Kirkus review review


This review was part of my AuthorHouse contract but on their site,, they offer paid reviews for $425.

Here we go- first off, unlike the other reviews

US Review- review!

Kirkus does not list who wrote this, oh well…

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A debut novel chronicles the joys, sorrows, and adventures of a young North Dakota man with cystic fibrosis.

                             DAKOTA SON by Mary  Ramsey

Surrounding Sean Foster’s story are the varied narratives of his friends and extended family—all physically or psychologically flawed through no fault of their own.

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I really like that. I used to refer to my characters as “broken” or “sick”, but “physically or psychologically flawed through no fault of their own”- that is so perfect!

His sister, Sara, has control issues; his girlfriend, Jenessa “Jen” Quinto, is a rape survivor; and Jen’s father, Diego, is a disabled veteran abused by his wife, Suzanna.

Foster lives with his adoptive mother, Claire, and Sara, her biological daughter. His relationship with Jen begins when she visits him during one of his many stays in the hospital, this time for a lung infection brought on by his cystic fibrosis.

The two grow to know each other trading horror stories about being bullied. Upon his release, their love affair blossoms but then seems to end when Jen mysteriously disappears under circumstances everyone but Foster seems to know.

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In anger, he takes a wild ride in Sara’s pickup truck and crashes into a semi. Once again hospitalized, Foster teeters in a limbo state between life and death, with his incorporeal self wandering the wards and encountering various apparitions, including Jen’s dead brother, Cam.

Eventually, Foster recovers and Jen returns with a big surprise. Joined by the ghosts and Sara’s new Jesus-like boyfriend, Johnny Phoenix, and his entourage, Foster and Jen set out to save Diego from his wife and himself.

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Rocking the sexy Jesus look.

In this engrossing coming-of-age tale that explores timely issues, Ramsey has a real talent for capturing her characters through small, subtle details, such as the way teenagers like Foster eat: “I arrived first and ordered a hot chocolate and a cookie for lunch.” The author takes great pains developing her diverse cast and dropping subtle hints in the first third of the book that render the introduction of the supernatural plausible. This is especially true for Foster, a young man so laid back that it is no wonder he takes interacting with spirits in stride.

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Got that right…

This solid tale about living a full life in the face of challenges delivers a seamless combination of religion, New-Age beliefs, and the supernatural.

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I give this review an 8/10. It was well written and put into words many of the concepts I had been trying to get across. But it was a little on the short side for the cost. 

So, if you are a self-published author and it’s in your budget Kirkus review can be a fun little adventure. 

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