[[wysiwyg_imageupload:1070:]]Ted and his 1992 Astro Van are just about as plain and predictable as could be. That is until Ted moves to Los Angeles and starts working for Jack Herschfeld, the famous puppeteer of yesteryear. Ted soon finds himself up to his neck in trouble. There are guns, puppets, romance, and plenty of danger waiting for him around every corner.
Written by iFanboy’s Josh Flanagan, Astro Van is a tale about a man who just wants to feel wanted and experience life. Ted is the kind of character that is instantly relatable. It seems like many people in our modern world seem to isolate themselves, even if by accident, and they try to find some sort of connection to other human beings while failing to have the social skills to pull it off. When Ted feels isolated and alone, or uncomfortable in social situations, it really bleeds through the page and makes the reader feel the same way.
The supporting characters in the book are just as compelling as Ted. There’s Jack, his shifty boss who always seems to have a different motivation, Humberto, a security expert with a few other surprising hobbies, and Sara, a shop girl who has a healthy appetite for danger and adventure. The supporting cast really plays well off of Ted’s insecurities and gives him a chance to grow in a situation that many normal people wouldn’t find themselves in. The more the danger increases, the more readers get to experience Ted’s development into a real man.
The story flows very well for having as many underlying twists and turns as it does. It plays out very much like a dysfunctional heist movie, but with the inner monologues and thought processes that film can’t always deliver. There are a few points where the story takes suddenly jarring turns and it always keeps the narrative fresh. Many of the old clichÃ© plot points that are found in stories in this genre get turned on their head in a very humorous and realistic way. The book as a whole is well paced. The characters are very believable and they leave you wanting more after the last page.
If you’re looking for a fun and inspired summer read on your Kindle or tablet device, Astro Van by Flanagan is an excellent choice for a lounge chair or outdoor day at the coffee shop. It really showcases the author’s love for storytelling and his understanding of how it feels to be the odd man out. The book is available on Amazon's Kindle for $2.99.