Publisher: Anisian Publishing
Date of publication: November 30th, 2022
Genre: Dystopia, Action, General Fiction
Purchase Links Amazon
It’s 2037 and after a nationwide campaign following the increase in prisoner death rate, the system has gone fully automatic. Every inmate is on their own with each cell a box of isolation. The juvenile correction facilities are functional, cold and impersonal yet impecable, a stark contrast to the adult institutions where suicide and collapse of mental health for the youth transfering is almost inevitable.
With an iminent transfer date, the clock is ticking. But with an impenetrable prison, long standing feuds and skeletons in the closet, will these strangers ever be able to work together to formulate and execute a plan to save their children whilst keeping their families intact?
Miles sat there starting at the eyes that reflected back from the rear-view mirror.Souk Daddy by Antony Curtis
Sometimes, a book comes along that horrifies you because you can see what was written about happening in real life. But also, sometimes, in that same book, it makes you feel hope because of what the people in the book did. That is how Souk Daddy made me feel while reading it. I couldn’t get enough of this book and finished it within a day.
Souk Daddy takes place in 2037 California. Five boys have committed five crimes and are sentenced to solitary confinement in California’s overhauled juvenile correction system. The authorities will send them to finish their sentences with the adult population when they age out. The adult accommodations are horrible, and the suicide rates are through the roof. Knowing this, the parents of these children devise a plan. They are going to break their children out of jail. But there are obstacles in their way. Will they break their kids out of jail? Can they overcome their obstacles?
Souk Daddy takes place in Southern California in the year 2037. SoCal was not futuristic, except that people no longer drive fossil fuel-powered cars. It wasn’t that big of a stretch, considering that California is planning on phasing out all fossil fuel-powered cars by 2035.
The main characters and their parents were well-written and well-fleshed out. The author portrayed children and parents from every demographic (rich, poor, middle-class, black, white, Hispanic, straight, and gay).
- Miles—Out of the five kids, I liked him the best. He was also one of the younger kids to be sentenced. What he did was terrible—he was the getaway driver in a bank robbery. I loved his parents: Mike & Mary. They were loving parents who had fostered Miles’s love of racing. I was so upset when I found out that he was almost semi-pro in racing and threw it away because he loved the high it gave him.
- Ed—I don’t even know where to begin with him. I had two emotions when I read his backstory: pity and rage. Pity because his mother knew what was happening to him at school (extreme bullying) and rage because his parents did NOTHING to help him. I didn’t blame him for what he did, and I was furious with the railroad job his bully’s parents did. Furious didn’t even begin to describe what I felt. I wanted to cry when I read his scenes when he was at the detention center. He was so beaten down by life he shut down. I felt his parents, Peter & Jane, bore some responsibility for what happened to him. Jane was a teacher at his school, witnessed it, and did NOTHING. There was a twist to their plotline that did raise my eyebrows because of what was revealed. I’ll discuss that later.
- William—He was another one I felt got the short stick in everything. He was the only one who did nothing wrong and was still sent to jail. When the author revealed what was going on, I was disgusted. I didn’t like his mother, Beverly, at first. She was a drunk and could barely cope with life. But once William got arrested, his arrest lighted a fire under her butt, and she became the parent he needed. William’s father, David, left a bad taste in my mouth every time he appeared in the book. He honestly didn’t care that he dinked his son over.
- Donnie— I didn’t like Donnie from the minute he appeared in the book. He had been raised by criminals and was being groomed to take over their criminal empire. At seventeen, he knew better than to run drugs across the border. But, to get money to disappear (with his girlfriend), he knew he had to do it. It was after that revelation that my dislike of him changed. But his parents, I couldn’t stand. Desi ran a criminal empire out of her bar. She was a lousy human being, but she did love her son and was willing to do whatever it took to get him out of jail. Marcus was willing to let Donnie sit in jail. Marcus was a sleaze and was into human trafficking. Donnie was only in prison because Marcus decided he wanted a more significant pie cut and tried to infringe on Desi’s territory.
- Chris—Chris was sent to jail because he was dealing at his private school and got caught. His contact was none other than Donnie, and for a reduced sentence, Chris narced on Donnie. Chris wasn’t a bad kid but felt that he had to do something to fit in, and selling drugs seemed good (which made me shake my head). I loved his parents, Taylor (a prize-winning journalist) and Jeremy (a best-selling author). Taylor had been doing an expose on California’s penal system, and he was the one who had come up with the plan to try and break the kids out of jail.
- Brant—He was the detective on Chris and Donnie’s cases and was gunning to put Marcus or Desi in jail. But, and I stress, there is a twist in his plotline that I didn’t see coming.
There were a few secondary characters that fleshed out each storyline. Those characters added extra depth and showed a different side of the characters in several cases. I enjoyed that.
I don’t know what genre Souk Daddy would fit into. There are elements of young adult, science fiction, dystopia, and action. If I had to label it, it would be a mish of those genres.
I loved the storyline detailing how to break the boys out of prison. The author did a great job of making me wonder if the parents would even succeed. The details he put into it (Taylor’s research, Mike and Peter’s driving, and Bev’s science background) were terrific. I was kept on the edge of my seat during those scenes. There were a few times when I did think that the breakout wasn’t going to happen.
The storyline with Peter, Jane, Ed, and Brant did surprise me. There was a twist in that storyline that I didn’t see coming. It changed the whole tone of the book after that. I was apprehensive about Ed, and I didn’t know how he would deal with everything that was going on. His reaction surprised me.
The storyline with Mike, Mary, and Miles did upset me. I wasn’t surprised by what Mike did. I figured that something like that would happen (being the great guy and father he was). I also wasn’t surprised by how their storyline wrapped up.
The storyline with William, Bev, and David did surprise me. I loved that Bev grew a set and decided to tell David what he would do. I wasn’t expecting what happened, though.
Donnie, Desi, and Marcus’s storyline ended up exactly how I thought it would. I loved that Desi had the last laugh. Marcus deserved everything that he got. I thought Desi got off too quickly, but I was left hoping she would get hers eventually. As for Donnie, he got his perfect ending.
As for Chris, Taylor, and Jeremy’s storyline, I was surprised at what happened. I understand why the author made that choice, but at the same time, I was a little irritated.
The ending of Souk Daddy tells the readers what happened after the prison break. I enjoyed reading the updates. There was one that I was both horrified and overjoyed to read about. What I also liked was that there was change brewing. I wish there were more written or even a second epilogue showing that change.
I would recommend Souk Daddy to anyone over 21. There are language, violence, and mentions of sexual situations. There are also mentions of drugs, prostitution, severe bullying, alcohol abuse, drug selling and abuse, and homophobia.