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Hope Never Dies

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This mystery thriller reunites Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama for a political mashup full of suspense, intrigue, and laugh out loud bromance. Vice President Joe Biden is fresh out of the Obama White House and feeling adrift when his favorite railroad conductor dies in a suspicious accident, leaving behind an ailing wife and a trail of clues. To unravel This mystery thriller reunites Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama for a political mashup full of suspense, intrigue, and laugh out loud bromance. Vice President Joe Biden is fresh out of the Obama White House and feeling adrift when his favorite railroad conductor dies in a suspicious accident, leaving behind an ailing wife and a trail of clues. To unravel the mystery, “Amtrak Joe” re-teams with the only man he’s ever fully trusted—the 44th president of the United States. Together they’ll plumb the darkest corners of Delaware, traveling from cheap motels to biker bars and beyond, as they uncover the sinister forces advancing America’s opioid epidemic. Part noir thriller and part bromance novel, Hope Never Dies is essentially the first published work of Obama/Biden fanfiction—and a cathartic read for anyone distressed by the current state of affairs.


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This mystery thriller reunites Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama for a political mashup full of suspense, intrigue, and laugh out loud bromance. Vice President Joe Biden is fresh out of the Obama White House and feeling adrift when his favorite railroad conductor dies in a suspicious accident, leaving behind an ailing wife and a trail of clues. To unravel This mystery thriller reunites Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama for a political mashup full of suspense, intrigue, and laugh out loud bromance. Vice President Joe Biden is fresh out of the Obama White House and feeling adrift when his favorite railroad conductor dies in a suspicious accident, leaving behind an ailing wife and a trail of clues. To unravel the mystery, “Amtrak Joe” re-teams with the only man he’s ever fully trusted—the 44th president of the United States. Together they’ll plumb the darkest corners of Delaware, traveling from cheap motels to biker bars and beyond, as they uncover the sinister forces advancing America’s opioid epidemic. Part noir thriller and part bromance novel, Hope Never Dies is essentially the first published work of Obama/Biden fanfiction—and a cathartic read for anyone distressed by the current state of affairs.

30 review for Hope Never Dies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Shaffer

  2. 4 out of 5

    Catherine ♡

    Why is this the best and most hilarious thing I've ever seen in my life

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rincey

    This is just 1000% camp-y fan fiction. Don't read too much into it. Like there were points in the book where I was like, "Obama/Biden would never say/do/act like that" but then I would shake it off and just keep on keeping on. The mystery is fine, nothing really to write home about. Also, someone give this cover designer a raise. Watch me discuss this book in my July wrap up: https://youtu.be/8kaQcaNn9uw

  4. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    You know at first I wasn't going to read this but let's be real, after however long we've been living in this ungodly hell of the Trump adminstration (it can't be just a year, it feels TOO LONG) I'm obviously going to read this.

  5. 3 out of 5

    Leah Blackwell

    I don't even know where to start on how happy this book made me. From the minute I saw the cover pop up on a friend's goodreads shelf it has done nothing but make me laugh. I even drew some fan art. not even kidding. This book is clearly absurd. Not thought provoking. Not written with beautiful prose or mind-bending plot twists. But it is magical. I'm buying cases of this book for all my friends and relatives this Christmas. Thanks NetGalley!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

