Hope Never Dies

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 14 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

As soon as I saw the cover of this book, I knew I had to have it! Thanks to NetGalley and to Quirk Books for granting my wish. 

Andrew Shaffer takes the former leader of the free world, joins him back up with Joe Biden, and together they work on a mystery. Amtrak Joe lost a friend, an engineer on the train that he rode nearly every day before he before he became Vice President. (This story is told from Joe's point of view.) After discovering a few unsavory facts about his friend and discovering a few things about himself, he teams up with former best friend Barack Obama, and together they set about learning what happened. Will the two solve the mystery of the Amtrak engineer? Will they continue to be friends after this case is over? You'll have to read this to find out. 

I'll admit here and now that I was and am a big fan of both of these men. It's because I miss them and because the cover made me laugh that I requested this book. HOPE NEVER DIES doesn't get into politics much and I appreciated that. (I did enough comparisons between these two and our current administration in my head, I didn't need anything more spelled out.) I have no way of knowing how close this book comes to the real personalities of these two, and you know what? I don't care! It was a fun and entertaining story and that's all that I was looking for.

That said, I had only one big issue and it's likely mine and mine alone. I know that Joe Biden loves cars, (well Corvettes at least for sure.) So do I, and I've worked with them in some capacity my entire adult life. With that in mind, I couldn't understand why a lot of the vehicles referenced in this novel are referred to incorrectly. Ford does not make Impalas. I'm pretty sure Plymouth didn't make Firebirds either. (They made Thunderbirds and Superbirds- Firebirds were all Pontiac.) I did receive an ARC of this book, so perhaps those things were tidied up before publication? Even if not, most people probably wouldn't even notice. 

Other than that, HOPE NEVER DIES was a lot of fun. It's not going to break any literary records or anything, but as a humorous detective story featuring two of my favorite politicians, it certainly fit the bill! I recommend it to anyone who thinks this premise is fun!

*Thanks to Quirk Books and to NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*
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Thank you to NetGalley and Quirk Books for giving me a copy of Hope Never Dies to read and review honestly.

This book is a campy fanfiction turned full novel and I enjoyed it immensely. After their second term in office is over, Joe Biden and Barrack Obama go their own separate ways. While Barrack is windsurfing and skydiving around the world with famous celebrities, poor Uncle Joe is home feeling left out by his old buddy Barrack.

Fortunately, they reunite to solve the mysterious death of Joe's old friend. The antics the boys got into kept me laughing and turning page after page. The best thing about this story is that it is actually well written and decent. My only complaint is that a lot of things said and done by the main characters don't seem accurate to their real-life counterparts, but I was able to turn off the nagging voice in my head to keep reading.

I hope to read more in a Biden/Obama mystery series!!
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Review: Hope Never Dies


This book is the Magnum, P.I. remake we all deserved. Andrew Shaffer has taken the Obama/Biden bromance meme and turned it into a fast-paced mystery with humor and heart in Hope Never Dies.

After the 2016 election, Joe Biden feels that the world has forgotten him and moved on. That includes his BFF Barack Obama, who has been whooping it up with celebrities around the globe and not even kicking an occasional text to his former VP. But when Obama slips back into his life bringing news of a friend’s death, and the puzzling document found near his body that includes Biden’s address, Delaware’s favorite son has to know if this truly was an accident, or if it was something far more sinister. It’s time for mirrored shades, muscle cars, and getting down and dirty with the law.

Joe Biden goes full-on Jim Rockford complete with bang-ups, bruises, tight scrapes and near-misses to find out what happened to his friend. Obama, along with Secret Service Steve, provides backup when Biden needs it most, but even in the midst of barfights, greasy spoon meals and a trip through the underbelly of the East Coast’s opioid drug trade, Smilin’ Joe can’t seem to crack a grin with his former Commander in Chief. Can this relationship be saved? You won’t know until the very end, and there’s plenty of twists and turns along the way.  One thing is for sure: if you’re musclebound and into clean eating, don’t take an old man’s loaded hash browns. It doesn’t end well for you.

