Book Review: The Adventurist by J. Bradford Hipps

25663623The Adventurist

By: J. Bradford Hipps

Release Date: April 26, 2016

Source: St. Martin’s Press-Giveaway

Goodreads Summary: In the anonymous office park of a modern software company, whip-smart software engineer Henry Hurt is a man in the middle: of life, of career, of self-assessment. Mired in his corporate responsibilities, Henry’s deathless office existence is torpedoed by losing his mother.

Overcome by “the pall,” Henry seeks escape in a quest for love and purpose occasioned by a crisis in his company’s fortunes. Dodging an Iago-like rival, he finds love with a colleague in his department, endangers his bond with his family, and finally confronts the single urgent question of his life.

The Adventurist is about relationships: Henry has complicated ones with his sister, Gretchen, who has stayed at home with their father; his lover Jane, a sleek and efficient mirror image of Henry; and a tantalizing potential girlfriend, Karen, the ultimate free spirit. But his relationship to his corporate and familial responsibilities may change his fortunes even more than the women in his life.

Review: I actually won a giveaway of this book from St. Martin’s Press, and was pretty excited to read it and review it here on RWD!

The Adventurist tells the story of a corporate software engineer named Henry during his mid-life crisis. Our protagonist is dealing with the loss of his mother, a crisis at work, what seems to be a budding office romance, and family issues.

For the sake of spoilers, I will only mention that I was caught off guard by a major plot twist in the last two chapters of this book. Sadly, though, that is when I liked the book the most.

I felt as though this book could have used some spice in it. Reading through it, Henry’s life just keeps going from bad to worse. While he sees a bit of silver lining at a few happenings, I felt that this character was almost sabotaging himself. The brief (and I mean brief) romance was hopeful, but ultimately leads to the demise. Call me young (hey, I’m 24), but perhaps I’m too young and optimistic to be delving into a book about mid-life crises. But I did find moments of relating to this book (the father’s condition mainly), that broke my heart, but in a strange way helped me deal.

Hipps’ writing was engaging, though. There were so many metaphors and references that I feel as though I could’ve studied this novel in college purely for the writing style. I found that he inserted witty comments and moments in attempt to liven up Henry’s existence, but time after time the character was stripped down. In the end, Henry’s life did end up where it should have. I was at peace with the ending of this novel.

The character development was inspiring, but the circumstances of Henry’s life often made me want to hurry through the book so I could be done. Overall, I might recommend this book to older professionals, but if you are more of a YA reader, maybe wait on The Adventurist. I guess I am saying that it is good for the genre that it is meant to be. Perhaps later in life I will appreciate this novel more.

Rating: 3 stars

Thanks for reading my review of The Adventurist! Have you read this novel? Let me know if you have and what you thought about it in the comments below. See you on the next page!


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