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Hope Never Dies

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It's been several months since the 2016 presidential election, and "Uncle Joe" Biden is puttering around his house, grouting the tile in his master bathroom, feeling lost and adrift in an America that doesn't make sense anymore. But when his favorite Amtrak conductor dies in a suspicious accident, Joe feels a familiar desire to serve - and he leap into the role of amateur s It's been several months since the 2016 presidential election, and "Uncle Joe" Biden is puttering around his house, grouting the tile in his master bathroom, feeling lost and adrift in an America that doesn't make sense anymore. But when his favorite Amtrak conductor dies in a suspicious accident, Joe feels a familiar desire to serve - and he leap into the role of amateur sleuth, with a little help from his old friend President Barack Obama (code name: Renegade). Together they'll plumb the darkest depths of Delaware, traveling from cheap motels to biker bars and beyond, as they uncover the sinister forces advancing America's opioid epidemic.


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It's been several months since the 2016 presidential election, and "Uncle Joe" Biden is puttering around his house, grouting the tile in his master bathroom, feeling lost and adrift in an America that doesn't make sense anymore. But when his favorite Amtrak conductor dies in a suspicious accident, Joe feels a familiar desire to serve - and he leap into the role of amateur s It's been several months since the 2016 presidential election, and "Uncle Joe" Biden is puttering around his house, grouting the tile in his master bathroom, feeling lost and adrift in an America that doesn't make sense anymore. But when his favorite Amtrak conductor dies in a suspicious accident, Joe feels a familiar desire to serve - and he leap into the role of amateur sleuth, with a little help from his old friend President Barack Obama (code name: Renegade). Together they'll plumb the darkest depths of Delaware, traveling from cheap motels to biker bars and beyond, as they uncover the sinister forces advancing America's opioid epidemic.

30 review for Hope Never Dies

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rincey

    This is just 1000% camp-y fan fiction. Don't read too much into it. Like there were points in the book where I was like, "Obama/Biden would never say/do/act like that" but then I would shake it off and just keep on keeping on. The mystery is fine, nothing really to write home about. Also, someone give this cover designer a raise. Watch me discuss this book in my July wrap up: https://youtu.be/8kaQcaNn9uw This is just 1000% camp-y fan fiction. Don't read too much into it. Like there were points in the book where I was like, "Obama/Biden would never say/do/act like that" but then I would shake it off and just keep on keeping on. The mystery is fine, nothing really to write home about. Also, someone give this cover designer a raise. Watch me discuss this book in my July wrap up: https://youtu.be/8kaQcaNn9uw

  2. 4 out of 5

    catherine ♡

    Why is this the best and most hilarious thing I've ever seen in my life

  3. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    You know at first I wasn't going to read this but let's be real, after however long we've been living in this ungodly hell of the Trump adminstration (it can't be just a year, it feels TOO LONG) I'm obviously going to read this.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Leah Blackwell

    I don't even know where to start on how happy this book made me. From the minute I saw the cover pop up on a friend's goodreads shelf it has done nothing but make me laugh. I even drew some fan art. not even kidding. This book is clearly absurd. Not thought provoking. Not written with beautiful prose or mind-bending plot twists. But it is magical. I'm buying cases of this book for all my friends and relatives this Christmas. Thanks NetGalley!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Casey

    Let's face it: reading the news these days has replaced cardio for many of us as our heart rate skyrockets from the headlines alone. Remember when we had a cool/sometimes embarrassing dad president with a charismatic veep who just called out malarkey when he saw it? No, it wasn't 100 years ago, but it sure feels like it lately. In this delightful romp of a book, Biden is feeling a little sorry for himself since Obama seems to never call because he has a lot of hip, young friends like Bradley Coop Let's face it: reading the news these days has replaced cardio for many of us as our heart rate skyrockets from the headlines alone. Remember when we had a cool/sometimes embarrassing dad president with a charismatic veep who just called out malarkey when he saw it? No, it wasn't 100 years ago, but it sure feels like it lately. In this delightful romp of a book, Biden is feeling a little sorry for himself since Obama seems to never call because he has a lot of hip, young friends like Bradley Cooper. However, a suspicious death along Biden's beloved Amtrak line brings the team back together, this time with Uncle Joe leading the bumbling investigation. It's a cozy mystery with a muscle car, a bromance with Secret Service detail. While Shaffer could have leaned into nostalgia alone, he's written a solid mystery with the characters fleshed out as more than just cliches. The reader really feels Biden's longing to be helpful and his anguish over seeing 44's legacy undone so quickly by an individual who shall remain nameless. (The presidential zings in this book are incredible, truly.) The tension between the two rings as true as it did when they were in office, like when Biden suddenly decided to support gay rights and had everyone else scrambling to fall into line. By all means, this book shouldn't work as well as it does. For a few hours, I got to enjoy the company of politicians who behaved like adults (mostly). It sure was nice. Does Biden wear aviators? Does he enjoy some ice cream? Does Obama play basketball? You'll have to read to find out! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Quirk, but that in no way impacted my review since I was already excited about this book from Shaffer's previous work.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