    The 2016 Presidential Election has ended. Former Vice President Joe Biden doesn’t quite know what to do with himself. As he watches his former boss Barack Obama vacationing with the likes of Richard Branson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Hollywood superstar Bradley Cooper, he feels discarded and hopeless. All this changes when Obama arrives on Joe’s doorstep one evening with the news of the death of a dear friend of Joe’s.. Hope Never Dies is a fun read with an interesting premise – The 2016 Presidential Election has ended. Former Vice President Joe Biden doesn’t quite know what to do with himself. As he watches his former boss Barack Obama vacationing with the likes of Richard Branson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Hollywood superstar Bradley Cooper, he feels discarded and hopeless. All this changes when Obama arrives on Joe’s doorstep one evening with the news of the death of a dear friend of Joe’s.. Hope Never Dies is a fun read with an interesting premise – “Hey, I got an idea! How about Biden and Obama team up to solve a murder?” When the story begins, it doesn’t appear to be anything deeper than a total bromance between the internet’s two favorite political pals, however, there is actually a pretty solid mystery at the novel’s core. Shaffer kept me guessing right up until the end due to several sly red herrings thrown in to misdirect this reader. I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I can’t say I know much about Joe Biden, so I’m not sure if this characterization comes anywhere close to that of the former Vice President. I’m not sure if that even matters, to be honest. Biden is described as a broken-down man struggling to come to grips with a directionless life. Some of the similes and descriptions that Biden explores are surface-level deep and downright groan-worthy, although, I believe that’s the point. Above all else, it’s his incorruptible character that makes him the perfect fit for an amateur sleuth. On the other hand, Obama is played like the ultimate bad-ass dripping with swagger, which is a far cry from the casual, Dad-jeans wearing forty-fourth president we all remember. That said, he ends up being the perfect Yin to Biden’s Yang. To put it another way, if Biden is Carlton, than Obama is Will Smith. Shaffer succeeds in writing some entertaining back-and-forth dialogue between the two, even if I could never imagine them saying some of the things that come out of their mouths. I have to admit I really only asked for a copy of this book because the cover made me laugh. When I finished it, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. While I generally like my mystery novels dark and bleak, it’s nice to try something lighter once in a while. Hope Never Dies is the literary equivalent to a fun buddy-cop movie; an ideal summer read. Check out my interview with Andrew.

  7. 3 out of 5

    Casey

    Let's face it: reading the news these days has replaced cardio for many of us as our heart rate skyrockets from the headlines alone. Remember when we had a cool/sometimes embarrassing dad president with a charismatic veep who just called out malarkey when he saw it? No, it wasn't 100 years ago, but it sure feels like it lately. In this delightful romp of a book, Biden is feeling a little sorry for himself since Obama seems to never call because he has a lot of hip, young friends like Bradley Coop Let's face it: reading the news these days has replaced cardio for many of us as our heart rate skyrockets from the headlines alone. Remember when we had a cool/sometimes embarrassing dad president with a charismatic veep who just called out malarkey when he saw it? No, it wasn't 100 years ago, but it sure feels like it lately. In this delightful romp of a book, Biden is feeling a little sorry for himself since Obama seems to never call because he has a lot of hip, young friends like Bradley Cooper. However, a suspicious death along Biden's beloved Amtrak line brings the team back together, this time with Uncle Joe leading the bumbling investigation. It's a cozy mystery with a muscle car, a bromance with Secret Service detail. While Shaffer could have leaned into nostalgia alone, he's written a solid mystery with the characters fleshed out as more than just cliches. The reader really feels Biden's longing to be helpful and his anguish over seeing 44's legacy undone so quickly by an individual who shall remain nameless. (The presidential zings in this book are incredible, truly.) The tension between the two rings as true as it did when they were in office, like when Biden suddenly decided to support gay rights and had everyone else scrambling to fall into line. By all means, this book shouldn't work as well as it does. For a few hours, I got to enjoy the company of politicians who behaved like adults (mostly). It sure was nice. Does Biden wear aviators? Does he enjoy some ice cream? Does Obama play basketball? You'll have to read to find out! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Quirk, but that in no way impacted my review since I was already excited about this book from Shaffer's previous work.

  8. 3 out of 5

    Leigh Kramer

    If you've wondered what Joe and Barack have been up to since leaving the presidential office or what might happen if they teamed up to solve mysteries, HOPE NEVER DIES is the book you never knew you always needed.  Essentially Obama-Biden fanfic, this was such a fun ride. And honestly, reading it did give me hope. I mean. What if Obama and Biden really are out there fighting crime? Lord knows we could use their help. Just the thought of this being a possibility made me feel warm and fuzzy. Joe Bid If you've wondered what Joe and Barack have been up to since leaving the presidential office or what might happen if they teamed up to solve mysteries, HOPE NEVER DIES is the book you never knew you always needed.  Essentially Obama-Biden fanfic, this was such a fun ride. And honestly, reading it did give me hope. I mean. What if Obama and Biden really are out there fighting crime? Lord knows we could use their help. Just the thought of this being a possibility made me feel warm and fuzzy. Joe Biden serves as our narrator. His bromance with Obama has hit a few bumps in the road since they left office. He's not sure where he fits into Obama's post-presidential life and it was heartwarming and relatable to watch him make sense of it all. He's drawn deeper and deeper into the mysterious death of an Amtrak conductor he knew and Obama is at his side, both helping him and questioning why Joe wants to figure out what happened. Their interactions are so believable. I could see this happening in real life. It was interesting to think about how their relationship might change outside of the Oval Office and what their respective lives would look like. Shaffer clearly did his homework in bringing these two well-known men to life. At the same time, you can't be too tied to your ideas of who they are. There were small moments, like Obama smoking a cigarette or Biden thinking something racist, where I'd think, "they wouldn't do/say that!" But how can I say that for sure? I've never met either man and this is all a figment of Shaffer's imagination. (As far as we know.)  The mystery itself was enjoyable to read. It had some interesting twists and turns and while I'd figured out the killer before they were revealed, it was much closer to the reveal than usually happens for me. I like when I'm kept guessing.  I haven't heard whether this is the start of a series or not but I sure hope we'll get another Obama-Biden mystery, maybe from Obama's perspective next. In the meantime, I'm glad hope never dies when this duo is around. A favorite line: “Barack Obama was, at times, a fortress. At other times, a glass cage of emotion, as Will Ferrell would say.” Disclosure: I received an advance copy from Quirk Books in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Char

