And Then There Was Life!: André Jacob

André Jacob's new thriller is surely a can't miss read. Combining football, espionage and romance this novel might be more for the ladies than the die-hard football fan. Yet, if you love the game then you will love this new fast pace read, And Then There Was Life!

Author/Novel Feature


 Jacob doesn't hold in

 punches in the

 thriller but what he

 does do is pass a

 few out!


BY Melinda henneberger

Former editor in chief - politics daily


Perhaps having read And Then There Was Life! recently has given me a certain intestinal fortitude/high tolerance for pulp. Whatever the case, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn’t hate And Then There Was Life!  anywhere near as much as I thought I would before I start reading it. Let me start by saying, I am not that big of a fan of fiction in general and I surely don't care about sports and the so called James Bond spy thrillers or the modern day Jason Bournes. I did however, fall in love with Miles Jacob and I am advocating the reading of André Maxwell Jacob's new novel. You will be better off after doing so, trust me.


The story


Miles Jacob is young, bright, keen, fresh out of college, and “driven”—which is the descriptive branding I get from this book: ad-nauseum. New England Patriots draft this wonder child and life seems to just go from fantastic to incredible. I did not think it could have gotten any better. He had the girl, the life and much more. But as the author says, there is always a but and this is what made me fall in love with this story.


I dove into this novel that I found it to be a true jewel of a read. The noovel's detail alone kept my attention from start to finish. I spoke with André after I completed this novel and had many questions. To my amazement I had even more when we were finished with our conversations. I now have him on speed dial. Talking with André opened many doors, one after another. I would never know where they (conversations) could or would lead us; but that was the nicety about them. Our conversations in themselves were little mini journeys. I wish everyone had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Jacob and not just about this novel; life in general and where he is trying to get the writers of this world to do more.


This story is amazing and full of every day detail; things that most would take for granted. Miles goes from elite to prison, a fact that many will miss or forget. Shortly into this story we find ourselves with Miles in prison. But how many of us will ask ourselves later into the novel, how did he get there? I found myself forgetting that this character was or had been in prison. André had to remind me of that and the fact that all is not so great in Miles' world..., 'he does spend three years in prison.' "Miles starts off in prison, I give you the Exit for a reason. (Pointing) out that, that should be a fact you remember throughout the novel... so when you think he's perfect... you should think about the beginning." This point will ring clearly in Part II, he promises me. Knowing that, I want Part II now. But let me continue. After I finished Part I  I had more questions, so many that I needed and wanted Part II but I knew that that would just lead me to wanting Parts III,> IV & V. Like aa good writer he hooks you in and you are in his lair until he's ready to release you. Might not be fair but be forewarned.


Back to the novel


Miles' life and situation changes; maybe for the worse after a mind erasing hit in the Super Bowl. From there we get to learn more about Miles the person. He must start anew. Most would not have any issues with this because of the money but Miles is not about money; that'seasy to say when one has it at beck, will, and call. But (remember the buts) the essence of his person is anything but money. You soon learn that Miles' character is humble and basic. He is talented but talent is not what makes him tick; it only allows him more opportunities in life. His will to be good, to be the very best is what  drives him to be great and such a lovable character. Mothers and women in general will love him. Not wanting not giving too much of the story away, it will also be the one thing that drive him to prison. I figured this out the second time I read this novel. The trouble he faces is in itself due to his loyalty to the United States' government. Being the political person I am, I understood. Uncle Sam himself could make a nun become a prostitute after leaving a good Catholic Sunday Morning Sermon. Preaching that what can you do for your country speech. Miles falls hook, line, and sinker for it. You will just have to read this novel for more insight to this part. From the conversations Mr. Jacob and I had; I would say get this novel and pay close attention to every word that is written. I have started reading this novel a third time because during my second go around I saw so many new things and after speaking with André, I want to pick up on the other hidden clues. This novel is a mystery. So many hidden little messages. Maybe because I have had a few one-on-ones with André, I come away with more than the average read will. Still take my advice and read this novel, then read it a second or third time. It is like a good movie, every time you watch it you always discover something new.


