Kirkus Book Review of Push Back
“Petrosini’s (Ambition Cliff, 2011) second novel is a sprawling tale of politics and family, as the United States and China face off. The story opens in a courtroom, introducing the plight of Andy Chang, who has been wrongly sentenced toprison for crimes against the Chinese government. But it’s his father, Xo “Benny” Chang, who is the center of the Chang family’s portion of the book. The plot follows several different characters, the first of which is Benny, whose connection with factions within the Chinese government now puts him in a position to help his son—if he’s willing to face the consequences. The book’s action shifts between the perspectives of Benny (in order to help his family, Benny is compelled to share secret information with agents of China’s government and give them access to technology), Timothy Lee (an entrepreneur with ambitions of exposing corruption in the Chinese government; the information he uncovers is powerful leverage for the United States—if they can reach him before China does), Chairman Mak of the Communist Party (China takes advantage of a political upset in the White House to attempt to invade Taiwan) and Mary Bacchus (U.S. Secretary of State who becomes the president following a disaster). The premise is intriguing and those interested in Chinese and American politics may glean some new insight from Petrosini’s book.”
Kirkus Book Review of Ambition Cliff -
“This is an interesting story! An enterprising young man tries to forget about his difficult background by becoming successful in the competitive energy business.
Nick Covington had a father who left and a mother who died. Fortunately, he was blessed with a curious mind and a ferocious intelligence, and he uses these gifts to quell the firestorm of neglect, abandonment and hurt still residing in him from childhood. With his mother passed away, he leaves his home in Pittsburgh and heads east to the coal mines of central Pennsylvania. There, he engages a mentor named Stan Henderson, who takes the young and ambitious Nick under his wing and helps him on professional and personal journeys. When Stan takes Nick home to Texas for the holidays, Nick envisions a chance to strike it rich in the oil business. He gets on as a roughneck and, with Stan’s help, climbs the company ladder. However, the promotions are not enough to placate Nick’s hunger, and when he seizes upon the idea to get a stake in the sand-oil business in Canada, he departs once again. Nick eventually finds massive success in Canada, but at the expense of his personal well-being, as his ever-burning ambition ignites alcoholism and sky-high stress levels. Good is never good enough for Nick, who sees professional success as a panacea for emotional instability, and he eventually implodes as all the lying and overreaching finally catch up to him. This is an interesting story!”
Some readers comments -
“Wow, surprise ending!”
“Nick is one of the most complex and interesting characters I’ve come across in a while.”
“Enjoyed the read and learned a few things”
“I really felt for Nick. People w his brand of emotional baggage generally lack the prerequisite confidence to become successful.
The whole book was a great read but the opening portion to his mom’s death was riveting.”
“Great read, the ending caught me off guard”