    As soon as I saw the cover of this book, I knew I had to have it! Thanks to NetGalley and to Quirk Books for granting my wish. Andrew Shaffer takes the former leader of the free world, joins him back up with Joe Biden, and together they work on a mystery. Amtrak Joe lost a friend, an engineer on the train that he rode nearly every day before he before he became Vice President. (This story is told from Joe's point of view.) After discovering a few unsavory facts about his friend and discovering a As soon as I saw the cover of this book, I knew I had to have it! Thanks to NetGalley and to Quirk Books for granting my wish. Andrew Shaffer takes the former leader of the free world, joins him back up with Joe Biden, and together they work on a mystery. Amtrak Joe lost a friend, an engineer on the train that he rode nearly every day before he before he became Vice President. (This story is told from Joe's point of view.) After discovering a few unsavory facts about his friend and discovering a few things about himself, he teams up with former best friend Barack Obama, and together they set about learning what happened. Will the two solve the mystery of the Amtrak engineer? Will they continue to be friends after this case is over? You'll have to read this to find out. I'll admit here and now that I was and am a big fan of both of these men. It's because I miss them and because the cover made me laugh that I requested this book. HOPE NEVER DIES doesn't get into politics much and I appreciated that. (I did enough comparisons between these two and our current administration in my head, I didn't need anything more spelled out.) I have no way of knowing how close this book comes to the real personalities of these two, and you know what? I don't care! It was a fun and entertaining story and that's all that I was looking for. That said, I had only one big issue and it's likely mine and mine alone. I know that Joe Biden loves cars, (well Corvettes at least for sure.) So do I, and I've worked with them in some capacity my entire adult life. With that in mind, I couldn't understand why a lot of the vehicles referenced in this novel are referred to incorrectly. Ford does not make Impalas. I'm pretty sure Plymouth didn't make Firebirds either. (They made Thunderbirds and Superbirds- Firebirds were all Pontiac.) I did receive an ARC of this book, so perhaps those things were tidied up before publication? Even if not, most people probably wouldn't even notice. Other than that, HOPE NEVER DIES was a lot of fun. It's not going to break any literary records or anything, but as a humorous detective story featuring two of my favorite politicians, it certainly fit the bill! I recommend it to anyone who thinks this premise is fun! *Thanks to Quirk Books and to NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

  10. 5 out of 5

    Edita

    Y’all. Wut. This is campy as hell, no doubt about that. Containing some amazing moments such as (slight spoilers): (view spoiler)[An intense fight on a train Obama on a unicorn A very dramatic “GET DOWN, MISTER PRESIDENT” The former POTUS wielding a sawed off shotgun And a whole lot of Joe being slick as shit in a sweet pair of Ray-Ban aviators (hide spoiler)] Would totally recommend. * Thanks, Netgalley!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    YES I IMPULSE BOUGHT THIS AT THE BOOKSTORE TODAY. DON'T JUDGE ME. I read this in under a day. It is a really fast read, and a surprisingly good one. It's presidential fanfiction and I loved it. It made me super nostalgic for the Obama/Biden bromance (their bromance name is Obiden, pass it on!) and I loved the idea of them teaming up to solve a murder. Because of course they would. I laughed so much during this book. And I really hope this is book one in a long, long series.

