It isn’t often that a hunch by an athlete that an opponent is cheating will turn out to not only be true, but also part of a bigger project that involves the government and mass media. But that is exactly what happens in this entertaining novel written by Brian Siguenza.

A star quarterback in college football, Adan McDonough of the Cedar Harriers, suspects that another quarterback with extraordinary talent and skills, Howard Anderson of Central Indiana Tech, has been doing something unethical or illegal to do such amazing feats on the field. Adam, his girlfriend Emily, Adam’s teammates and others at Cedar help to expose a project called “Leather Compass” in which a person through genetic alterations can become even bigger, stronger and faster. The federal government saw the potential benefits to the military and the owner of the largest network saw how this could bring even more money to his media conglomerate.

The story is fast-paced, easy to read and at times is not truly believable. For example, after Emily is arrested by federal agents on the Saturday morning of the big game between Cedar and Central Indiana Tech, she obtains a lawyer, gets a hearing and all the charges are dismissed all in time so that she can reach the stadium by halftime. Even fictional arrests and acquittals rarely happen this quickly. Other turns in the plot happen at such a furious pace and so quickly that while reading this, I was wondering if there were other subjects besides Anderson in the Leather Compass projects.

That didn’t take away from the entertainment that this story provides, nor does it dismiss the character development of Adam and Emily, two characters that the reader will soon be rooting for to succeed – not only in on the football field and journalistic investigation but also for their relationship, which also faces a test during this ordeal.

The football scenes were well written and realistic for the game. They were, however, secondary to the story of the pursuit of Adam and Emily by federal agents and the owner of the cable network, whose grandiose plans have now been scuttled with the exposure of this project. The story as a whole is a fun read and shows good football knowledge. Just be sure to read this to be entertained and not expect an entirely realistic situation for this story. I do believe this story will appeal to younger readers that are the approximate age of the main characters of the story as they will relate to many of the issues Adam and Emily face.

I wish to thank Mr. Siguenza and Black Rose Writing for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Lance Smith

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