Hope Never Dies

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 14 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
Wonderfully absurd romp featuring Biden and Obama investigating the mysterious death of a train conductor.  A humorous, guilty pleasure read.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
*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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
This was ridiculous and silly but gave me such a giggle to read! It was such a fun story and for all of the cheesiness, actually a decent mystery!

This was the perfect one-sitting read and I’m so glad @rinceya covered it in one of her recent videos!

Thanks @netgalley and @quirkbooks for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A fictional story of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Joe conductor friend is found dead on the tracks and Joe sets out to find out what happened.  While looking into his friends's murder he tells Barack about it and before you know it they are both going on this wild and crazy adventure with just one secret service.
Premise was interested but I felt the story did not fully come together.  Review is on amazon and goodreads.
Was this review helpful?
I wanted to love this one, really I did! I am an avid reader of supernatural fantasies, so this was FAR outside of my usual fare, but I simply could not pass it up. That cover! The bromance! The mystery! I was intrigued enough that I took a gamble and decided to request it, even though it was typically not something I'd be interested in. Thus, I should have known better, but I really wanted to try it - and didn't finish it, as I am just not the reader for this book.

That being said, we have already had 2 patrons request it at my library, and it is on order! I imagine this one will have a waiting list, just based off the number of purchase requests we have received for it.
Was this review helpful?
This book was a page-turner from beginning to end. I'm so glad someone had this idea! The story is gripping and funny at the same time. I'm also glad I was able to snag a #hopeneverdies button at ALA.
Was this review helpful?
In a moment of pure honesty... I 100% judged this book by the cover.  I admit it, I am a huge fan of the Biden memes and have spent countless hours cracking up over the depiction of the infamous Obama/Biden bromance, Biden's incessant love of ice cream, his savage scheming prior to relinquishing the white house to their successors.  This book was what I hoped it would be...basically a living Biden meme.  It's silly, easy to read, and just plain enjoyable (as long as you don't look too deep into it...I mean come on, it's essentially glorified fan fiction...what do you expect?).
Was this review helpful?
Vice President Joe Biden is out of the White House and unsure what to do with himself. Having travelled for years on the Amtrak line to get to DC, he finds out that his favorite railroad conductor has died suspiciously, leaving behind clues involving Joe. Unable to leave the matter to the police, Joe teams up with Obama to solve the puzzle. Their search leads them to the seedier side of Delaware, in diners, biker bars and run down motels, as they discover the answers to the mystery.

The  story is a suspenseful, yet light-hearted and tongue-in-cheek mystery, which is both entertaining and fun to read.
Was this review helpful?
I mean this in the most positive and affectionate way, but this is book is UTTERLY BIZARRE but an absolute hoot too. Move over Batman and Robin, there’s a new crime fighting duo in town.

Yes, there is a whole whiff of implausibility about the investigation that the whip smart combo of Biden and Obama become wrapped up in, but that’s not really an issue. The absolute joy of the book is the ingenious hooking up of this completely original and left of field crime fighting partnership. The steady, obviously ageing, slightly resentful Biden, is a joy, with his penchant for ice cream, a quiet and sedentary life, his daily mission to not upset his wife, and his desperate need to build his bond/rekindle the bromance again with his former boss. Obama is this wonderfully sneaky, cool as a cucumber, cat burglar type figure, seeming to lead Biden into all sorts of trouble, but how far is Biden actually controlling this investigation, seeking the truth behind a friend’s mysterious death? I found it an utter joy to see Biden  go from mild mannered ex-politician to slightly unsteady avenging angel, and loved the kickabout humour, and at times sheer silliness of the whole affair. I’m sure American readers will pick up on references to the Obama/Biden administration that may have passed me by, but I loved the subtle digs at the unnamed Tweeter-In-Chief, and other satirical sideswipes. Entertaining, laugh out loud funny, and a genuinely enjoyable read with a partnership as great in fiction as they were in the White House. Oh for those days…
Was this review helpful?
I think Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer is an important book that everyone should read. It brings Obama back and even though it's an amusing fantasy it's a refreshing story and the friendship between two important political leaders. Shaffer did an excellent job of describing Obama's character, honesty  and intelligence.. I miss him and probably many others who read this book do too.
Was this review helpful?
100% campy fan fiction. 100% recommend to anyone missing Obama/Biden. 100% unbelievable but one can hope.
Was this review helpful?
I was so excited to start this book, I got a free copy from NetGalley courtesy of Quirk Books. 
Biggest this to take away from this is that the characters are a fictionalization of the real people! Don’t read too much into it! 
This story was written from the perspective of the characterization of Joe Biden, which itself is just silly and so much fun. Everyone loves Uncle Joe and to have him as the main character, I knew I was in for some chuckles. Obama’s character was fun too- super sly, alway cool, so I knew there was so much potential for some great dialogue. However, this rift between them created by the distance between them after their term kinda took too much away from the story for me. They were constantly bickering which bored me after a while. There were moments that had me giggling, and it was still an entertaining read. If this is a series I will definitely give the next one a shot.
Was this review helpful?
This book is hilarious.  Anyone out there crying themselves to sleep at night missing the Obama/Biden bromance should definitely read this for its delightful campiness.  What is a bored former vice-president to do when a friend dies under mysterious circumstances?  Investigate, of course!  And who better to team up with that his bff, number 44, the man himself, Barack Obama!  (And his Secret Service detail, Steve.  Steve is, in my opinion, the best character in this book.  Poor Steve has to put up with a lot.  Go Steve!)

My only complaint was that the Obama character often didn't seem very Obama-like.  Like, I had a hard time hearing his voice in my head as I read his lines.  And he was much more in the background of the story that I would have liked.  But Joe - Joe I frequently thought was spot-on.  :-)

I surely hope there are more Obama-Biden mysteries in the future!
Was this review helpful?