  12. 3 out of 5

    Sarah

    Delightful! I went into this with somewhat dubious expectations, but I really enjoyed it and hope this is the beginning of a series. Joe Biden has been out of office for six months, and he's down in the dumps. He hasn't heard a word from his old friend Barack Obama, and meanwhile he's tortured by a constant stream of photos of Barack having fun with various celebrities. But when Barack shows up to break the news that Joe's favorite Amtrak conductor was killed--and found with a map marking Joe's h Delightful! I went into this with somewhat dubious expectations, but I really enjoyed it and hope this is the beginning of a series. Joe Biden has been out of office for six months, and he's down in the dumps. He hasn't heard a word from his old friend Barack Obama, and meanwhile he's tortured by a constant stream of photos of Barack having fun with various celebrities. But when Barack shows up to break the news that Joe's favorite Amtrak conductor was killed--and found with a map marking Joe's house--the two do some digging around and are thrown into a mystery involving drugs, an outlaw motorcycle gang, a suspicious blonde, and lots of danger. Along the way, they deal with their friendship, the pains of aging, and whether or not Joe is going to run for president. This made me smile big-time. The story is told from Joe Biden's first person POV and I thought the author captured his voice (or at least what you'd imagine it to be) perfectly. There were times I didn't think Obama's character rang quite as true, but he's a more enigmatic man than Biden, and it was mostly believable (as long as you're willing to accept that the former president and vice president would take up amateur crime solving together). Such a fun mix of mystery and bromance!

  13. 3 out of 5

    Ariel

    Is this book 100% Barack Obama and Joe Biden fanfic where they solve crimes together in a sweet-ass car? Yes, it is. I love Quirk Books as a publishing company because they publish the weird, quirky shit that other people wouldn't think of. Like who would have gone "oh hey, now that Obama/Biden are out of the White House, let's write a book about them?" Andrew Shaffer, that's who. This was a fun book. It was engaging. I can't attest to how well the author sticks to the personalities of Obama and Is this book 100% Barack Obama and Joe Biden fanfic where they solve crimes together in a sweet-ass car? Yes, it is. I love Quirk Books as a publishing company because they publish the weird, quirky shit that other people wouldn't think of. Like who would have gone "oh hey, now that Obama/Biden are out of the White House, let's write a book about them?" Andrew Shaffer, that's who. This was a fun book. It was engaging. I can't attest to how well the author sticks to the personalities of Obama and Biden, since honestly I have never met them or researched them much. It was a fun mystery, not too scary, not boring at all. The fun of this book, I think, is giggling over the situations that Obama and Biden find themselves in, and how they interact with one another. Especially in the shithole that is the Trump administration, it's nice to think these guys are out there, still doing good deeds in the world. I hope they actually read this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    3.5, it might not be great literature but this will be the feel good read of the summer. It’s like all those meme you love come to life.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Misfit

    Ugh, what a mashed up mess. I would typically have rolled my eyes and moved along, but since this was written by the author of the hilarious Fifty Shames of Earl Grey, I decided to give it a whirl. Clever idea (I guess) to have Obama and Biden getting involved in solving a mystery (is this going to be a series?), but I hate to say it - the jokes fell flat, as did the characters, as did the mystery. Biden is the narrator (first person), and he was especially annoying and his constant falls and in Ugh, what a mashed up mess. I would typically have rolled my eyes and moved along, but since this was written by the author of the hilarious Fifty Shames of Earl Grey, I decided to give it a whirl. Clever idea (I guess) to have Obama and Biden getting involved in solving a mystery (is this going to be a series?), but I hate to say it - the jokes fell flat, as did the characters, as did the mystery. Biden is the narrator (first person), and he was especially annoying and his constant falls and injuries just weren't funny. Nothing was funny, except for the dig at Fox News. Your mileage may vary, as always, but this one just wasn't my cup of Earl Grey tea.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Maine Colonial

