I love how Don Winslow writes. He’s a genius. He uses narrative to make social statements while treating them like they’re a waste of time, or unimportant; the writing is totally irreverent.
That being said, I didn’t get as excited about this book as I thought I would. The Kings of Cool is the prequel to Savages, which was made into a movie last year. I absolutely loved that book, so it’s not surprising that this one was disappointing. When you try and retell a story, or tell parts you thought of after, it’s always awkward. In my opinion, it’s pretty rare to create a successful prequel.
The Kings of Cool follows Ben and Chon as they fight a larger organisation for territory and the safety of those that work for them. It feels like the same story over again, as we watch them get in over their head, make choices that put the other ahead of themselves and get by only by the skin of their teeth. There’s none of the actual excitement of the other novel. I didn’t feel desperate or shook up. Also, O felt like a useless addition. The story couldn’t really have happened without her, but I couldn’t remember why she was there half the time.
Also on the train of women characters, I missed Elena. She was amazing. I felt the absence of the strength of her character, and I think the other characters suffered for it. Savages was captivating bu The Kings of Cool fell short.