Extension Squad Vol. 1
The new guy’s hand was clamped around Connor’s wrist in a flash, his dark blue eyes ablaze with fury as his chair hit the floor. Connor had to hold in a cry of pain as he felt the extent of the guy’s strength ability.
“That number has nothing to do with me,” he spat.
-- Extension Squad Vol. 1, R. M. Scheller
One of my favorite parts about my writing community is that the support there is unheard of. We believe in each other even when others don't. We're the cheer-leaders, teammates, prayer warriors, editors, and first fans of everyone in there.
Needless to say, the amazing R. M. Scheller is no exception. But when it came to her debut novel, Extensio Squad Vol. 1, what started as enthusiasm for her qucikly evolved into an objective excitement for the story. . . and I can't wait to share that story with you.
[Disclaimer: I received a free eARC in exchange for my honest thoughts on amazon/goodreads. All the opinions expressed both here and there are entirely my own.]
Austin calls it honor. The others call it sulking. Either way, they're all on the death row.
The law is simple: a life for a life, no matter the circumstances. When aspiring hero Austin takes a life in defense of another person, he’s thrown in with the cutthroats on death row. Even though they’re doomed to die, they’re given an extension—by doing the grunt work for the heroes, they can prolong the time until they’re killed. But Austin refuses to play that game. If he’s going to die sooner or later anyway, he’ll do so with his pride intact.
The only question is whether he has the resolve to see it through.
Rachel crafted a unique plot, especially considering the fact that her character is basically in prison the entire time, and variety entertainment is not what prisons are known for.
This book is short and sweet, so while there's no room for deeply complex plots (e.g. The Lord of the Rings as an extreme example), but what she did have was sound and carried the story well.
Characters — ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Extension Squad boasted some pretty fantastic characters, let me tell you. Austin's internal conflict was riveting, Connor's sass was hilarious (and, at times, infuriating), and the other characters filled in the environement excellently.
I was drawn to them all (especially Austin), and wanted the best for them (well, with the possible exception of Connor) all through the book, and through the sequels.
Pacing — ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Pacing is a tricky thing, especially in a constant setting, yet Rachel did it so well and left me in awe. Any time things started to hint at dragging out, she threw in a twist, and I was so interested from beginning to end.
Worldbuilding and Setting — ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The concept of "a life for a life" - and of buying time by doing general acts of service - was fascinating. While the city itself wasn't necessarily unique, the criminal culture certainly was, and I found it both thought-provoking and perfect for the story in the way it fueled the characters and plot.
Prose — ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The prose isn't the first thing that comes to mind when I think of this book (that honor goes to characters and premise), but it carries the story well.
Theme — ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Heroism, honor, survival - the themes of Extension Squad were wel thought out and beautifully displayed. Austin's character arc was amazing (can't wait to see where that one goes), and all the various foil characters featured the themes so well.
There's a bit of violence (as one would expect with such a premise), but nothing overly descriptive. Free of language and sexual content; a book I'd feel comfortable handing to pretty much anyone mature enough to grasp the complications of the death penalty. It's perfect for anyone that likes dramatic stories that tackle real emotions with orange characters.
This isn't usually my genre, but I don't regret reading it at all. Rachel's work is entrhalling, and I can't wait for volume two to come out.
In the meantimes. . . tell me! What are your thoughts on the book? Completely up for fangirling with anyone. ;)
Buy Extension Squad Vol. 1 here: https://www.amazon.com/Extension-Squad-Vol-R-Scheller-ebook/dp/B0B8BZ7G75/