Review: Blue Madagascar

  • Title:
    • Blue Madagascar
  • Author:
    • Andrew Kaplan
  • Release:
    • June 30 2021
  • Format:
    • Paperback

If you’re reading this review, like myself, the summary is likely what caught your eye. I first came across this book on Library Thing while looking for review copies and it stood out as one of the few books I was genuinely interested in.

The story starts with the “suicide” of the front runner in the presidential election and then drops this plot point until the end of the book, where it’s bookended. Then the book does the “How We Got Here” trope, which I’m not personally fond of. But it is what it is.

While I’m complaining, one other thing I disliked about the book was when a character used the term “silencer” to refer to a weapon attachment known as a suppressor. I don’t know a damn thing about firearms and even I know they’re not called silencers. The reason this annoys me so much is I can’t stand the spread of misinformation. Story-wise, it’s not apparent if that’s the character thinking it or just the book explaining the scene. Either way, I’d rather people stop using the incorrect term so that it will eventually die out.

The story starts out alternating between several different people/groups every couple of chapters which I find to be extremely enjoyable. The way their stories were intertwined as they progressed with their journeys or investigations was well done and satisfying. Partially due to this alternating narrative, the book doesn’t have any good stopping points. I read this book over 4 days, 100 pages per day and after finishing my 100 pages each day, I didn’t want to stop. I finished this book 4 days ago and it’s still living in the back of my mind.

The characters are all believable. They all have wants and desires and their internal dialogue makes each one feel like a real person. It’s difficult to describe; It feels as if you’re in the mind of another human being and not just being told what they’re thinking by an impartial narrator. One of my favorite characters was an old man who appears several times throughout the plot. (I don’t want to spoil anything) He rambles on and on like old men do, which I found enjoyable and hilarious. But I also found him relatable because he often went a roundabout way to explain things, much like I do.

One of the things the aforementioned character said really stood out to me; Direct, word for word quote: “But you’re not watching this to listen to me talk about the bad old days, are you? Who gives a damn, right? That world’s gone now; the champagne’s gone flat. But you know, once it did sparkle. Of course, you didn’t want to look under the hood. Not so pretty.” I absolutely love that wording. I’ve always felt out of place in the modern world. That description of the world and how it’s changed really resonated with me.

The story takes place all over the world with characters who are fluent in numerous languages such as Russian, French, English, Spanish. The words and phrases the characters use usually have a translation right after. If I’m 100% honest, most of the time I couldn’t tell if that was there for the sake of the reader or if the characters all say a word in one language and then repeat it in the language they were just speaking. Regardless, I appreciated it either way as I wish to learn additional languages and this book has taught me several new words in multiple languages, which I appreciate.

Nearly every story and plot point are wrapped up nicely. There are a few stories left open, which would allow room for a sequel. Whether or not a sequel is being planned is anybody’s guess, but I genuinely hope so.

If you couldn’t tell by the review so far, I enjoyed the hell out of this book. This is one of the best books I’ve read in a while and I will be checking out more of Andrew Kaplan’s work. This was a complete joy to read and has left me wanting more. I’ve been recommending this book to fellow book lovers and I think if you’ve made it this far into the review, you should pick up a copy.

NOTE: This copy was provided to me free of charge as a physical review copy. The opinions stated in this review are mine and mine alone, I was not paid or requested to give this book a certain rating, suggestion, or approval.

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