Saturday, July 15, 2017

[ARC REVIEW] Hockey Karma by Howard Shapiro (@hockeyplayer, @Animal_Media)

Title:  Hockey Karma

Author:  Howard Shapiro

Artist: Andres J. Mossa

Genre:  Friendship / School / Drama / Drugs / Sports

Year Published: 2016

Year Read:  7/11/2017

Publisher: Animal Media Group 

Series: Forever Friends Trilogy #3

Source: eARC (NetGalley)

Content Rating:  Ages 16+ (Drug Abuse and Mature Themes)

Buy on:  Amazon  //  Book Depository 

I would like to thank NetGalley and Animal Media Group for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


YAY!  NetGalley has sent me the final volume to Howard Shapiro’s hit series “Forever Friends Trilogy” called “Hockey Karma” and I must admit that after I read this graphic novel, it was a worthy conclusion to this series!

What is this story about?

In this volume, Jeremiah “Jake” Jacobson is now thirty-two years old and is known as being the best hockey player in the world.  Unfortunately, because Jake is getting older now and he is starting to lose his edge, especially to new and upcoming star teammate Barclay Pedersen, his family life and career is starting to rapidly come apart.  Meanwhile, Tom Leonard has got his own issues to deal with as he is trying to get a project that would help improve their city off the ground.  But Jake refuses to help out with the project due to dealing with his addiction to some medical pills to keep him in the game and Tom is wondering if he would ever get the project off the ground.  Also, Tom’s old high school crush, Jaelithe returns to town and Tom rekindles his relationship with Jaelithe and the two are thinking about staying together.  But unfortunately, Tom will soon discover that he may have to sacrifice his current lifestyle just to maintain a long-lasting relationship with Jaelithe.

Will Jake be able to get his life back together and will Tom soon discover what he really wants for his future?

Read this graphic novel to find out!

What I loved about this story:

Howard Shapiro’s writing:  Howard Shapiro’s writing continues to amaze me in this volume as all the characters are written extremely well and I just enjoyed the character development that each character goes through in this story.  I loved the way that Howard Shapiro portrayed Jake’s condition as he is still recovering from his alcoholism from the last volume, only this time, he is dependent on pain medication and it realistically shows that even though Jake is trying to get help for his dependence on drugs, he is still struggling with trying to overcome his drug addiction.  I also enjoyed the relationship shared between Tom and Jake as Tom is still trying to help Jake become a better person by helping him deal with his drug abuse and trying to help him mend his relationship with his family.  I liked the way that Howard Shapiro also gave some focus to Tom in this volume as we finally get to see Tom have some of his story arcs resolved in this volume (him reuniting with his high school band “The Stereotypical Freaks” and him trying to rekindle his relationship with his high school crush Jaelithe) and I enjoyed seeing how much growth Tom goes through when he reunites with his old high school friends.

Andres J. Mossa’s artwork:  Andres J. Mossa’s artwork is extremely gorgeous in this volume as all the characters are drawn realistically and seem to glow off the pages.  I also loved the fact that Andres J. Mossa’s artwork is much more detailed in this volume than in the previous volumes as it greatly reflects the growing maturity in the stories and as the stories become more mature, the artwork becomes more detailed and realistic in tone.

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

The reason why I gave this book a four-and-a-half-star rating was because I felt that pacing was a bit too slow in some places and there was a lot of dialogue going on in this book that sort of slowed down the story a bit.  I often had to speed through the dialogue just to get to the meat of the story and I kind of wished that some of the heavy dialogue was trimmed a bit so I could get to the more essential parts of the story.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Hockey Karma” is a great conclusion to Howard Shapiro’s “Forever Friends Trilogy” that really cemented the importance of true friendship and I hope to see more works from Howard Shapiro soon!


  1. I always enjoy sports movies but hardly ever read the books. I'm starting to wonder what I've missed!