Kill Switch is Chris Lynch’s latest young adult book. It is a character study about two males – one young and one old- and delves into what makes a person flip their switch into violent mode. Daniel, referred to as Young Man is the narrator of Kill Switch. He spends a lot of time with his aging grandfather, Da, referred to as Old Boy.
Da is sliding into dementia and is telling wild stories about assassinations he committed as a spy, before he retired. Now, the family always believed he worked for the department of agriculture, so everyone thinks Da is lying. It is Daniel’s last summer with Da before he goes off to college. He must decide whether he believes Old Boy or not. As the two hit the road, Daniel discovers that like his Da, he has a propensity for violence.
Daniel and Da, Young Man and Old Boy, are interesting characters. They are directly loyal to each other. Da, being close to his grandson in order to make up for being a distant parent towards his son, Daniel’s father. Daniel does his best to watch over and protect Da in his old age. I think that my favorite part and best example or glimpse of the characters is reading about when they go to the betting track and seeing the two interact as they gamble on horses, take in the day and Da reminisces about the past.
Yet, I had a hard time stomaching the bits where it seems the kill switch is flipped. There are violent parts. And it’s not gratuitous violence or anything, I am not telling you not to read the book. However, the fist fighting and beating people up was just not my thing.
Kill Switch is a pretty macho book, all things considered it does examine parts of masculinity like make bonding and violence. Plus, Lynch is the sort of writer who uses one word in place of ten, so Kill Switch is an unencumbered read. I’d definitely recommend this book be acquired by libraries looking to reach male reluctant readers. Not to say that girls can’t enjoy Kill Switch either, but personally, I found the violence and lack of female main characters off putting.
Disclosure: Received for review via Vine.
Other reviews of Kill Switch by Chris Lynch:
Whatchamacallit Reviews – “Shocking and well written”
In Bed With Books – “A bit too abrupt to really get under my skin”
The Book Babe – “I enjoyed it, but I might never read it again”