Code Red follows the story of Maddox Kershaw, front man for the mega superstar band Atrous, and is narrated by Roscoe Hall, one of the band’s managers (Maddox’s “personal” manager) who happens to be in love with Maddox and vice versa.
The book mainly focuses on the behind the scenes of one of the most famous acts in the world, the pressure of always being on top, of always being perfect and delivering the goods to their fans. It also touched heavily on the mental health Maddox, who happens to be the Beyoncé of the group.
The book was written in a single POV which was very surprising, rather refreshing because it’s been ages since I’ve read something that has a single POV character, much more from the author. I don’t hate the fact that it was just narrated by Roscoe but I would’ve liked to know what Maddox was really thinking, or to really get a feel of his ‘voice.
I loved that the author focuses heavily on mental health. What’s happening to Maddox was quite harrowing so that’s a bit difficult to read. (This book actually came out when the #FreeBritney movement was finally vindicated after Britney Spears herself revealed to the world how awful her conservatorship has been for the last 13 years and being a big fan, I was horrified to no end and I could only imagine the fame and this whole brouhaha taking a toll on her mental health) It’s the reality. No one is exempted from suffering from mental health issues.
Another thing that I liked about the story is that there are no villains here and no unnecessary drama concerning our main characters. The development of their relationship was rather quick since it happen on the first part of the book so it feels secondary to Maddox’s issues.
If there is something I didn’t like much about this, it’s probably Maddox’s interaction with his band mates because it was quite repetitive. Their group dynamics was very positive, but not exciting. Outside of Maddox, I didn’t really get a feel on the rest of the band. They’re literally secondary characters, if you know what I mean.
I loved the epilogue, I thought it’s sweet. I loved the less-to-no conflict structure of the story and I appreciate the subject matter very much because it’s very relevant. It’s not one of my top five favorites from the author, but I thought it’s a good read overall.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Kindle Edition, 404 pages
Published June 24th 2021
About The Author
N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way. She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.
She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things… but likes it even more when they fall in love.
She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal. She’s been writing ever since.