Hope Never Dies

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Solid 3.5 stars from me. This. book. is SO much fun! A breath of fresh air given the USA's current political climate.
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This was not a very exciting or interesting read. There should have been much more satire and humor. Every once and awhile there was a funny Joe moment or phrase but that was it. At the heart it was just not very interesting.
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This Obama/Biden Caper Is One You Never Could Have Imagined

Published on July 2, 2018  on BookTrib.com

By Joanna Poncavage

Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer (Quirk Books), a work of fiction, may bring tears to your eyes. Yes, it’s that good of a whodunit, with its plot tied up neatly with no loose ends. You may laugh until you cry because this book is that funny. But mostly, you may weep with joy for reuniting with a couple of old friends you’ve missed so much.

Hope Never Dies’s leading characters actually were leaders of a different sort from 2009 to 2017: Joe Biden and Barack Obama. Now they’re together again in a rollicking, wise-cracking buddy caper.

Just a few months after he’s left his vice presidential office, Joe Biden is trying his best to become suburban Joe, laying tile in his master bath, getting a little flabby, and hanging out with his dog, Champ. He’s also a little bitter.

“Unencumbered by his dead-weight loser vice president,” sulks Biden, “44 was on the vacation to end all vacations. Windsurfing on Richard Branson’s private island. Kayaking with Justin Trudeau. BASE jumping in Hong Kong with Bradley Cooper. Barack wasn’t simply tempting the fates – he was daring them. And why not? If he could survive eight long years as the first black president, he could survive anything.”

One night, Biden’s negative self-talk is interrupted by a clandestine visit from the POTUS 44 himself and his omnipresent Secret Service agent.

“You could have called,” says Joe.

“It was a nice night for a drive,” says Barack.

But the purpose of the visit is to deliver bad news. A long-time friend of Biden’s is dead. Finn Donnelly was a railroad conductor on the train that Amtrak Joe rode thousands of times from Wilmington to Washington and his seat in the U.S. Senate. Run over by an Acela Express, Donnelly had a map to Biden’s house on his desk, a faded “Biden for President” bumper sticker on his car, and a packet of heroin in his pocket.

Biden decides he owes it to his friend (a family man, a proud railroader, and not a likely drug abuser) to uncover the suspicious circumstances of his death. Obama (code name: Renegade) agrees to help him, and together, they follow a trail of clues in Biden’s Challenger, or in Obama’s weaponized “Little Beast” SUV, while trying to keep below the radar of police investigators and the press.

From melees in biker bars to sleepovers in seedy motels, the action moves quickly (yes, there’s a car chase), seasoned with ongoing riffs involving Biden’s unrequited bromance, Obama’s low regard for Biden’s fitness regime, and the omnificent machinations of government institutions.

Is Hope Never Dies the first of a series? One can only hope. As Obama said during his 2008 campaign as quoted in this book, “As long as you have hope, you’re still in the game.”

Hope Never Dies will be available to purchase July 10.

ABOUT ANDREW SHAFFER:

Andrew Shaffer has made a career of poking fun at sacred cows. His previous titles include the satirical thriller The Day of the Donald: Trump Trumps America (Crooked Lane Books); Fifty Shames of Earl Grey: A Parody (Da Capo Press/Hachette Books), and Ain’t Got Time to Bleed: Realistic Medical Reports on Hollywood’s Greatest Action Heroes (Insight Editions/Simon & Schuster.)

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The book is just as fun as the cover. This is a soothing balm in our current political climate. I hope this series continues until we have another hero in the White House.
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As a mystery novel, its incredibly clique, as a comedy novel, it is one of the funniest things I have ever read. Fitting Joe Biden into the 'hopeful but clueless hero' and Barack Obama into the 'friend back from the dead with a darkish past' roles, the bromance in this book is so enjoyable.
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More like 3.5, to be honest. A pretty solid mystery on an unconventional framework. The cover art is amazing, and maybe a better enticement to read the book than anything that can be said about it.
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This book was everything the cover had promised. I came in expecting a buddy cop comedy with Obama and Biden, and that's pretty much what I got here. There are some darker moments here, reflecting on the erosion of their legacy under the new administration, but the absurdity of the setting means that this never feels too oppressive. Scenes like the continued exasperation of Obama's security detail and their attempts to put on disguises are hilarious, and it's a reasonably good mystery too. Well worth checking out, if the cover even remotely gives you the impression that this could be your kind of thing.
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This was hilarious. I would never have imagined Obama and Biden as a comic book and Shaffer does a brilliant job of bringing it to life.
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the cover of this book was the big draw as mysteries are not usually my cup of tea.

I think I enjoyed the book, it certainly kept me reading but I can't tell if it is the start of a new series, elaborate fanfiction or a wonderful spoof. I guess none of this matters as I did read the entire book and didn't  guess the plot.