    Thanks to the publisher for providing a free review copy. When I saw the cover of this book, it cracked me up and I just had to read it. It’s a lightweight and quick read, but I was surprised to find that as mysteries go, it’s not bad. But the main appeal is that it’s told from the point of view of Joe Biden. I don’t know the guy in real life, but I think we all have an idea of what he’s like and Andrew Shaffer pegs that. Biden wears his heart on his sleeve, he’s corny and old-fashioned—and he ta Thanks to the publisher for providing a free review copy. When I saw the cover of this book, it cracked me up and I just had to read it. It’s a lightweight and quick read, but I was surprised to find that as mysteries go, it’s not bad. But the main appeal is that it’s told from the point of view of Joe Biden. I don’t know the guy in real life, but I think we all have an idea of what he’s like and Andrew Shaffer pegs that. Biden wears his heart on his sleeve, he’s corny and old-fashioned—and he talks a lot. Since leaving office, Biden has been at loose ends and he’s frankly moping. He sees his old buddy Barack Obama BASE jumping, windsurfing, hobnobbing with the rich and famous, and Biden feels jealous and left behind. Then Obama and his Secret Service guy, Steve, show up to tell Biden about the death of Finn Donnelly, an Amtrak conductor Biden had gotten to know well after riding the train for years between DC and Delaware. That’s the premise of this nutty story of the former Vice President and President teaming up to investigate what they quickly decide is a murder. It’s action-packed in a kind of looney way. Making plenty of boneheaded mistakes as they go along, the duo try to solve the case and mend their relationship. The theme of Biden’s hurt feelings gets old fast, but on the whole the book is a hoot.

  17. 3 out of 5

    Joshua

    I mean, it was Barack Obama and Joe Biden in a murder-mystery-action-thriller. I got exactly what I expected and I loved it.

  18. 3 out of 5

    Sara

    I think if you're going to write a murder mystery wherein the former president of the United States and his hetero lifemate VP solve a murder you've gotta go big or go home. I either want to be laughing my ass off or bowled over by just how accurate the characters are. Alas neither was the case with this very tepid, relatively well plotted mystery that paints Obama and Biden as a sort of old married couple on the outs. Barack hasn't called since the end of their stint in the Whitehouse and Joe ( I think if you're going to write a murder mystery wherein the former president of the United States and his hetero lifemate VP solve a murder you've gotta go big or go home. I either want to be laughing my ass off or bowled over by just how accurate the characters are. Alas neither was the case with this very tepid, relatively well plotted mystery that paints Obama and Biden as a sort of old married couple on the outs. Barack hasn't called since the end of their stint in the Whitehouse and Joe (our narrator) is too stubborn to reach out himself. It isn't until a conductor on Joe's well loved Amtrack line dies under dubious circumstances that Barack appears to suggest the two may want to take a closer look at what's going on. While the mystery itself isn't bad, I actually didn't have a problem buying these two as detectives given the nature of the crime and the resources they'd have access to etc, it just didn't hold my interest. I mean its the entire world's favorite bromance couple for gods sake! Do something interesting with it! The source material is literally endless! The memes alone should have given author Andrew Shaffer one liners for pages and pages! There are some attempts at witty reparte between Obama, Biden and the reluctant secret service agent who'd rather be protecting an active president but has to follow them everywhere and the occasional joke about the uselessness of trying to wear disguises so they can investigate things incognito but for the most part they just kind of drive around trying to figure out whats going on, occasionally butting heads with various police officers and government agents. Its boring which if you'll recall is always, always worse than bad in my book. At least bad gets my attention. There's no reason for a mystery with this awesome of a title and this magnificent of a cover to be anything other than glorious and this just....wasn't.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mainon

    I have always wanted to read a book in which Barack Obama and Joe Biden team up to solve a mystery. I just didn't know it until I saw this book. It was exactly the bittersweet catharsis I'd hoped, although Obama's character wasn't as recognizable as I would have wished. I think he's warmer than the reserved version described here. Joe's pretty great, though, if a little bit overly emotional. The mystery itself is perfectly serviceable, too. I'll read the sequel if there is one. I received a copy I have always wanted to read a book in which Barack Obama and Joe Biden team up to solve a mystery. I just didn't know it until I saw this book. It was exactly the bittersweet catharsis I'd hoped, although Obama's character wasn't as recognizable as I would have wished. I think he's warmer than the reserved version described here. Joe's pretty great, though, if a little bit overly emotional. The mystery itself is perfectly serviceable, too. I'll read the sequel if there is one. I received a copy of this ebook from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

  20. 3 out of 5

    Kelly

    This is totally ridiculous and a total delight to read. Good for when you need a palate cleanser of a read that's literal Joe/Barry fan fiction. I enjoyed every second of it.

