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Kick (The Jenkins Cycle Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

John L. Monk
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (241 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $10.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Paperback $10.18  
Scent of Murder
Scent of Murder is a gritty police thriller from veteran law enforcement agent and author James O. Born.

Book Description

Dan Jenkins returns from death for a chance to live again. The stolen bodies of killers are his rides—but only for three weeks at a time.

The life he leads on each short parole is shallow and lonely—always among the living but never a part of them. To fill the gaps, he watches movies and reads fantasy novels. He gorges on ice cream and pizza and anything he wants. And before the villain returns and kicks him out, Dan dishes out a final serving of justice and leaves the world a safer place.

For a part-time dead guy, it’s a pretty good gig...until someone changes the rules.

Interview with the Author

Q - How did you come up with the title?

A - “Kick” is what happens when my main character, Dan Jenkins, feels his time in the world of the living is coming to an end. He gets 3 kicks – kind of like seizures – and then there’s a 4th he never feels before he’s kicked out for good.

Q - Is there a message in your novel you want your readers to grasp?

A - One of the overarching themes of the book is that, no matter how bad life gets, just open your eyes a little wider. Enjoy the little things. Find love where you can and hold onto it if you can, and let it go if you must.

Q - Do you have a specific writing style?

A - I admire the writing style of Robert B. Parker and Jim Butcher, both very strong first person narrative styles in that they focus on simple descriptions without a lot of flowery window dressing, excessive metaphors, etc. And the humor – I like the humor. I inject a lot of humor in my books. The other thing I do is try to excite those emotions that pertain to survival: love, food, violence. So I tend to engage those elements quite a bit, finding them both interesting to write and to read.

Editorial Reviews


"Better than Dexter; thought provoking, funny, brilliant..."
(Carol Kean, Book Critic, Vine Voice Reviewer)

"This was one of the more entertaining and unique books I've read this year...The concept is different and carried out well, and the writing is excellent."
(Thomas Duff, Hall of Fame, Vine Voice Reviewer)

"The plot of the story is certainly unique. I like the blending of the sci-fi/mystery/thriller genres. The character of Dan is multi-dimensional and very interesting."
(Vine Reviewer, Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award manuscript)

From the Author

I've always been fascinated by vigilantes in fiction. In Kick, I coupled that fascination with my natural fear of death.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1599 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,411 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique premise and very good writing... October 6, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This was one of the more entertaining and unique books I've read this year... Kick by John L. Monk. The concept is different and carried out well, and the writing is excellent.

The main character, Dan Jenkins, is "living" out some type of punishment for his suicide. Since he's died, he finds himself in a "nothingness" existence, but he doesn't stay there constantly. At random periods of time, he's transported into the living body of someone who has been suppressed while Jenkins is in there. The person is normally someone who isn't a very nice individual (think murderer or other criminal element). Jenkins has no knowledge of the person, no idea where he's at, and no idea of what situation he's in the middle of. He only has a limited time before the real person comes back, which is signalled by the "kick" of the person trying to re-emerge (hence the title of the book). He tries to set the criminals up to pay for their crimes when they come back, which is normally very easy. But when he comes back in a guy who seems to be normal and who has it all, he's conflicted over just how far he should go before he's kicked out.

The idea of occupying bodies of living criminals to mete out justice gives Monk a lot of room to work with, and he uses it well. Jenkins "speaks" in a very self-depreciating manner and comes across very likeable for someone who is nearly always a "bad" person when he's alive. I enjoyed watching how each occupation played out, and the various clues that Jenkins had to use to figure out enough context to not get himself killed before he was kicked out.

Kick is well worth reading, both for entertainment and for "something different". I really hope this is the first of many books from Monk...

Obtained From: Author
Payment: Free
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Similar to Levithan's Every Day, but aimed at adults September 25, 2013
By Kaivorb
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
To be fair, my official review number would be a 4.5 out of 5, but that isn't doable on Amazon. I reserve a rating of 5/5 for a perfect book, and although this book was very fun to read, I don't believe it was perfect (I have only ever given one 5/5 review and that was for Cline's Ready Player One).

