Exit Velocity

A Novel

Fiction - Science Fiction
376 Pages
Reviewed on 04/30/2024
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Barbara Gregorich is the author of the ground-breaking book on women in baseball, Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball, and also the baseball novel She's on First. She has written the mystery novels Dirty Proof and Sound Proof, as well as Guide to Writing the Mystery Novel: Lots of Examples, Plus Dead Bodies. Her first YA novel, The F Words, centered on immigrant rights and freedom of speech. Both The F Words and her new novel, Exit Velocity, were inspired by her desire to feature working class characters and their struggles in today's world — the struggle for jobs and the struggle for social justice.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Manik Chaturmutha for Readers' Favorite

In Exit Velocity by Barbara Gregorich, Rowan Pickett grapples with grief, unemployment, and societal tensions while encountering a mysterious parrot. Amidst her struggles, she seeks help from Titus Longshaw, navigating interruptions from Jake Terranova and encounters with Zeb Snoddy. Securing a job boosts her confidence, leading her to advocate for social justice and women's rights. However, she faces numerous challenges at work, and things get even more complicated when she has a confrontation with Snoddy, putting her newfound stability at risk. As tensions escalate, Rowan mobilizes her community and allies to demand justice, showcasing resilience and strength in the face of adversity. The title captures the essence of the story by comparing to physics the speed at which an object leaves a particular space or system. Metaphorically, it can represent how strongly people keep going despite facing tough times.

Barbara Gregorich's writing style is engaging and descriptive. Her attention to detail and skill in conveying emotions make the story interesting. The characters are complex and relatable, each struggling with their internal conflicts and external pressures. Rowan's resilience in the face of grief and unemployment, Jake's moral dilemma regarding his interview with Rowan, and Deeply's mysterious mission on Earth all contribute to the depth of the story. The parrot (Deeply) adds intrigue and suspense, keeping readers engaged and curious about its significance. Its involvement in pivotal scenes heightens tension and unpredictability, enhancing the overall story. The discussion of societal justice is of paramount importance as it reflects the real-world issues and challenges faced by many individuals today. From gun control to economic inequality, the characters grapple with complex social issues that resonate with readers on a personal and emotional level. Themes such as loss, self-discovery, and ethical duty are intricately intertwined, evoking deep reflection and emotional connection. Exit Velocity is a captivating narrative that showcases bravery and resilience amid life's challenges. Ultimately, readers will find themselves deeply moved and inspired by its powerful message of hope, making it a genuinely compelling and impactful story. It is highly recommended.

Pikasho Deka

In Exit Velocity, a science fiction thriller by Barbara Gregorich, it's been just a year since Rowan Pickett lost her beloved sister, Clari, in a high school shooting. She must now fend for herself as her mother has abandoned her, and she has lost her job as well. Known as 'Gun Girl' among the public due to her stance on guns, Rowan has a nemesis in Zeb Snoddy, a white supremacist. Meanwhile, a uniquely intelligent parrot named Deeply intervenes in her life as podcaster Jake Terranova pesters her for an interview. With the help of Titus Longshaw, the leader of Working Class Control, Rowan gets a job at Package Nova. But after a heinous attack on her and her friend Keisha by Zeb, Rowan transforms herself into a leading voice of the working class against corporate greed and tyranny.

Exit Velocity is an absorbing novel that highlights some increasingly relevant real-world issues. With a captivating story and a compelling cast of characters, Barbara Gregorich infuses apt and poignant social commentary on late-stage capitalism into the narrative. The book is entertaining and gives you a lot to consider about the state of human civilization and modern society. The author keeps the plot moving at an even pace, using a multi-POV narrative that gives readers a view into the psyche of the three main characters. You can't help but sympathize with Rowan and root for her to win her battles. While I enjoyed the dynamic between Rowan and Jake, I absolutely adored Deeply (DeePlea) the parrot. If you're a science fiction fan who loves stories that mirror real-world issues, this will be right up your alley.

K.C. Finn

Exit Velocity is a work of fiction in the science fiction, adventure, and interpersonal drama genres. It is best suited to mature readers owing to the presence of moderate scenes of sex and violence, and some use of strong language throughout. Penned by author Barbara Gregorich, the plot follows Rowan Pickett as she navigates the aftermath of her sister's murder in a high school shooting and her mother's departure. Determined to survive, Rowan seeks employment and finds herself at Package Nova, a global shipping firm in Chicago. Amidst the chaos of conveyor belts and workplace politics, Rowan faces challenges from a sexist foreman and a white supremacist, Zeb Snoddy. Meanwhile, Jake Terranova, a podcaster, becomes entangled in Rowan's world, suspecting her connection to a parrot named Deeply with unusual abilities. As their paths converge, Rowan, Jake, and others find themselves at the forefront of social change, challenging the status quo and inspiring the working class to embrace possibility.

Author Barbara Gregorich utilizes every drop of creativity to craft a riveting and thought-provoking novel that delves into themes of resilience, activism, and societal change. There’s a powerful sense of drive and detail in the narrative that catapults readers straight into this world, drawing them into the lives of characters grappling with personal and political challenges that are complex, perfectly logical, and fully rounded. Rowan's emotional journey from grief to empowerment is palpable, and the techniques of close narration and thought presentation allow readers to sit on her shoulder with empathy for her situation. The convergence of diverse characters, each with their own fully thought-out motivations and struggles, highlights the interconnectedness of individual experiences within broader social movements and gives the novel a sense of community and a world wider than just our central hero. Through vivid storytelling and dynamic characters, Gregorich presents a nuanced exploration of activism and solidarity, ultimately leaving readers inspired to contemplate the potential for social change in their own lives. Overall, Exit Velocity is a poignant work that I would highly recommend to readers seeking something deeper in their next read.