  21. 3 out of 5

    Patrick

    Joe Biden is bummed. He and Barack Obama have drifted apart. They were brothers til the end, but it seems like the end came along with the end of the administration. Biden is left feeling his age as Obama wide-surfs with Bradley Cooper. Then one night, Obama drops in with horrible news about one of Biden's favorite Amtrak conductors. This is the first in a series of events that leads old Amtrak Joe down a twisting path to uncover the truth of his friend's untimely death, clear his name, and give Joe Biden is bummed. He and Barack Obama have drifted apart. They were brothers til the end, but it seems like the end came along with the end of the administration. Biden is left feeling his age as Obama wide-surfs with Bradley Cooper. Then one night, Obama drops in with horrible news about one of Biden's favorite Amtrak conductors. This is the first in a series of events that leads old Amtrak Joe down a twisting path to uncover the truth of his friend's untimely death, clear his name, and give closure to his loved ones. Joined by Obama, they rekindle their bromance and seek answers. The way Shaffer has captured the voices of Biden and Obama is amazing. From how Biden casually drops a dated turn-of-phrase, to the coolest professor at the university tone of Obama, the writing in the book is endlessly entertaining, endearing the reader to his versions of the characters immediately. Every chapter is full of humor, charm, and emotional moments that ring true. Hope Never Dies will leave you wanting Obama and Biden back for another caper even more than you want them back for another term.

  22. 3 out of 5

    Jan Rice

    It was the picture that hooked me. The book got mentioned a few weeks ago in the New York Times book reviews. For half a second I thought it was the Obama memoir; a closer look showed not, but then I wanted to buy it. It could be terrible but I bought it for a vacation read. That's my justification and I'm sticking to it. And--it was fun! The author is a pro. By that I mean his quips and word plays and dialogue and pretty decent characterizations flow out of him. He's easy to follow. He did his res It was the picture that hooked me. The book got mentioned a few weeks ago in the New York Times book reviews. For half a second I thought it was the Obama memoir; a closer look showed not, but then I wanted to buy it. It could be terrible but I bought it for a vacation read. That's my justification and I'm sticking to it. And--it was fun! The author is a pro. By that I mean his quips and word plays and dialogue and pretty decent characterizations flow out of him. He's easy to follow. He did his research. Maybe I learned a little something about Delaware and about Joe Biden. More important here, he made me laugh out loud four or five times. Didn't make me cry, though. What plot there is, is mainly a pretext for the characters, and mainly Joe. As the reader, I did my part by suspending disbelief and going along for the ride--possible since, as I said, the author is a pretty smooth operator and has a way with words. He tripped me up with a couple of errors. Had Joe Biden say he was in his seventh decade instead of his eighth. And had him speak of a medication regiment. Otherwise, well edited, and I regained my footing. The author has written a ton of books, mostly parodies. He did one of Fifty Shades of Gray called Fifty Shames of Earl Grey. Reviewers say he does a good job with that author's writing style. I thought it would make a humorous gift but too much erotica, apparently. He reviews books for a publication devoted to romance and erotica, according to Wikipedia, as well as covering the publishing industry for Huffington Post. And he started a greeting card company for people who want to send secular sentiments. But Hope, he says, is his debut mystery. It should do well. This author has a gift of parody and caricature and has found a way to make a living as a writer. More power to him.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    When I first saw the cover of this book, I thought it was a joke -- it's so corny! But when I realized is really was a book, I had to read it. Also because the editor is Jason Rekulak, who wrote The Impossible Fortress, which is one of the nominees for the 2018 Best YA Mystery of the Edgar Awards. With credentials like that, I knew the story would be good. For sure, this is campy, but it was also a pretty good mystery and definitely a really fun read. There's very little politics in this story, altho When I first saw the cover of this book, I thought it was a joke -- it's so corny! But when I realized is really was a book, I had to read it. Also because the editor is Jason Rekulak, who wrote The Impossible Fortress, which is one of the nominees for the 2018 Best YA Mystery of the Edgar Awards. With credentials like that, I knew the story would be good. For sure, this is campy, but it was also a pretty good mystery and definitely a really fun read. There's very little politics in this story, although they do throw a little shade not only at the current administration, but also at their own administration. But it's very, very little. The story is a mystery, and that's its primary focus.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ben Babcock

