Rock Rewind by Edward Murphy

51vNKUN7t2L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Jack “the Ripper” Lynch has had to give up on his dreams of becoming a rock legend.  Now, with a family of his own and a boring but decently compensated job vying for so much of his time, Jack just doesn’t have the ability to make his dreams a reality anymore.  When tragedy strikes a member of his family, Jack’s quiet life heads into a tail spin, putting everything he’s worked for at risk.  But then Jack meets a stranger at the local diner who promises him a chance to do things over again, forcing him to decide, once and for all, what really matters to him in life.

This novel is a classic rock lover’s paradise.  Much of the story is devoted to Jack’s love of music and how he uses his musical talents to help the people around him.  Numerous famous bands like KISS, Aerosmith, Queen, and Van Halen put in appearances throughout the book as well.  Despite a great premise and an intriguing lead character, the first half of the book feels largely stakes-free: Jack and his band achieve fame almost overnight; everyone loves them; everyone is kind to them.  It feels like there is a lack of opposition, a space that some slightly villainous or self-interested character could have filled nicely.  Not to mention that Jack is an unbelievably good-hearted person, which makes it difficult to relate to his story at times.  Jack never once yells at another character, or does something selfish or stupid, or even makes a mistake.  Unfortunately, this detracts a bit from the novel’s believability and draws the reader constantly out of the action.  Yet even though the story is flawed, Murphy manages to make clever use of Jack’s knowledge of future events to highlight how tempting (and dangerous) tampering with time can be. In the end, Rock Rewind remains an immensely entertaining journey with a surprising – and satisfying – twist ending.

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