From Vegas With Blood by Jonathan Sturak

Review: First person POV isn’t my favorite mode of reading and even more so when it’s a collection where you have to refocus on different characters each chapter. I suppose I tried to look for a common thread, and though each story is suppose to be connected to Las Vegas, it didn’t come over that way for me.

I could see the direction in each story and sense some of the emotion behind the character’s telling, but I found them mildly of interest at best. At times, descriptions were rather odd, and at others somewhat repetitive, but what really decided things for me was the story of the kiosk interspersed throughout. Certainly, it did start the collection off with a unique view I could understand as giving reason for the stories included, but I hadn’t forgotten about it while reading, so a reminder every chapter distracted me from the other works unnecessarily.

I found the majority of the stories very much directed towards a certain audience, quick reads which might make you think if you are familiar with the terms, lifestyle or setting, but weren’t especially thought-provoking. I would very much consider “From Vegas With Blood”, a niché genre of fiction.

Description: They say that a new light shines in Las Vegas for every person who visits. But unlike the countless millions who visited Sin City this year, today you decided to be part of the ‘what happens’ that ‘stays’. After exploring the lights, you find a job as a salesperson at a kiosk on the Strip.

It’s your first night and Daniela is your trainer. She seems friendly providing you with the secrets on living and working in Sin City, but she possesses a quality that you can’t place. After quickly learning the job, Daniela gives you a special book containing eleven stories of love, mystery, and suspense-this book. As you read these stories, you begin to realize this book, Daniela, and the lights of Las Vegas are not what you imagined! Will your Vegas light shine Blood Red

Kindle Edition
Published February 5th 2011 by Pendan Publishing
Source: Author

Author Bio:

Jonathan Sturak grew up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. He is a Penn State University graduate and holds degrees in Computer Science and Film. He currently lives in Las Vegas where he uses the energy of the city to craft stories about life and the human condition. “The Place Called Home,” Sturak’s essay about Eastern European heritage in Northeast PA, was featured on Glass Cases, associate literary agent Sarah LaPolla’s pop culture blog at His debut thriller novel “Clouded Rainbow” was published in December 2009. Sturak keeps updated information on his website at


Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Reviews

2 responses to “From Vegas With Blood by Jonathan Sturak

  1. Sounds a bit experimental. Good review.

    I love first-person POV when delivered in old time radio dramas such as hard boiled detective types where the protagonist’s descriptive thoughts are swimming around in his head, but that sort of thing was necessarily mixed with spoken dialogue of other voice actors (say, once the hero arrived at the scene of a crime).

    • The thing with that is, for non-English primary speakers like myself, 1st person POV is very individualized and based more on the writer’s/character’s voice. Many 1st person POV’ers make a lot of assumptions when writing than someone automatically knows what they are referring to. Also, if it is a story which is written for a specialized audience, if the story itself doesn’t appeal to me, then even less so if it’s written in 1st using a character I have nothing in common with.

      Also, 1st can be a difficult medium in my opinion, but it depends on that writer’s skill. One of the most common and problematic thing I’ve noticed reviewers or critiquers mention is when a writer is “telling the story rather than showing the story”, a lack of transitioning and different perspective which makes the story well-rounded. Depending on the genre, I’ve read more readers don’t care for it much either, for whatever reason.

      To some it is easier writing in 1st person, but I think it is more difficult to do it well, where the fact it is 1st person is not in the forefront of the reading experience. I enjoy a 1st person story such as Maria McCann’s “As Meat Loves Salt” where it is from a central character’s view, but the narrative portions set the stage separately from that. From my reading experiences there are less writers who can pull that off effectively.

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