I’ve been a fan of Andrew Shaffer’s work for years, but this book is some of his best work yet in terms of voice and tone. The language in every chapter is a spot-on homage to old school pulp detective novels and TV shows, and Shaffer has captured the public image of Biden so well, my inner narrator read the whole thing in his voice.

If you’re looking for a fun, offbeat summer read, pick up Hope Never Dies.  It’s  a great escape revved up with weird like a Dodge Challenger. Hop in and go for a ride.
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Hope Never Dies is a noir detective story that just happens to feature our favorite presidential bromantic couple as the lead action heroes. In this funny, warm-hearted satire, retired Joe Biden is still a good guy, but one with enough time on his hands to build up a great big load of resentment over former bestie Barack's never-ending parade of fun celebrity outings... while Joe just waits for a simple call or a text. But when the Amtrak conductor who'd been a part of Joe's commute for decades turns up dead under suspicious circumstances, Joe and Barack are thrown together into a crime investigation that features drugs, bikers, shady cops, and plenty of stops for fast food.

This book is charming AF and oh-so-silly, and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy thinking about the good old days when these two were in the White House. Their fictional counterparts are adorable, and their ongoing friendship and devotion brought the teeniest little lump to my throat. The author has a knack for keeping the story moving while weaving in little snippets of dialogue and actions that bring our former POTUS and VPOTUS to life on the page.

Hope Never Dies is a surprisingly fun read, and the detective elements are actually pretty clever and engaging too. But really, read it for the Biden-isms and cool-as-hell Obama appearances. It's like a little ray of sunshine in book form.
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It's always fun to see "famous" people (celebrities, political figures, etc.) involved in situations you're certain could never happen. We see them on television or in publis, but have no idea of the tense situations and dangers they face behind the scenes. Books such as this gives us a fictionalized idea of what we'd like to think happens, while at the same time we're certain it could never happen.

The former president is still a celebrity, hang-gliding, golfing with movie stars while his Vice President sits at home brooding, because his friend Barack never calls. When the conductor on the line Joe Biden rode to the Capitol every day is killed in a suspicious accident (read suicide), the Veep and the ex-POTUS spring in some well-needed action. Ditching the ex-Prez's Secret Service guard, they don disguises (Hawaiian shirts and ball caps) and head out to discover what the man knew that made someone kill him. It's an adventure that's at the same time dangerous (visualize the former VP wrestling with a gun-wielding assassin while on a moving train) while retaining a Keystone Kops-type air of slapstick.

It's fun, it's entertaining, and I hope there's more to some.

This novel was supplied by the publisher and no remuneration was involved in the writing of this review.
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Light-hearted, amusing mystery starring Joe Biden, with special appearances by his former boss. As long as Joe doesn't find another job in the next couple of years, perhaps there will be more appearances as an amateur sleuth.
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Do you remember the Obama/Biden memes that were ever so popular and super funny?  Well, if you liked those, you are probably going to like Hope Never Dies, because Andrew Shaffer has taken everything that tickled the funny bone in those memes and translated that into a fanfiction buddy tale that has Joe Biden solving the mystery of "who killed Amtrak Joe's favorite conductor".

The story starts with an adorably insecure former vice president Joe Biden  missing his friend Barack Obama while being angry at him for seemingly deserting him now that they are both out of office.  But when Barack drops by in the dead of night to tell him about the death of his favorite conductor, it's the the evidence that points to Joe Biden that has him determined to find his friend's killer.

