN!
If you haven’t read the BOYSTOWN series yet, I definitely recommend you do. It’s not a series you can really read the seasons as stand-alones. The storyline continues from book to book where big things happen in each leaving cliff hanger style endings. There are people who don’t like to read books with those, but I am a fan. I love the emotional build up and the feeling of needing to know what will happen, though at the same time, it can be frustrating. But as a one time fan of daytime soap operas, this style of writing is exciting.
At the end of Season 5, there was a shooting, two kidnappings, a stabbing, and a bombing. In some of the situations, it was unclear who was hurt or possibly dead and some of those answers were cleared up as we opened on Season 6. Some. A few situations were held out leaving me going crazy until the end of the book where a whole new set of problems began. So much happens in this book, but I will try to put my thoughts into words without spoilers.
Derek, who’s brand new husband was kidnapped at the end of the last book, seems to finally be maturing in this book. He has kept a few of his meddling ways but overall, I feel like he finally wants to do more good than harm in this cast of characters. He remains concerned about his missing spouse, but at times, I wonder how he is resuming business as usual while Cole might be suffering. Justin and Gino, another newlywed pair have become two of my favorite characters who I once hated. Their love and respect for each other is real and it spreads out to others in their group of friends. Keith also seems to be turning over a new leaf and his relationship with Michael is growing stronger. Jensen has a new set of problems since the end of Season 5 but his character is definitely about making amends to those he hurt in the past and trying to find love. In a crazy attempt to help a friend, though, Jensen does something that I’m not quite happy about, and it blows up in his face. Logan who was suffering from alcoholism and depression is doing much better, just in time to try to be the rock for some of his friends who are suffering. Joyelle, Patrick, and Emmett are three characters who are genuinely nice characters, who always seem to get the brunt of the problems, like a child kidnapped, a mentor trying to control them, and a cheating fiance. I can’t help but feel for them, though secrets about them are slowly revealed in this book. I still want them to find their happy endings, as well as Adam and David who are recovering from the bombing that left one of them paralyzed.
On the other hand, I am happy to see some people reap bad karma from their actions. I used to like Max, even though he was a bit of a hothead. By the end of this book, I’d be happy to see something bad happen to him. (Oops,my bloodlust is showing again.) There is a bit of bad behavior from a clergyman, and I appreciate the author not going for a quick alter boy joke or jab like I have seen in other books talking about priests. That’s not to say that the actions of this character are anyhting resembling godly, I can’t help but want to see him exposed for the fraud he is. Mateo has always been a bit of a sketchy character and I continue to think so. I can’t figure out if he can be redeemed yet, but I don’t hate him quite as much as others especially since his son was attacked after being outed by Rachel who I am frankly glad got what was coming to her. Hugo, Mateo’s son is a character I feel almost apathetic about. He is quick to fly off the handle and make snap judgments. He is young though, so I hope to see him get better. Camille and Marco the aunt and brother of Gino are troublemakers to the core. Just when it seems like they might face retribution something happens to surprise the reader.
My favorite addition of a character in Season 6 is Ethan, the first transgender character to become part of the BOYSTOWN family. He has come across some information that could help someone, and damn another. What he will do with it remains to be seen, but I’d really like him to be more noble than some of the others in this group. There is a mystery figure who wears one black glove who is new to this book as well. It is unclear who he seems to be working for or with, since he is contacted by more than one character in regards to some nasty business. I have to admit that I did make a correct guess about his identity. It seems like you can never be sure whether someone is really dead in this series.
All in all, the story is filled with as much drama as the other books in this series. It is equal parts frustrating and delicious. Be prepared for some insane cliffhangers in some of these characters story lines. I think that the author might have a bit of a sadistic streak, and since I loved reading it, I might be a masochist. If you haven’t checked out the first books of the series, I recommend them all.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Jake Biondi fell in love with “The Windy City” at an early age. He left the Chicago area for four years to attend the University of Notre Dame, from which he graduated with degrees in English and Business. He was awarded the university’s prestigious William Mitchell Award for Playwriting. Upon graduating from Notre Dame, Biondi returned to Chicago where he attended and graduated from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He has been living in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood for over 20 years.
While studying literature, Biondi became a huge fan of Charles Dickens whose novels were originally released in installments, each ending in a cliffhanger to keep readers coming back for more. Because of his love of those novels as well as television dramas such as Dynasty, Knots Landing, Dallas, and Revenge, Jake Biondi decided to create a serialized saga for contemporary audiences. Thus, the BOYSTOWN series was born.
Biondi began BOYSTOWN in June of 2013 as an online story and intended to release one “episode” online per month, each ending in a cliffhanger. The story became so popular — and the online reading audience grew so quickly — that people from all over the country began to email him demanding to know what happened to their favorite characters and wanting the episodes to be released faster. They also had suggestions for future storylines. Excited by and grateful for his readers’ responses to BOYSTOWN, Biondi began to write and release installments more quickly.
In November of 2013, Biondi moved BOYSTOWN offline and published the first ten installments in book form as BOYSTOWN Season One. The book became an international hit, with fans all over the globe clamoring for more. BOYSTOWN Season Two was published in July of 2014, BOYSTOWN Season Three was released on May 1, 2015, BOYSTOWN Season Four was released on November 13, 2015, and BOYSTOWN Season Five was released on June 1, 2016.
Because of the popularity of the book series, fans have suggested that BOYSTOWN be turned into a television series. Biondi recently completed the TV scripts for the first season of BOYSTOWN and hopes to bring the series to television in the very near future.