    I learned about Hope Never Dies from Twitter, and am I ever glad I did. I don’t read a lot of spoofs and parodies, but when I do, I like to read ones like Andrew Shaffer’s. It is delightful. Joe Biden has been out of office for a while now, and while his former friend Barack is living the high celeb life, old Joe is … well, feeling his age. His life gets shaken up when, one day, an Amtrak conductor Joe knew from his days of riding those rails turns up dead under mysterious circumstances. Barack w I learned about Hope Never Dies from Twitter, and am I ever glad I did. I don’t read a lot of spoofs and parodies, but when I do, I like to read ones like Andrew Shaffer’s. It is delightful. Joe Biden has been out of office for a while now, and while his former friend Barack is living the high celeb life, old Joe is … well, feeling his age. His life gets shaken up when, one day, an Amtrak conductor Joe knew from his days of riding those rails turns up dead under mysterious circumstances. Barack warns Joe that this conductor might have been targeting Joe for some reason … and slowly, the two of them, plus Barack’s Secret Service bodyguard, are drawn into a criminal conspiracy that stretches as far as the suburbs of Wilmington, Delaware. Along the way, there are car chases, gun fights, and serious bro discussions about friendship. Buckle up. Look, Real Talk™ for a moment. Barack Obama was an historic president for his race and other reasons, yes, and like every single President of the United States, he is also hugely problematic. Being a Black Democratic President did not make him immune from controversial decisions, strategies, and executive orders. Remember how Gitmo was going to be closed? How about those drone strikes? So, in endorsing and enjoying this book, I’m not here to lionize Obama’s legacy or endorse the idea that another old white guy should have been the Democratic nominee instead of Hillary Clinton. Hope Never Dies works precisely because it is a parody piece. It imagines a dafter, lighter universe in which Barack and Biden are buddy-buddies, able to engage in this kind of odd-couple road mystery comedy shenanigans. And, really really, I just really needed this at this moment in history, and I am certain I’m not alone. Full disclosure: I’m not American, I’m Canadian (and white, and a man), so I’m very insulated from a lot of the bizarro universe stuff that’s happening south of my border. To be fair, though, my province (Ontario) just elected Donald Trump Lite (Doug Ford) and his Progressive Conservative government has, in a few weeks, already begun to run rough-shod over anything remotely socialist or progressive within our province. I’ve really avoided watching darker TV shows lately. I have so many Black Mirror episodes to watch, but I just can’t. I can’t handle that darkness. The best I can do is Good Girls, which is so brilliant; mostly I’ve just watched reruns of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and other extremely humorous, light-hearted shows. I need that in my life. I need to know that hope never dies. Shaffer nails Biden’s characterization, or at least, as someone who knows literally nothing about Joe Biden beyond the fact that he was the Vice President of the United States, I think Shaffer nails it. He has clearly done his research. Biden’s voice sounds exactly like one might imagine from an older Democratic politician from Delaware. His similes and metaphors are on point, as is the way he interprets and navigates the world around him. In other words, Shaffer didn’t just take a generic “amateur sleuth” character template and paste Joe Biden’s name and profile features onto it: he took the time to really make this main character feel like a credible simulacrum of the public persona of Joe Biden. Similarly, I really enjoyed the way Shaffer portrays Obama. Remember that this is all through Faux-Biden’s first-person perspective, and as such is unreliable. Barack comes off as a bit of a know-it-all! He constantly corrects, interjects, and explains at length when no one asked a question. He’s the guy who knows something about everything, and he can’t help but tell you about it. Honestly, the mystery was the least attractive element. The climax sort of sneaks up on you, and the villain is a bit of a stretch. It makes sense, and I guess in some ways it’s a trope of the genre, but it’s one of those things that I either missed the signposts for, or else the turn-off was buried between two legitimate exits and I never had a chance. But I didn’t come here for the mystery. I came for Barack and Joe’s bromance, and this book delivers. Hope Never Dies is far from the best spoof I’ve read, but it is good enough. And for its purpose, that is enough. If, like me, you briefly want to live in a universe where Barack Obama and Joe Biden drive a suped-up Escalade and then talk about their feelings, then you should read this book.