Written entirely in Joe Biden's first person point of view, what follows is a romp around Delaware in which Joe solves the murder with the help of Barack Obama.  There's all sorts of characters involved -- insurance investigators, motorcycle clubs and dirty cops.  This story touches upon every tidbit of Joe's and Barack's public personas, and I found myself either chuckling or groaning  over most of what Biden has to say in this fanfic.  Some of the bits made me laugh out loud, and I believe there was a gigglesnort of two along the way.  While the mystery keeps the story moving, it really is the one-liners that made this book an almost 5 star read for me.

If you are looking for some relief from the current political scene and just want a good head-shaking laugh, you will probably like Hope Never Dies.  I'll admit to buying a copy of this just for the cover that makes me smile every time I look at it.  I think Andrew Shaffer did an amazing job of capturing the personality of Joe Biden and Barack Obama, and I can only hope that their real relationship was akin to how they are portrayed in Hope Never Dies because it's pretty terrific.

An ARC was provided for review.
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This is not the best book you'll read this year, but there's a really good chance it'll be the most fun. It's a complete delight and I'm pretty sure I had a goofy grin on my face the whole time I read it.

This book is incredibly campy (as naturally it would be) and I can almost guarantee you'll laugh out loud multiple times.

I hope this becomes a series. I would love to spend more time with Amtrak Joe. (NOTE: We spend a lot more time with him than we do with Barack Obama. He's definitely in there a not-small chunk of time, but Joe Biden is the narrator. So if you actively dislike Joe Biden---which I don't see how, but whatever---be aware that he is in 100% of this book.)

Recommended.
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This is such a fun and quirky book. The idea of Joe Biden and Barack Obama solving mysteries together is a lovely momentarily reprieve from the stresses of the modern political world, and it feels like the classic meme come to life. While at times it did feel a little slow (Biden is a hoot, but the monologues can feel a bit long), overall I found this book to be VERY entertaining. I hope that Amtrak Joe and Barack continue to solve mysteries together, but even if they don't this was a satisfying read!
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Very entertaining, suspenseful thriller about two former politicians who join forces to solve the possible murder of a friend. The first published work of Obama/Biden fanfiction, I found this story to be a funny tongue-in-cheek mystery that made me laugh and nostalgic for better times in our country. Regardless of party affiliation, this is a great light read for summer beach visits with none of the heavy oppression of today's political scene. I hope there are more Obama/Biden adventures to come!
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*Received a copy of this book from the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer is a satire on the detective novel. The tropes from the tough guy protagonist follow Joe Biden like a heavy smoke of a cigarette (see what I did there). He’s impenetrable, barely speaks to women (Jill should have had more dialogue, just saying), and doesn’t communicate his feelings to others. He doesn’t care for police authority and feels he has to take on the mystery of his dead friend on his own. He feels his age, but doesn’t let it get in the way of his impulsive nature. However, this is the “full fledged” Joe Biden, so he does have a more well rounded character profile, he eats ice cream any chance he can, he cares about others from his time in politics, knows his glory days are in the past, but genuinely misses his friendship with Barack Obama.

The novel takes place after the January 2017 inauguration, and Joe is feeling defeated that he no longer spends time with his friend Barack, who instead is on vacations with various celebrities. When a local friend dies in Wilmington, Delaware, a single clue links the case to Joe and he won’t stop until the truth is realized. Barack is the one who alerts him that something is wrong and has the secret service in on the investigation. They team up and search for clues when it becomes apparent that the police won’t look into the case to their full potential. As detectives, they are old and clumsy, easily recognized, and can barely string along a cohesive theory. However, the writing and the plotting work. I was charmed reading the book. There is just enough “Biden”-ness and “Obama”-ness peppered throughout that you can read these characters as someone you know from TV in this bizarre situation. That’s why I was so excited to read the book in the first place. The humor, the joke of it all did not disappoint.

Honestly, detective novels are not books I gravitate toward so I was frustrated reading through the investigative parts of the book, but that’s not the reason I was reading. The satire and the fact that the main characters are two of the most popular politicians in the world made this book worth the read. These are exaggerated versions of the people we think we know.