As a junior high teacher, I read Levithan's novel Every Day over the summer, and I enjoyed the premise (main character wakes up every day in a new person and highjacks their body for a 24 hours period) but I wasn't super connected to the book. The protagonist, A, was a bit too whiny for me (I have similar issues with Harry Potter, Bella Swan ad Percy Jackson). Well, Monk's book is a great take on that same idea. It's "body highjacking", but it goes in a much darker direction. And one that is a lot more fun. I felt the process of why Dan, the protagonist in Kick, jumps from one body to the next was well done (punishment for a suicide) and if not believable then at least feasible and easy to follow.

What I liked about the book was that Monk seemed to really enjoy writing it. There are some story lines that don't further the plot except to give you more detail about Dan's life and personality. That's just fun. It was fun to "ride" with Dan through this bodies and follow his thinking. The "journey" in the book was fun. I would connect it to a Hiassen and Grisham novel in that I don't have to care about the main character, I just enjoy the writing and the journey. That's what John gives us. A few journey. Plus, I kind of liked Dan. He's still a bit whiny (but what would you expect from an emotionally stunted adolescent suicide), but he's likeable.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Seriously, look at my past reviews. I'm like scrooge when it comes to 5 star reviews.

Here is a story with a unique and interesting plot about a man who hitches "rides" in the bodies of some very bad people and attempts to set right some of the wrongs they have committed. (Kind of like a more gritty Quantum Leap.) I haven't read a book quite like this before and I found the plot to be not only original, but engaging as well.

The protagonist is flawed yet likeable. He comes across as a real human, not just a 2D cardboard cut-out. The voice of the main character Dan has a big role in why this story turned out so enjoyable. He seems like a genuinely good dude, despite his flaws.

The writing is flawless. I don't just mean it was well edited (no typos or errors found, by the way.) I mean it builds the story at just the right pace to pull the reader in. I found the writing to be better than some "big name" authors I have read (for whatever that's worth.) This is an excellently well-written book.

Quick summary: A well-written story with a protagonist you can care about and plot that will make you think.

Highly recommended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique September 1, 2013
By Gina
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's not a mystery to me why this book has all five-star reviews. It held my interest from beginning to end. It's a very unique story. I love the concept in general and the angle the author tells the story from. I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys darker fiction.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Writing July 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Kick is one of those rare reads that stays with you for a long time after you put it down. Great characters that surprise you, dark comedy that makes you nervous that you laughed at it, and a story that makes you want more. Monk's story leaves you hoping for the next "Kick".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars What a kick😜
This book was great. The thought of someone who led less than a stellar life being able to stop some of the bad and evil in this life is incredible. Sign me up! Read more
Published 13 hours ago by Denise Winget
3.0 out of 5 stars It's alright....
The gist/plot of Kick is on the whole very intriguing, it's the repetitiveness of the actions that made it an "okay" read for me. Read more
Published 15 hours ago by K.N.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book
Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book
This book is awesome. Neither my wife or I could put it down once we started it. Definitely worth the read.
Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent writing and unique storyline
Dan Jenkins is dead. But he gets sent on "rides" where he enters the body of someone and is given the task of finding out what wrong needs righted and then goes about fixing the... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, what was that?!
Different! I'm not even sure what genre it is. Adventure? Redemption-fiction? Kick is dark and funny and thoughtful and I had no idea where it was going, not until the very end. Read more
Published 10 days ago by MoVe
5.0 out of 5 stars Kick (The Jenkins Cycle Book 1) doesn't disappoint
Kick is reminecent of the TV show Quantum Leap however its gritter. Its more of a adult version and very enjoyable. I read it in one sitting. Couldn't put it down. Read more
Published 11 days ago by J. McGlynn
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I read a lot. I've never read a story quite like this. I find it interesting thinking of a life reborn to make things right. Read more
Published 12 days ago by BRIAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than I thought it would be
If you are looking for something completely different, but completely enjoyable, read this book. I was quite impressed with the unique concept of this book.
Published 16 days ago by ikya9456
4.0 out of 5 stars I've not yet finished this book but it's pretty good reading so far
I've not yet finished this book but it's pretty good reading so far. I'm hoping it has a really good ending for the main character.
Published 1 month ago by susan holmes
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More About the Author

John L. Monk lives in Virginia, USA, with his wife, Dorothy. A writer with a degree in cultural anthropology, he moonlights as a systems administrator by day and Honey-do consultant on the weekends.

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