- File Size: 1473 KB
- Print Length: 296 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 147926282X
- Publisher: Severed Books (January 13, 2014)
- Publication Date: January 13, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00A6RGFK6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #967,368 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$11.99|
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So Say the Waiters book 1 (So Say the Waiters book 3) Kindle Edition
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Imagine a world where a phone app exists that allows you to create and plan your own kidnapping. You give the parameters for the kidnapping: the duration, the experiences you want to have, the safe word for a safe escape...
Henry is a daily grind kind of guy working in a mind-numbing yet steady job in programming where he's struggling to keep his head above water. His work is sloppy, he calls in late or sick often, skips out early, and he's paying for it in work performance. His marriage is all but over, and his wife is nearly completely moved out. He receives a phone call and a plane ticket one Friday afternoon to send him across the country from home (Baltimore) to Los Angeles to visit an old friend with a wild and lucrative proposition.
Dani is a girl who's barely scraping by. She's a bartender in a band and she's covered in tattoos. She's one of kidnApp's best customers, and an early adopter. She can't make rent, and she can't make the guy she likes want her, too, but she's a whiz with getting swept away by a Taker.
The story winds closely around these two characters, and really does a good job building up the beginnings of a great partnership. This is only Book 1, so the foundation is laid rather well. I really feel the doldrums of Henry's life, and I'm eager for him to take the opportunity to turn everything on its ear and change directions 180-degrees. But he won't, because he's Henry, and he will do this methodically and planting each foot firmly down before taking the next step. That's where Dani comes in. These two may very well create a powerhouse dynamic duo that will accelerate kidnApp to the upper atmosphere where it belongs.
Criticisms: This book was littered with misspellings and grammatical errors. I am unsure if it was edited. It seems like it was, because it is well-written, but some of the errors are blatant and left me scratching my head. I tried to submit the errors via the Kindle interface, but I'm not sure those are reported exactly as I had it conjured in my mind. Regardless, with a bit of effort in setting aside these oversights, the book is fun and worth a shot to learn if the kidnApp world is right for you.(less)
So Say the Waiters is the first installment in a series focused on the people using and making the app. It’s weird, wonderful, and au courant, with a grimy window into the life of Baltimore hipsters.
Dani is a tattooed bartender who was one of the first users of the app. She’s still one of their best “customers.” In the “kidnapping” we get to experience with her, she has a guy play the viola for her for several hours, while she’s tied up and blind-folded. Hmph. I have to confess I was relieved that while kinkier kidnappings were hinted at, they never materialized in any graphic way.
Henry is Dani’s opposite in every conceivable way as a boring, white-collar, government programmer with a suburban McMansion. It seems he’s got it made, except his fiancee has just left him and he’s a sobbing mess about it. Also, he can’t afford his McMansion mortgage without her.
One weekend, Henry gets whisked off to California to visit a college friend, who’s just made it big developing KidnApp. The reason he’s making so much money is that most people simply sign up for it, pay the five dollar monthly subscription fee, and never “submit” to be kidnapped. The thrill of the idea that they could do it is enough. The app is interactive and social-media friendly. You can see if there are any “waiters” in your area, and if their profile is public, can even see who they are.
Dani for instance, has a huge following on the app, because she leaves public reviews of each of her kidnapping experiences. Checking to see who’s waiting, and who just got picked up, who’s left comments about your latest kidnapping, becomes quite addictive.
“Takers” are the people doing the kidnapping. They tend to be ex-military types, but there are a few exceptions, like a black lesbian couple operating out of a Baltimore basement.
Henry’s friend wants to bring him on board, into management. The money’s good, but Henry is hesitant. He’s a cautious type, and if he does this, he’ll have to work as a taker for a while, just to get the feel of things on the ground. After returning to Baltimore, he reluctantly agrees, and someone is sent from CA to get him started. Let’s just say Henry is terrible at this, and his friend has to call someone to bail him out of a tricky situation.
Henry is reluctant to try again, but he’s also fascinated. When Dani puts in another submission, he’s the taker assigned to her. While he’s scoping out her apartment, she gets kidnapped- by someone not part of the app. It turns out to be a guy who has a crush on her who knew she’d put in a submission and thought he’d get in on the fun. Henry gets involved, and when Dani learns about his situation she suggests a partnership. She could use the money, and she’d be good at it.
Of course, they have to keep it all secret, but it’s a way for Henry to get a second income while keeping his nice, safe day job. They agree, and the book ends with their first assignment- a well-known investigative journalist. That should go well.
I really enjoyed this. The characters weren’t astonishingly original, but they fit the story well, each providing a window into very different parts of Baltimore. I particularly liked Dani’s explorations of the seedier sides of the city on her bicycle. I’ve seen some of those, and while it’s not always pretty, you can’t deny that Baltimore has character!
The story was fast-paced and stayed interesting. I felt off-balance much of the time; like I couldn’t predict where this was going. The ending was a bit anti-climactic. I guess it’s just setting up for the next book, which I’ll probably read at some point.j
The app was the star in all of this. It seems kind of crazy, but also kind of feasible in this day and age. The marriage of technology and people who are sick to death of their mundane lives seems pretty plausible.