The ending wrapped up nicely, I like that we weren’t given the answers easily and the plot took a lot of turns that I was not expecting (maybe this was because of my lack of knowledge regarding detective novel tropes), but I found the end satisfying. Plus, there was some interpersonal drama between our two protagonists that was resolved very sweetly so the book ends on a strong note. More Joe and Barack novels, please!

Of course, I recommend this with full confidence because it’s just such a silly concept for a novel, worthy of adding to your summer reading. The rating I gave is more based on the fact that I struggled through the “detective novel” aspects. Quirk Books always publish fun books and I’m glad I was able to read this book. Comment below if satirical books are your jam, like me!
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As campy as you'd expect, "Hope Never Days" reads like a 1940's film noir mystery, set in current day, with Joe Biden narrating the story.  Enjoyable if light weight.
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When Barack Obama and Joe Biden left the White House, the big joke on the internet was what they'd do next. Well, author Andrew Shaffer has given us a hilarious answer. In his new book Hope Never Dies,  Biden and Obama team up to become the ultimate detective team. When an Amtrak driver and long time friend of Biden's ends up dead, Barack Obama shows up under cover of darkness to warn Joe that the dead man was carrying a map in his pocket. That map was of Joe Biden's home. What follows is a mystery involving the opioid epidemic, motorcycle gangs, trains, an SUV, and a son of Delaware. 

At first I was worried that Hope Never Dies was going to be a joke idea that died within the first few chapters. My worries were unfounded, because Andrew Shaffer's book is an intriguing mystery where it just so happens the two detectives are former residents of the White House. There's mystery, intrigue, and the aching joints of age. There's also real danger, even with a Secret Service agent driving. Hope Never Dies doesn't pull punches with the current political administration and does make sure Biden gets his ice cream cone. 

Hope Never Dies is an enjoyable book and a fun read for the Summer. It is available July 10th from Quirk Books.
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I enjoyed this book, even though it wasn't quite what I expected. Honestly, I thought this would be more of a comedic take on the mystery series with Joe Biden and Barack Obama as the main characters. That's not what this was. What we have here is a detective novel with a little bit of a different twist. It does have a more lighthearted feel than what you would find in a James Patterson novel or something of the like, but it is still a gritty mystery. 

The relationship between Joe and Barack was also not what I expected. I thought perhaps Shaffer would play on their personas as being goofy friends like we see on Twitter. But the main pair almost played off as enemies for a while. The relationship was strained and I have to confess that it turned me off a little. 

But overall, this was a cute book that tapped into an interesting niche. I think I would enjoy if there were more books to come out of this.
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Such an entertaining book, and quite creative too. It's no murder mystery masterpiece and its pace could've been much faster, but if you miss Obama and want to have a mental image of ripped Barack in a toga with a unicorn, this is the book for you.
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Happy 5th of July. It's the day after Independence Day, and you might have a bit of a fireworks and freedom hangover today. If you are an angry liberal like me, you might also be wondering whether America is worth celebrating right now. You might be thinking back to happier Julys when our president wasn't a racist and when immigrant children weren't being taken from their parents and when Roe v. Wade didn't seem like it was getting overturned any time soon. You know, happy days when all Joe Biden wanted was an ice cream and our presidential memes were about friendship. You know the ones. 

obama-biden.jpg
Yeah, there's one. Half of the reason I decided to write this post was to include Joe and Barack memes, so if you're not prepared to look at more, there's the door over there...

Okay, still with me? Let's go. 