  25. 3 out of 5

    Truman32

    United States Presidents find many things to occupy their time once they leave office. Jimmy Carter builds homes for the needy. George W. Bush paints portraits of veterans in lavish colors and thick brushstrokes. Bill Clinton formed a foundation to smuggle cocaine, launder bribes from the Muslim Brotherhood, make a tidy profit hocking QAnon tie-dyed T-shirts, and promote the Canadian hard-rock band Nickelback. And Millard Fillmore collected bobble head dolls of his favorite sports heroes and suf United States Presidents find many things to occupy their time once they leave office. Jimmy Carter builds homes for the needy. George W. Bush paints portraits of veterans in lavish colors and thick brushstrokes. Bill Clinton formed a foundation to smuggle cocaine, launder bribes from the Muslim Brotherhood, make a tidy profit hocking QAnon tie-dyed T-shirts, and promote the Canadian hard-rock band Nickelback. And Millard Fillmore collected bobble head dolls of his favorite sports heroes and suffered through a debilitating crush on Annette “Pineapple Princess” Funicello, the actress from his favorite motion picture of all time, Beach Blanket Bingo. In Andrew Shaffer’s newest piece of art, Hope Never Dies; former President Barack Obama expends his time out of office teaming up with his V.P. and best bud Joe Biden to track down the murderers of an Amtrak conductor. It’s been said that Obama is a hard person to understand. He is a very private individual that keeps to himself and is not known to share aspects of his personal life. Yet Shaffer captures the 44th President as only a journalist deeply imbedded in his subject’s life can. It is apparent that Shaffer received unprecedented access to this man’s daily routines. He had to have been there when Obama woke each morning to the sounds of his clock radio alarm blasting out the morning zoo and a steaming plate of Eggo blueberry waffles waiting. And he must have been there every night as Obama carefully put away his Sonicare, crawled into bed, and had his secret service patrol tightly swaddle him in a blue fleece blanket adorned with the Presidential seal. It’s been said that Presidents, like Ogres, are like Onions. They both have layers. But Shaffer has done a fantastic job of pulling these layers away. He has honestly captured the essence, the very souls of Obama (and Biden too!) in Hope Never Dies, and the reader is all the better for it. The plot of Hope Never Dies is somewhat generic and would fit in well in the subgenre of crime fiction called cozy mysteries, but it does contain enough momentum to keep the pages turning. But the mystery is not really the reason why people are picking up this book; it is artist Jeremy Enecio’s wonderful cover as well as the many inside jokes, physical comedy, and overall feeling that an Obama/Biden detective duo should be a thing. In this crazy world right now, it really should. We need something good to hold on to in these tough tough times. Shaffer does a great job capturing the dynamic of these two retire (for now!) government officials and there were many chortles, giggles, and snorts when I read it. A solid, if lightweight mystery geared for those who already have warm feelings for these two men.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joe Jones

    Have you ever wondered what the President and Vice President do after they leave office? I bet it is not this which is what makes this so much fun! Told from Joe Biden's point of view as he and our former President try to solve a mysterious death. The situations they get themselves into will have you laughing out loud as you can't turn the pages fast enough to read what happens next. My only complaint is it ended too soon. I hope there will be more adventures for these two!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Chelsey

    Hooked by the amazing description and cover, I was just a little disappointed by this - it ended up being a little too campy for my taste. Also, there were a lot of moments, particularly in the beginning, where Barack and Joe's characterizations just didn't feel right to me. The plot is fast-paced and fun, but wildly unrealistic. Ah, but it was a lovely distraction. Was trying to decide between 2 or 3 stars and am leaning towards two right now.. *Thank you to NetGalley for this!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mary-Beth

    I LOVED this book! Who knew that the world needed a buddy detective bromance narrated by Joe Biden and co-starring Barack Obama? Thankfully Andrew Shaffer did. He managed to whip up this confection, a mystery focused on the opioid epidemic but full of pithy side notes about the new “twitterer-in-chief.”

  29. 3 out of 5

    Raymond

    An interesting mystery. I enjoyed the relationship between Obama and Biden more than the actual case.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Renata

    I JUST WANTED THIS TO BE A FUN, DUMB MYSTERY BUT IT WAS A REAL SLOG. For a book sold mainly on everyone's effection for Joe & Barack's adorbs friendship, why would you make the baffling choice to have them be mad at each other for nearly the entire book!? MASCULINITY IS A PRISON This would be 1 star from me but the cover grants it 1 bonus star. TRAGICALLY the content does not match the delightful whimsy implied by the cover. http://www.frowl.org/worstbestsellers...

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