The style


Like I said above, I can not find fault in this novel, I am fully endorsing it and that is something I did not think I would be doing. When I first agreed to read this novel because of a good friend's suggesting it. Then when they went a step further that I not only read it but review it I was not all that agreeable. Relenting I agreed to read it and I can say it was a wise decision. Still did not mean that this novel would get a good review. In fact, I plotted on how I would tear it apart, it would not even be worthy of picking up dog poop poop when I was done with it. Me being me was going to be the hard nose, so-call hater, yet Mr. Jacob's writing style changed all that. I hate sports..., spy novels..., and the likes. In spite of all this, I now am looking forward to being one of  New England Patriots and the Florida Gators biggest football fan. Yes, he is that good, he got me, the hater.


I’m not advocating Jacob’s immediate receipt of a Pulitzer or anything, but at least his writing is engaging, unlike so many other authors out there, who just write to be writing. The whole book only took me a couple of hours, and this novel was 350 pages in Word. I did find myself instantly curious about where this novel was taking me and this made me want to read page after page. On the other hand, I’ve already read this bloody thing a couple of months ago, and having done so I was reading this like I had never read any of it. I remembered it all; yet, I remember nothing, or maybe that was me finding new things that I had missed the first two times. Jacob get points for originality or memorability. Whatever it is or was that got me hook, he gets points for it.


However, onwards to the specifics:


And Then there Was Life! is written in the third person limited from various perspectives, which provides the reader with more knowledge of what’s going on with each of the characters. It’s a good technique because it gives the reader a sense of urgency and affinity, especially with the main characters. Like knowing something they don’t know that could affect them and hoping they will find out in time. Or maybe it's that you don't know.


The plot line moves along quickly, and as an added benefit to the story line Jacob deliberately keeps certain plot developments out of sight so that although the reader is reading everyone’s movements, there is still a twist at the end. Not bad. In fact, I hate this at the end. He really got under my skin with this because there is no Part II for me to read NOW. But as true to himself this is exactly what he wanted. This novel is built on Flashbacks so you have to pay attention to the time of everything.


The characters are all annoying, unfortunately, to varying degrees. Miles' motivation and little internal monologues are really very irritating; he seems so two dimensional and simple even when his actions denote selflessness and complexity. Only when Miles'  little friend appears do I find the humor of this writing style. This could have been a technique to popularize the book, but it seemed a bit trite. Furthermore, the sex scenes between Miles and Sydney were atrocious yet I always found myself needing a cold shower. Embarrassingly, don't read this novel on a flight and stumble on one of these sex scenes. The fat, out of shape, bald guy next to you might start looking like the man of your dreams. I really have a personal aversion to the expression “tried to kill each other” as a euphemism for sex. I mean, really. Jacob leaves nothing to be imagined, his detail tells and gives you it all. Jacob's novel is a cut away movie-style of writing. Novel to film with action, romance and suspense.


Furthermore, the last lines of the book, which I won’t quote in case it gives to much away, has to be one of the greatest endings I have ever read. On the other hand, you will be mad because if that is the ending for Parts II through IV, Mr. Jacob needs to have his young butt whipped. He also gets no love from me when he told me what his plans are for Part V. Sometimes asking too many questions is not a good thing. I will leave that little secret to the marketing genius that he has become. His ideas of how to market this novel are astonishingly good. Let's just say he is unbelievably smart... a true first I do believe!


My final comment is that the whole book had an agonizingly good nature theme that dug its claws into my mind with each sentence I read. This could be irritatingly to many who may not have the patience to wait on Part II. Which brings up my next question, "When is Part II  due to be released?" What is the hold up? "Publisher issues," as he dismisses this question. I did not get a clear answer but I know there will be four more parts for sure. Jacob's writing style is what movies are made from or the hopes of movies being made into. Which of course, this novel is being geared towards. Looking to ink a deal with Lionsgate or another major studio. I spoke with a Lionsgate's exec and they are pleased to have an opportunity to hopefully get their hands on this project.


Who is this book for?


Someone looking for detail pulp. Someone who has just finished reading other spy novels and want to add a new character or author of worth to his or her collection. Or maybe someone that has decided they want something a bit classier and detailed oriented that many authors are just not giving us the readers anymore. Hell, just get the damn book. But last I checked it was really affordable on several major book websites. It would be worth every penny you shelled out. Get it now and enjoy the read!


If you like this book, you would also like books from...

John Grisham, Tom Clancy, James Patterson, Mary Higgins Clark, David Baldacci, or Robert Ludlum.


Where can you get this novel (eBook only)?


Barnes & Noble

Amazon Kindle

Google eBooks