It's in this political climate, right after the most confusing 4th of July in my time as an American (seriously, I feel like I'm in an emotionally abusive relationship... do I stay and try to make this work? CAN America change?) that author Andrew Shaffer releases his much hyped (by me) novel Hope Never Dies: An Obama/Biden Mystery. This isn't Shaffer's first time working in the parody genre. Check his past releases and he's got a whole slew of goofy titles, such as Fifty Shames of Earl Grey and Catsby, a Great Gatsby parody about cats (duh). This book follows our favorite political duo Obama and Biden as they become detectives. When Joe Biden's favorite railroad conductor dies mysteriously, it's up to Barack and Joe to crack the case. This novel is advertised as BOOK ONE in the Obama/Biden mystery series. Let me decode that for you. That means there will be more Biden and Obama adventures to look forward to. But should we be looking forward to them? Was this book the CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN (TM)? I eagerly read this book to find out. 

9781683690399.jpg
Let's start with the cover, which deserves our full attention. I love the cover of this book, which should be surprising to no one, because this is published by Quirk Books, and they are notoriously awesome at book covers. See exhibits A and B, which we have discussed on the podcast/blog before: Grady Hendrix's novels Horrorstör and My Best Friend's Exorcism (I love this book so much y'all). It's not just the Grady Hendrix books though, I swear. Just check out any of their titles. Super cool. Okay. So yeah. This is a great cover. Look at the awesome wing design on the car. Look at Obama with his tie flying in the wind, but he's got not time to worry about his tie because there's serious business to attend to over that way (where he's pointing). Look at Biden who's all like, "You're ridin' with Biden." Hell yeah. I'm here for it. So much so that I got myself a pin of this book and have it nicely placed on my tote bag. And I don't even care about pins. Like at all. 

But that's the cover, you say. Is the book any good, you ask?  Well... yes and no? I don't know what one is really supposed to expect from a parody book like this. To me, this book is worth the price alone to just have out when guests come over, sort of like a conversation piece. The plot of the novel itself doesn't matter in the end. You're picking up this book because you are an angry liberal who just wants to see Obama and Biden ride together again. That's what all of us angry liberals want. That and for Joe Biden to run for president in 2018 (what? No presidential election in 2018? RULES CAN CHANGE!). But really, once you've read the synopsis of the story and have had a nice long look at the cover and chuckled about it, you've gotten everything you need from this book. This book has done its job.

Essentially. This book is like one really long Obama/Biden meme. And there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, I think it's time for another meme break.

 EVEN OBAMA HIMSELF LOVES OBAMA/BIDEN MEMES. *sniffle* Bless them. 
EVEN OBAMA HIMSELF LOVES OBAMA/BIDEN MEMES. *sniffle* Bless them.

So yes, what was I saying? This book is a really long meme. It's like staring at an Obama/Biden meme for several hours. At first, you chuckle and then you're like, "Okay I get it. Let me put this down for a while." As such, it took me a while to get through this book because every time I started reading it, the meme-ness of it all got old fast. The mystery itself was interesting, but as someone who reads a lot of mysteries, I didn't find that to be the exciting part of the book. The characterizations of the former president and vice president were funny, and that was the highlight of the book. 

Let's break the characterization down a bit...


I am a HUGE Joe Biden fangirl, and I'm pretty open about that. I recently finished reading Joe Biden's book Promise Me, Dad, which is about Biden's last year in office and his eldest son's last year battling brain cancer. I recently lost my brother to Leukemia (seriously... FUCK YOU, cancer), so I had strong feelings about Biden's book. I'm no vice president or anything, but his struggles felt painfully familiar. How do you carry on after such an enormous loss? How much are you beholden to what your lost loved one would want you to do, and how much do you have to listen to your own heart and care for yourself in times of pain that seems insurmountable? These are the difficult questions Joe Biden (and anyone who has grieved the loss of a loved one, including myself) has had to deal with over the past few years. After reading Promise Me, Dad, I felt like I should write Joe Biden a letter and personally thank him for putting such difficult feelings into words. 

I also had the amazing opportunity to see Joe Biden in person just a month ago, and he mostly talked about Promise Me, Dad and about his work for patient advocacy. Joe Biden may seem like a goofy guy, but he's also someone who has been through a lot and is trying to take that pain and turn it into something positive for everyone else who is going through something similar.

