Stork's writing is straight forward, no tricks needed, beautiful. He's created three dimensional characters that engage in very realistic dialogue. While I read The Last Summer of the The Death Warriors, I recognized Stork's style and skill. Though, its when I looked back on the story that I truly appreciated what Stork did.
Ever since his father died, 17 yr old Pancho Sanchez, has been responsible for his sister, Rosa. Pancho is three years younger but Rosa has the mind of a child. When Rosa is found dead in a motel room, Poncho feels responsible and believes she was murdered. The police say Rosa died of natural causes.
With no family, Pancho's placed in an orphanage. Pancho wants to leave to find and kill his sister's killer. At the orphanage, Pancho meets Daniel Quentin, (DQ) who is dying of brain cancer. DQ believes their lives have crossed for a reason. Pancho doesn't know what to make of DQ.
Pancho agrees to go along with DQ, to another state, where he'll undergo experimental treatment. Pancho wants to use the time away from the orphanage to find his sister's killer. This isn't a mystery. Its a story about choices, decisions, life and death. DQ is writing a Death Warriors Manifesto, a guide to living out your last days to the fullest. DQ shares it with Pancho. As their journey continues, DQ and Pancho will share many things close to their hearts. Stork's words should be fully processed. This is not a story to be rushed, there is much to take away from it.
Read an excerpt
A very nice NYT review