Before I start this review I have an exciting announcement: For every book of The Condor Song purchased on Amazon on July 1, the author Darryl Nyznyk will donate $1 to The Sierra Club. So buy your copy on Monday, July 1!
I had the great pleasure of receiving an advance reading copy of best selling author Darryl Nyznyk’s third novel, The Condor Song. The book is a novel of suspense, and it was inspired by Nyznyk’s background as an environmental attorney as well as the story of the Sierra Club preventing Walt Disney from building a ski resort in the Mineral King Valley in Southern California.
First, I have to say that I enjoy legal thrillers, and Nyznyk artfully threads applicable laws into the story without slowing down the pace. I’m also from Southern California and grew up a half hour away from Disneyland, so it felt good to know exactly where everything in this story took place.
Nyznyk paints a complex picture with his characters. The protagonist, Sean Donovan is a wonderfully flawed character, determined to get his life back on track and somehow make amends to the kids he let down. Meanwhile, he also has a rich history with Richard Wolf, the main antagonist and Sean’s former friend who struggles with his own insecurities.
The Condor Song is an environmental legal thriller, and a page-turner at that, but there are also some very personal, touching moments. One of my favorite characters was Mrs. Jackson, a sweet elderly woman who makes a savory peach pie. Sean Donovan’s relationship with Mrs. Jackson, while he helps her defend ownership of her property, reveals a lot about both characters. They are determined, kind, and they work hard to do the right thing.
A few times throughout the novel I felt that certain actions and information about characters were repeated. Usually it occurred at points that were particularly important to the story, and needed to be remembered for later, but I felt they were unnecessary. It seemed they didn’t give me, the reader, much credit to pick up on anything subtle.
The ending also wrapped up quickly. I liked that everything was eventually explained and there were no loose ends, but it also all happened at the same time and a little too easily.
The “Song” part of the book’s title threw me off a bit too. Condors played an important role in the book, but they never made singing noises, nor was there ever mention of songs attributed to them. But there’s a chance I missed something.
Overall, The Condor Song is a great summer read. Not only did I get engrossed in the story, but I also learned a decent amount about practicing law in California. I hope Darryl Nyznyk writes a series around Sean Donovan, especially since this book has opened a lot of new storylines to explore.
In the meantime, while we wait (hopefully), I recommend buying a copy of The Condor Song from Amazon. If possible, try and purchase the book on Monday, July 1, because Nyznyk has graciously offered to donate $1 for every copy sold to the Sierra Club. And if I had to choose just one thing to take away from this book, it’s that the Sierra Club rocks!