RIOT LOAD by Bryon Quertermous
June 14th, 2016
Dominick Prince is ready to start his life as a regular guy, at least as “regular” as he can be. After the chaos he endured trying to get his master’s thesis signed, it’s now time for him start his life with his new wife and prepare for their first born child. Dominick is working a 9-5 job and has his coveted book deal. Things are looking pretty normal. He’s even bored at his day job, like a normal person. When an old friend, Lindsey, asks for a favor and his bounty hunter wife asks for his help following some thugs, well… that’s when things go sideways.
Both the favor and the thugs lead to the same location: the sperm bank. In RIOT LOAD, Dominick is trying to steal 2 different sperm samples from the university sperm bank. One that was donated by Lindsey’s former lover and she now wants to use to continue her lover’s legacy. The thugs, Oranthello and Lemon Carter, have their own nefarious reasons for wanting the second sample. Dominick finds himself trying to be loyal to his wife and maintaining his friendship, while trying to avoid ending up a dead body in a sperm bank. Because that would just be weird.
Bryon Quertermous has created in Dominick Prince an underdog protagonist that stumbles into many uncomfortable situations, usually of his own doing. In Quertermous’s debut novel, MURDER BOY, Dominick attempts to kidnap his thesis advisor in the hopes that the advisor would let him pass the class. Then Dominick can go on his way and start his career as a novelist. It isn’t that easy since he is a true “bad luck magnet”. As a reader, you want him to succeed and to avoid peeing his pants (which happens more that you think it should). You find yourself cheering for him and hoping he shakes his bad luck. He’s a captivating character that you want to read more stories about. Dominick Prince is a hero a reader can get behind, which is where you want to be, since he tends to vomit. A lot.
Quertermous’s writing in RIOT LOAD has taken a giant step forward. Here, his prose reads much tighter and more succinct. It’s clear that Quertermous is finding his voice as a writer, and he clearly has something to say. He explores what it means to be a family and just how deep those ties can run. How important is it to carry on a family legacy, even if that legacy is a nasty one? Do you stand with your spouse no matter how much chaos they bring into their life? RIOT LOAD will no doubt grab readers with its sticky premise. But the book – and its author – show surprising depth and emotion.