Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Review of Gravity of the Game by Jon Del Arroz
Author: Jon Del Arroz
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Jon Del Arroz
Being a fan of this authors previous novels, I saw the premise of this and decided I had to check it out. I am so glad I did. It brought to my mind memories of watching and talking about baseball as a kid with my dad, some really good memories. It is an engaging story, sure to hook fans of baseball and those who like character driven stories.
Hideki Ichiro, Commissioner of the World Baseball League (WBL) has a dream of expanding the league, since revenues have flattened out
and attendance is starting to wane. The league has really topped out at 250 teams, with nowhere left to expand. Nowhere, that is, on Earth. Hideki's dream is to expand the league to the lunar colonies, an untapped market. unfortunately, the lunar gravity is too light to allow proper play, so the dream seem like it wont be possible. Hideki also has personal reasons to try and see the expansion come to fruition, since he has befriended a Lunar child with cancer on a make a wish type charity meeting, and he promised to do all he can to get a team on to the moon.
Hideki's is now facing a revolt in the league ownership about the moon expansion, the declining revenues, and a rogue owner of a small market club that wants to move into another larger teams territory. He is faced with the very real possibility of being ousted as commissioner when he receives a call from a University of Michigan professor of physics that may have the very answer to the problem with gravity on the moon. A huge sponsor also has the other piece of the puzzle to unlocking the moon expansion. In the end, we see whether Hideki's dream comes true, and how the league will continue into the future.
I really enjoyed the characters in this story. They really resonate as relatable, real people who have real problems and real interactions and relationships. The settings are well drawn out, with the various cities and the moon being described in such a way as you can imagine being there in the seats, watching the game. The backroom politics nature of baseball ownership is explored really well, with all the competing interests really shown in full color. The plot also moves along at a good clip, never slacking or leaving the reader bored. All in all a top notch effort I heartily recommend, and the cover by Shawn King is another example of his fine cover work as well!