Becky’s One Hundred and Seventy-Ninth Book Review: “Shots Fired” by C.J. Box

“Shots Fired” by C.J. Box is a collection of short stories that I was given access to through Penguin’s “First to Read” program. The way the program works is you submit your interest in a book that hasn’t been released yet and in a raffle-like system you may be chosen. You get access to the ebook version for a few weeks. I have been so eager to be picked to read a book first that I stopped reading the synopsis for books and just started entering my info. Finally, after many entries I got picked to read “Shots Fired”.

I didn’t realize that “Shots Fired” was a collection of short stories when I entered my info, but I was excited to read something in an exclusive sense that I didn’t really care. Then I remembered why I am not such a huge fan of short stories. As soon as you start to get into the story it ends. That being said, I did enjoy C.J. Box’s writing and I found myself reading stories that under normal circumstances I would never pick up.

Although they really weren’t westerns, these short stories reminded me of westerns. Maybe that is just because they took place in Wyoming. Some of the stories were a little duller than the others. For example, I didn’t really enjoy “Every Day is a Good Day on the River”. I didn’t feel that the characters were all that well developed and the end was rather abrupt and obvious. The story before that one, “The Master Falconer” was pretty entertaining and definitely different from what I usually read. With these being short stories, I feel like I cannot say much about what the plot was about, so excuse the brief explanation. Four of the stories feature Joe Pickett whom I have come to learn is the main character in C.J. Box’s series of which there are at least eighteen novels. I found Joe Pickett to be an intriguing character. It is nice to know that I can read a lot more about him.

Overall I thought that the writing was exceptional and upon investigation I did find out that C.J. Box is an established author with multiple novels to his name. After getting a taste of his writing, I would pick up another work by him as long as it was full length. I really am not a big fan of short stories in general and this collection did not stand out as anything special. That being said, I do think C.J. Box has talent and I would be interested to see if I react differently to one of his novels. I wouldn’t recommend this collection of short stories to most people, as I know few that appreciate the short story. Still, I do like getting a taste of an author through a short story. You can get a feel for if you like their writing without investing a ton of time into their work.

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