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Friday, April 30, 2021

Book Review: Jukebox Hero (SledgeHammer: A Rock and Roll Fable #1) by Jason Stuart

Jukebox Hero (SledgeHammer: A Rock and Roll Fable #1)
by Jason Stuart
April 30th, 2021
Genre: 80s Mashup/ Superhero Fantasy
Publisher: Burnt Bridge
It’s Back to the ’80’s like never before!

Things aren’t all rainbows and cupcakes at the corner of Elm and E streets. Molly Slater just wants to forget everything she can’t remember and play heavy metal with her best friend in the garage. And maybe get a date for prom if he’s not a skeeze.

But someone in this ‘burb has been killing redheads, and Molly has the reddest hair of them all.

When a night of babysitting gone wrong gets her in the crosshairs of the local gang scene, Molly discovers fabulous secrets about herself.

The hunted becomes the hunter as she prowls the darkness that has crept into her sleepy town. But a far more sinister force, some thing from another world, has other plans in store for her…

Well, first thing, I think this author (although 4 books in) shows promise. I was intrigued by the direction of his storyline and most times I thought I knew the purpose. I rather think though, that it likened the ‘80’s and was a little “chaos trying to find itself”. Perhaps that was deliberate. I thought the chapter intros with a song title (though not all originals from the ‘’80s) were a nice touch even if I couldn’t immediately see the correlation to the text.

It definitely made me think of comic book heroes. “Sledgehammer”? Really? I had young children in the ‘80’s and I suppose that might be one of the weird names they might dream up. And the descriptions of the outfits definitely fit in the era.

That’s about as far as I could go. I always try my hardest to finish any book I start but this one just could not keep my interest and I have read many in the YA genre. I got to about 43% then abandoned ship. I still at that point didn’t really see a main theme of the story but perhaps that was the point and I am just too far removed from enjoying the “blast from the past”.

I am sure there is a viewership right around the corner but I have many other places to visit with so little time....not a real patient reader have to pique my interest with something like a great main character or strong storyline.

Best wishes to this author and I will be on the lookout for future works to watch the progress.

Getting 2.5 confused sheep


“Sister Christian”
—Night Ranger, 1983
Three standing grandfather clocks gazed down at her that morning, ten years to the day since they found her wandering alone with no memory—not even a name.

There, at the corner of Elm and E Street, Molly Slater (the name they’d given her) gripped her Fender Stratocaster like it were a weapon forged for her hands. Her fingerless gloves whispered at the strings, ready to saw down some serious noise. Jordache jacket with the sleeves ripped off at the shoulder. Purple lipstick and double-earrings. Corvette red hair. Bette Davis Eyes.

The garage smelled like the early morning—no other sound but her Cons slapping the dewy concrete. She kicked away shorted out gizmos and various half-finished contraptions littering the cold slab floor. Hoyt, her foster dad, fancied himself the inventor. Any day now he’d invent their way into riches untold. Any day now.

Those grandfather clocks ticked at her as she plugged into the Peavey. More of Hoyt’s tinkering, thinking he could set his machines by them. Each triggered a different chain reaction every morning. One fed the dog. Another opened the garage to the day. A third…well it never worked anyway. She stared at them, as did they her in return. They held no judgment, only the looming doom of the impending hour.

As the garage doors groaned, opening to the dim autumn light outside, she cranked up and twist-tuned her axe. She gave it a gooseneck and sliced right in. Mötley. Halen. Bowie. Duran. Whitesnake. Saxon. Maiden! Fluidly, she moved from one riff to another. She was totally, epically zoned.

She lived in that fifteen minutes.

Those granddads thundered their terrible news.

The parentals shouted.

“Shut that racket off! You’re gonna be late, I swear to every god,” the mother said. As if there were gods. Molly just shook her head, put up the guitar and grabbed her bag. “And put on a hat on that red hair. I don’t want you getting murdered by that maniac!”

So dramatic. Like anything that interesting could ever happen.

She always knew it would be like this.

About the Author
Jason Stuart is from the ’80s. He came through that cocaine-fueled fever dream and lived to tell this story. Find him on Twitter: @raiseaholler on IG @80sinsane and This is his 4th book. And, no, that’s not his real hair.

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