Outskirts Press (2009)
Reviewed by Dylan James (age13) for Reader Views (12/09)
In “Viva Cisco,” Cisco the Parrot goes from adventure to adventure, trying to become famous. He works at becoming a flamenco dancer, a professional wrestler, and even tries to sell words for money. As he attempts to become famous, he is forced to come to terms with himself. Cisco must figure out his true talents, and what he is meant to do. What is the end result? Will Cisco the Parrot ever be famous? Or will he be shamed in his many attempts at changing his life?
There are three parts to “Viva Cisco.” The third part is by far the best. It has an interesting plot and is even funny. It develops the characters and manages to put in educational remarks without seeming to. By itself, the third part is a great book. Unfortunately, the first and second parts are hardly the same. They don’t have anywhere near the plot detail, they are not very funny, they both insert educational remarks in the absolute wrong places, they both aggravate the reader with unneeded slowness, and they even seem to lack the same style of writing. The first and second parts together don’t even make up the amount of pages the third part takes. The third part of the book was good, but not good enough to make up for the failings of its predecessors. The third part saved this book from a terrible review. Patrick Shannon really wrote a good story in the last part of the book. I really wanted to know how it ended, and while I was reading, I learned many things.
To conclude, the third part (by itself) would have been a much better book. The best advice I can give the author is to read the book as a whole. The first two parts are the same style and flow together, but the gap is substantial from the first two parts to the third part. Rewriting the first two parts or taking them out altogether would have really imprinted a much better opinion on my mind.