Of course, the Biden in Hope Never Dies is all goofy Biden. There's no a lot of room to explore grieving Biden, and it wouldn't fit with the tone of the book. I understand that. Again, the Biden of this novel is a personified meme and isn't meant to be taken as an actual representation of the man himself. With that being said, having read Biden's own words and seen him talk in person (yes I'm rubbing it in just a bit), I could actually hear him saying the things he says in Hope Never Dies. The personification was not far from the truth; one very important facet of Biden's personality is his goofiness. It's part of why so many people (such as myself) find him endearing.

Let's talk about the other half of this dynamic duo...


This gif pretty much sums up the Barack Obama of Hope Never Dies. He's cool. He's a mic dropper. He is the cool and collected calming force to match Biden's goofiness and hot-headedness. This is an Obama that is partially based on fact (I mean, yes, he did actually drop the mic like that, soo...) and partially based on the Obama that the Internet created based on semi-hero worship. 

To be fair, I am less familiar with Barack Obama's personal life. I have a copy of Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, but I haven't read it. And I know The Audacity of Hope is sort of his big important book, but I don't even own a copy of it. Please let me know if you've read it and suggest that I get it though. I'm definitely not opposed! Because of this, I probably see Obama as closer to the unicorn-riding meme than he actually is. He's more of a mystery to me, and in the novel, he's sort of a mystery as well. The book is told from Biden's perspective, and Obama comes off as a super cool dude with plenty of secrets and magic tricks up his sleeves. 

 Seems accurate? 
Seems accurate?

So would I recommend this book? If you're really looking to get into a great mystery book, then I would say no. Then again, I don't understand why this is the book you would pick up if you wanted a mystery novel and nothing else. If you think the cover is cool and want to have this lying around your house as a conversation starter about the good old days? Then, yes, absolutely, get yourself a copy IMMEDIATELY. God bless America. 

 I MISS THEM! TAKE ME BACK! 
I MISS THEM! TAKE ME BACK!
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I will agree that this book is campy ... and slightly pandering... and slightly twee. 

But the audience for this book could all use a break from the world right now, right? And have a moment where Biden has a fever-dream about Barack rescuing him in the most meme-worthy fashion ever? 

If you're expecting the Onion's Joe Biden, this persona isn't quite that; it feels more realistically like an older man unsure of what to do with himself while missing a good friend and at loose ends for life's direction. Solving a murder wasn't exactly the direction he saw himself going, but he's willing to do everything it takes and a little more. 

Barack and Biden -- buddy cops -- solving crimes about trains. If you don't want to read it after hearing that...then don't. I thoroughly enjoyed it and want most people to know all about it.
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This is a charming read - definitely silly but the kind of silly we need right now.  I loved the portrayal and narration of Joe Biden - it felt so true and just a bit exaggerated.  This is certainly a unique premise for a book but not unwelcome.  It's definitely a fast summer read, perfect for a lazy afternoon at the beach. My favorite of this book may be the title, which is both true in life and an important part of the book.  

Hope Never Dies comes out next week on July 10, 2018, and you can purchase HERE.  

We stood there in the doorway, Barack and me, staring into each other's eyes like a couple of gunslingers ready to face off at high noon. Except it was past five o'clock, I was in my boxers, and neither of us a had a six-shooter. 
"Aren't you going to invite me in?"
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While the book was fun, I don't think it managed to live up to the hype. Reads much like a cozy, but with major bromantic overtures and a lot of vice presidential pouting. I think the buzz around this book - and its premise - got me too excited and I expected too much from it. Great for fans of cozies and amateur sleuths, but less so for someone expecting a lot from a spoof.
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If you need a break from present day America, this is the book for you. It's completely unrealistic, but that is why I read fiction. Some may say it's a little too late for a book to help people with the hope hangover from the previous administration but you know what? Hope never dies.
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