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The Cartel Series Books 1-7

The Cartel by Ashley Antoinette & JaQuavis Coleman Overall rating: 4 of 5 stars
(This review is solely on book 7)

All ratings
Book 1 - 4 stars
Book 2 - 3 stars
Book 3- 3 stars
Book 4 - 4 stars
Book 5 - 2 stars
Book 6 - 2 stars
Book 7 - 2.5 stars

Book 7 was a 6 hour prologue for the next generation of the Cartel or so it seems

** spoiler alert ** I listened to this book via audible. Unfortunately, I don't have many good things to say about this edition. I'm hoping once I sit with it for a while, my views will change, but I don't think so. I'm one disappointed supporter of the series.

An opportunity to be entertained and "escape" into another world
Another book by the two legends in street literature

The title should have read Prequel or The Beginning Illuminati: roundtable of bosses. There was no real time spent on this "roundtable" or any "boss" moves made in this edition. Anari stood out a bit when she ferreted out why all the former street kings/queens were kidnapped, but that's it. 
There was a 3 yr time jump and then another primary member met their demise in this series and MiaMoore was supposed to be getting out of prison. Anari told her as much. Then there was a 10yr time jump and Mia still has a year or so left on her bid. Maybe 1 + 1 doesn't equal 2 in this book. 

Poor transitions-
I had to listen to the first 3 minutes of chapter 2 three times. The narrator's transitions are poor. There is no distinction between one pov and the next.

If you pay attention, you'll notice not much really happened in this edition. The time jump swallows up any and all potential for drama, angst or anything that would have made this story pop and feel like it was worth the credit & time spent. I would have loved less inner monologues and more action, more movement.

Books 6 & 7 should/could have been combined to be Book 1 of this next Gen of the Cartel. Separately, they served no real purpose, but to get us to the same point. And that is the beginning of a new chapter for this series so the kids can now be the focus.

The inner monologue of Carter's alleged ghost was pointless. However, I believe it will be written as Carter was in a half wake/half dead state i.e. Monroe when he was at death's door and was made to appear dead at his funeral so much that his family had no idea. It is plausible for Carter to come back from a "dream" state. The potential for the father/son conflict is too great for it not to be explored.

I absolutely detest this new style of storytelling. You want to write a series? Great! Your characters have more they want to tell us? Great! BUT, each book should be a story in and of itself. As a reader, you don't want to feel like you are being piece mailed a story and the only way to get it is by stagecoach. 

There is no reason we could not get a glimpse into what happened with Z after Bree left and still have been a prominent character in the next book. Open-ended storylines like that one make for a frustrated supporter of the author's work.

Will I listen to the next installment? Yes. I think the Coleman’s are talented obviously. They know how to spin a tale. Granted you cannot get too invested in any of the characters, but the first 3 books of the series were everything. I hope in Book 8, they recapture the magic that was front in center in Book 1. (less)

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