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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
The Calling Buds Remix, by B. Coyne Davies, is a character-driven novel set against the backdrop of a medical marijuana startup, or rather, sanctioned marijuana. The main character is Ray, a wounded Iraq war veteran who's lost two fingers and perhaps part of himself. Trying to collect himself again, he takes what appears to be an easy job at a medical marijuana dispensary. This is where the audience gets an inside view of a medical marijuana facility, and through the events and characters, we explore various angles surrounding it. But this isn't a social issues novel alone. At its heart, it's a story about characters, about people learning about one another, working within boundaries, and being open to experiences. I love the conflicts that come up, and Davies handles drama with rawness and respect. She likes her characters and asks us to live with them for a while. She says this book isn't exactly a sequel to The Buds are Calling, but is along the same lines. The interpersonal dynamics feel real, and you'll have fun getting to know these interesting people, from his mother figure Gina (also his cousin) to Jiggy, Gina's husband, who rails against the state-operated cannabis process.
Between the intelligent dialogue and intriguing plot, you'll learn a lot about marijuana startups and the information may dispel some myths and misconceptions about it. As I was steeped in the story, my main concern was whether Ray would find the healing he needed, and I appreciated the characters that Davies created to interact with him. The tension starts right away with personalities firmly established, and the serious drama is balanced well with some humor--sometimes dark, sometimes quirky--but apt. Emotions ebb and flow depending on the situation, and you'll be entertained and perhaps frustrated by the tug of war between the characters, government red tape, big business, and medical marijuana. The personal aspects of the novel and the characters bring this story to life, and Davies is a natural talent. I especially like the way the author builds suspense toward the explosive climax. If you like edgy dramas with strong, opinionated personalities, and a plot that is fresh and different, you will become an instant fan of The Calling Buds Remix by B. Coyne Davies.