Day One: Birth is a Death Sentence
(The Kachada Series, Book One), by Don Sedei
Hi guys, how have you been?
If you’ve got your favourite drink to hand and are all settled in, then I’d love to introduce you to today’s book, Day One: Birth is a Death Sentence (The Kachada Series, Book One), by Don Sedei.
In the year 2010, Kachada Toscano is called upon to help a group of US senators by detailing the truth about his mysterious link to the CIA and numerous murders. Most of the story takes place in the 1970s as Kachada recounts his journey of how he became the hardened and ruthless man he is.
Once a hopeful young man who dreamed of becoming a neurosurgeon, Kachada was unfortunately diagnosed with cancer and given just two years to live. He recounts his troubled life journey to the aforementioned US senators and as he does, we learn that his life so far has been an eventful one. We learn not only of his cancer diagnosis, but also about his childhood; how he grew up learning the ways of the Comanche native American tribe and thereafter, learning the customs of his Sicilian side with their mafia connections.
When Kachada accidentally kills the henchman of a very dangerous terrorist while travelling abroad (working for a racing magazine), his life becomes one of constant danger and risk.
There were many characters included in this book, five of which stood out to me.
Kachada Toscano was a complex character. His mixed Comanche and Sicilian ancestry lent him a unique appearance, as well as a set of unique life skills. Cursed with a photographic memory, he remembers everything he’s ever seen, even things that bare not thinking about. Throughout the book, I noted that he had a silent power to his presence; a kind of natural dominance that provided a unique sense of tension in his interpersonal interactions. I found him to be tough, resilient, and reckless. However, qualities such as his deep love of art and the care he had for his family lent an occasional gentleness to him which helped to balance his darker qualities. Despite his doctor’s assertions that he wouldn’t live for more than two years after his cancer diagnosis, Kachada defied these expectations and led a rich and somewhat wild life.
Kachada’s mother was an interesting character, although we don’t see much of her throughout the book. She was a highly intelligent woman, though was not the sort of woman I would picture when I think of mothers in general. She was a reserved individual, who didn’t show much outward affection for her son, however, the reasons for this became clear over the course of the story as I learned just how much she had been through. Her reserved nature appeared to be her way of dealing with everyday life and its various horrors.
Hayri Sadik, at first glance, appeared to be no more than a shabbily dressed businessman. His first meeting with Kachada was a strange one, however, as Hayri became a bigger part of Kachada’s life, he became like a close friend or confidante, always looking out for him. Hayri was always full of information, as though he had eyes and ears everywhere. He was a firm friend to Kachada and I found myself liking him all the more as the story progressed.
Chief Peta of the Comanche tribe (Kachada’s grandfather) played an important role throughout Kachada’s life, firstly with training him in the ways of the Comanche warriors, and secondly by offering guidance to him as he grew up and visited the tribe. Chief Peta was a dear mentor to Kachada, with a tough but fair attitude, boasting decades of learned wisdom about the natural world. The Chief’s special gift with art, especially painting, saw his more natural way of life connected with the modern world and their museums, where his work was proudly displayed. Kachada learned a lot from him and, in my opinion became a better man for having spent time with him.
Finally, we come to Aponi, a girl rescued by Chief Peta, only to later become Kachada’s wife. She was a beautiful, confident, and charismatic woman, who was full of passion and spirit. As an upcoming Comanche model, she was often described as exotic and inspiring, but her real depth lay in her devotion to family and to Kachanda in particular. Their bond was stronger than any other in the story and could be felt whenever they shared a scene in the book.
There was much to like about this book. Listed below are a few things which made my reading experience enjoyable.
- The story begins with an action sequence, with Kachada running from those who would do him harm. This immediately hooked me into the story and gave me a glimpse of the type of man Kachada was and the sort of life that he led.
- The author made excellent use of sensory description in order to set each scene. Little details such as the texture of objects or the peculiarities of a person’s mannerisms created a vivid picture of events in my mind.
- Learning about Kachada’s time spent with his Comanche relatives was interesting and provided added context to his upbringing and warrior-like lifestyle of the present (as an assassin), as did his time spent working for his Sicilian relatives in the mafia. Both sets of experiences, though different, shared a sense of danger and risk, and helped to shape him into a strong and resilient individual who could take care of himself and any trouble he encountered.
- The author’s writing style is to the point and flows well, which made for ease of reading. The character’s emotions are conveyed well through speech, action, and subtextual references.
- There were several emotionally moving scenes with family members throughout Kachada’s journey, each of which made me feel for his plight, but also made me feel the undying connection of family.
Throughout the book, I identified three quotes which left me thinking.
1) ‘Birth is a death sentence, so make every minute count.’
2) ‘To survive in the beauty of nature, you have to kill the ugly beasts that live within it.’
3) ‘The world’s filled with twisted souls, twisted ideology, for all kinds of twisted reasons.’
Day One: Birth is a Death Sentence was a gripping, action-packed adventure that explored ancestry, justice, and vengeance. With plenty of action and bloodshed, I would recommend this to those over eighteen.
My rating: 4 stars. A well-developed story, with an intriguing main character and nail-biting tension.
Recommended to: lovers of action-thrillers, which contain themes of justice, vengeance, and family.
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Have a wonderful week,