A fun way to spend a weekend but I don't think it has converted me to the genre and I probably won't look out for sequels.
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What happened after Obama and Biden retired from public office? They became crime-cracking action heroes, of course! Shaffer’s novel is laugh-out-loud funny (and better than I expected) with some stunning nuggets of wisdom amidst the hilarity. The concept is genius! I was also impressed by the clear depth of research undertaken to create the novel.
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The series debut was hilarious and thrilling.  Uncle Joe was the main protag in this caper along with the 44th President of the United States and his Secret Service man.  
  An old friend from Uncle Joes days riding the train to work is found dead, seemingly hit by a train.  The story gets worse when it's suspected that drug activity is involved.  Joe does not believe it for a minute and enlists the help of his brother in office and his bodyguard. Infused with humorous twists  as they find out more, they keep getting pulled deeper into the underbelly of Joe's beloved city and what people do when they're desperate to take care of their families.
Joe narrating this gives the reader a bullseye view of how he feels regarding his and Barack's relationship outside of the Oval Office.
This was provided to me from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts.
I certainly hope there are more to come in the series!
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The 2016 Presidential Election has ended. Former Vice President Joe Biden doesn’t quite know what to do with himself. As he watches his former boss Barack Obama vacationing with the likes of Richard Branson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Hollywood superstar Bradley Cooper, he feels discarded and hopeless. All this changes when Obama arrives on Joe’s doorstep one evening with the news of the death of a dear friend of Joe’s..

Hope Never Dies is a fun read with an interesting premise – “Hey, I got an idea! How about Biden and Obama team up to solve a murder?” When the story begins, it doesn’t appear to be anything deeper than a total bromance between the internet’s two favorite political pals, however, there is actually a pretty solid mystery at the novel’s core. Shaffer kept me guessing right up until the end due to several sly red herrings thrown in to misdirect this reader.

I can’t say I know much about Joe Biden, so I’m not sure if this characterization comes anywhere close to that of the former Vice President. I’m not sure if that even matters, to be honest. Biden is described as a broken-down man struggling to come to grips with a directionless life. Some of the similes and descriptions that Biden explores are surface-level deep and downright groan-worthy, although, I believe that’s the point. Above all else, it’s his incorruptible character that makes him the perfect fit for an amateur sleuth.

On the other hand, Obama is played like the ultimate bad-ass dripping with swagger, which is a far cry from the casual, Dad-jeans wearing forty-fourth president we all remember. That said, he ends up being the perfect Yin to Biden’s Yang. To put it another way, if Biden is Carlton, than Obama is Will Smith. Shaffer succeeds in writing some entertaining back-and-forth dialogue between the two, even if I could never imagine them saying some of the things that come out of their mouths.

I have to admit I really only asked for a copy of this book because the cover made me laugh. When I finished it, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. While I generally like my mystery novels dark and bleak, it’s nice to try something lighter once in a while. Hope Never Dies is the literary equivalent to a fun buddy-cop movie; an ideal summer read.
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Very often, the preaching got in the way of the humour, and bogged the narrative down which is a shame. This is a great concept, but needs work to make it anything more.
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I cannot rave enough about this book. When the ARC came into the bookstore I work in I couldn't believe it was real. Once I read it I knew I could sell this to customer. Witty and sarcastic. It is the bromantic adventure you didn't know you needed.
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Wonderfully absurd romp featuring Biden and Obama investigating the mysterious death of a train conductor.  A humorous, guilty pleasure read.
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THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING. It was everything I had hoped it to be. Super fun and super campy. A fun read that is just enjoyable (and a little painful in places) all around.
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An entertaining ride with Uncle Joe and Barry, I loved every minute of it.  Knowing it as a pastiche or roman a clef, I could forgive a lot of plotting that maybe wouldn't work.  Highly recommended.
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If you've wondered what Joe and Barack have been up to since leaving the presidential office or what might happen if they teamed up to solve mysteries, HOPE NEVER DIES is the book you never knew you always needed. 

Essentially Obama-Biden fanfic, this was such a fun ride. And honestly, reading it did give me hope. I mean. What if Obama and Biden really are out there fighting crime? Lord knows we could use their help. Just the thought of this being a possibility made me feel warm and fuzzy.

Joe Biden serves as our narrator. His bromance with Obama has hit a few bumps in the road since they left office. He's not sure where he fits into Obama's post-presidential life and it was heartwarming and relatable to watch him make sense of it all. He's drawn deeper and deeper into the mysterious death of an Amtrak conductor he knew and Obama is at his side, both helping him and questioning why Joe wants to figure out what happened.

Their interactions are so believable. I could see this happening in real life. It was interesting to think about how their relationship might change outside of the Oval Office and what their respective lives would look like. Shaffer clearly did his homework in bringing these two well-known men to life. At the same time, you can't be too tied to your ideas of who they are. There were small moments, like Obama smoking a cigarette or Biden thinking something racist, where I'd think, "they wouldn't do/say that!" But how can I say that for sure? I've never met either man and this is all a figment of Shaffer's imagination. (As far as we know.) 

The mystery itself was enjoyable to read. It had some interesting twists and turns and while I'd figured out the killer before they were revealed, it was much closer to the reveal than usually happens for me. I like when I'm kept guessing. 

I haven't heard whether this is the start of a series or not but I sure hope we'll get another Obama-Biden mystery, maybe from Obama's perspective next. In the meantime, I'm glad hope never dies when this duo is around.

Disclosure: I received an advance copy from Quirk Books in exchange for an honest review.
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*Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.*

I'm not going to lie; I saw the cover to this book and was so excited! I needed something new and funny. This book blends humor and a cozy mystery together for a fun bromance. If you were interested in the slightest then you should read it.
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As a murder mystery novel, the plot is slow and honestly boring. But as a political fanfic, it's a masterpiece. 
Obama and Biden, kicking ass and taking names? I will read 100 more of these.
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