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"Pewter, Murder, and Loaded Dice" (Book)

 - "Pewter, Murder, and Loaded Dice" Book cover image

Reviewed by on January 21, 2010

"'Pewter, Murder, and Loaded Dice' is not a happy story, but a good story, a slice of reality that deals head on the wonder years of ups, downs, and of course, boredom."

Nick Sconce’s new novel, "Pewter, Murder, and Loaded Dice," is a story about eighth grade boys trying to beat the age old problem of boredom. It's a tale of boys playing their own version of Dungeons and Dragons while dreaming of being a heavy metal band.

"Pewter, Murder, and Loaded Dice" starts with a body found on the porch, a friend, or at least fellow Dungeon and Dragon player. From here, we go back in time and meet Devin, the narrator and group of gamer friends.

His friends are easy to recognize because we all grew up with them. They drink, smoke, and constantly bust on each other. These are boys that eventually make it to High School, but spend most of their time in the parking lot listening to heavy metal music. Heavy metal music is a common theme throughout this book. The band T-shirts they wear or garage type band they have put together, this genre of music is an important part of their lives.

Devin and company have an awareness of the world around them; however, this does not stop them from continuing to make up the rules as they go along. Most importantly though, this cast of characters pulls you into the story, keeping the pages turning as you wonder whether this group will ever actually get their band to play well. Eventually, you return to the start, the body lying on the porch. The conclusion is not spoon fed to the reader, I liked this, very eye of the beholder.

Sconce’s prose moves back and forth between the group’s role playing games and their life, which at times reeks of boredom that comes with life in suburbia. For this reader, the gaming sections were long, but important to the overall story about life and perception.

"Pewter, Murder, and Loaded Dice" is not a happy story, but a good story, a slice of reality that deals head on the wonder years of ups, downs, and of course, boredom.

Highs: The dead on depiction of suburbia and the boredom that comes with it.

Lows: At times the role playing is more boring than the lives they mock.

Bottom line: "Pewter, Murder, and Loaded Dice" is a dark tale that takes you inside the minds of male adolescence, and wanting more.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)