    The 2016 Presidential Election has ended. Former Vice President Joe Biden doesn’t quite know what to do with himself. As he watches his former boss Barack Obama vacationing with the likes of Richard Branson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Hollywood superstar Bradley Cooper, he feels discarded and hopeless. All this changes when Obama arrives on Joe’s doorstep one evening with the news of the death of a dear friend of Joe’s.. Hope Never Dies is a fun read with an interesting premise – The 2016 Presidential Election has ended. Former Vice President Joe Biden doesn’t quite know what to do with himself. As he watches his former boss Barack Obama vacationing with the likes of Richard Branson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Hollywood superstar Bradley Cooper, he feels discarded and hopeless. All this changes when Obama arrives on Joe’s doorstep one evening with the news of the death of a dear friend of Joe’s.. Hope Never Dies is a fun read with an interesting premise – “Hey, I got an idea! How about Biden and Obama team up to solve a murder?” When the story begins, it doesn’t appear to be anything deeper than a total bromance between the internet’s two favorite political pals, however, there is actually a pretty solid mystery at the novel’s core. Shaffer kept me guessing right up until the end due to several sly red herrings thrown in to misdirect this reader. I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I can’t say I know much about Joe Biden, so I’m not sure if this characterization comes anywhere close to that of the former Vice President. I’m not sure if that even matters, to be honest. Biden is described as a broken-down man struggling to come to grips with a directionless life. Some of the similes and descriptions that Biden explores are surface-level deep and downright groan-worthy, although, I believe that’s the point. Above all else, it’s his incorruptible character that makes him the perfect fit for an amateur sleuth. On the other hand, Obama is played like the ultimate bad-ass dripping with swagger, which is a far cry from the casual, Dad-jeans wearing forty-fourth president we all remember. That said, he ends up being the perfect Yin to Biden’s Yang. To put it another way, if Biden is Carlton, than Obama is Will Smith. Shaffer succeeds in writing some entertaining back-and-forth dialogue between the two, even if I could never imagine them saying some of the things that come out of their mouths. I have to admit I really only asked for a copy of this book because the cover made me laugh. When I finished it, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. While I generally like my mystery novels dark and bleak, it’s nice to try something lighter once in a while. Hope Never Dies is the literary equivalent to a fun buddy-cop movie; an ideal summer read. Check out my interview with Andrew.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I think if you're going to write a murder mystery wherein the former president of the United States and his hetero lifemate VP solve a murder you've gotta go big or go home. I either want to be laughing my ass off or bowled over by just how accurate the characters are. Alas neither was the case with this very tepid, relatively well plotted mystery that paints Obama and Biden as a sort of old married couple on the outs. Barack hasn't called since the end of their stint in the Whitehouse and Joe ( I think if you're going to write a murder mystery wherein the former president of the United States and his hetero lifemate VP solve a murder you've gotta go big or go home. I either want to be laughing my ass off or bowled over by just how accurate the characters are. Alas neither was the case with this very tepid, relatively well plotted mystery that paints Obama and Biden as a sort of old married couple on the outs. Barack hasn't called since the end of their stint in the Whitehouse and Joe (our narrator) is too stubborn to reach out himself. It isn't until a conductor on Joe's well loved Amtrack line dies under dubious circumstances that Barack appears to suggest the two may want to take a closer look at what's going on. While the mystery itself isn't bad, I actually didn't have a problem buying these two as detectives given the nature of the crime and the resources they'd have access to etc, it just didn't hold my interest. I mean its the entire world's favorite bromance couple for gods sake! Do something interesting with it! The source material is literally endless! The memes alone should have given author Andrew Shaffer one liners for pages and pages! There are some attempts at witty reparte between Obama, Biden and the reluctant secret service agent who'd rather be protecting an active president but has to follow them everywhere and the occasional joke about the uselessness of trying to wear disguises so they can investigate things incognito but for the most part they just kind of drive around trying to figure out whats going on, occasionally butting heads with various police officers and government agents. Its boring which if you'll recall is always, always worse than bad in my book. At least bad gets my attention. There's no reason for a mystery with this awesome of a title and this magnificent of a cover to be anything other than glorious and this just....wasn't.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    3.5 stars Former Vice President Joe Biden is in low spirits. Since leaving office he's been idling around his Wilmington, Delaware home, feeling bored. Meanwhile, Biden's 'best friend', former President Barack Obama, has been hanging out with celebrities all over the world - parasailing, windsurfing; kayaking; and BASE jumping in Hong Kong with Bradley Cooper. As Biden is throwing darts at a picture of Bradley Cooper on his office wall, he's fuming about Obama not calling, texting, emailing.....or 3.5 stars Former Vice President Joe Biden is in low spirits. Since leaving office he's been idling around his Wilmington, Delaware home, feeling bored. Meanwhile, Biden's 'best friend', former President Barack Obama, has been hanging out with celebrities all over the world - parasailing, windsurfing; kayaking; and BASE jumping in Hong Kong with Bradley Cooper. As Biden is throwing darts at a picture of Bradley Cooper on his office wall, he's fuming about Obama not calling, texting, emailing.....or even sending a postcard. It seems Obama has cut loose his "dead weight loser vice-president" and wants nothing more to do with him. Or maybe not. When Biden hears scuffling sounds in his backyard, it turns out to be Obama and a Secret Service Agent named Steve - who've slipped in to deliver some bad news. An Amtrak conductor named Finn Donnelly, whom Biden has known for decades, was hit by a train and killed. Obama delivers the news personally because Donnelly had a map showing Biden's address, and the Secret Service fears Biden may be the target of a terrorist attack. Biden reaches out to cop friend, and learns that Donnelly was suspected of using drugs, and had a baggie full of heroin when he died. Moreover, the police believe Donnelly's death was probably a drug-related accident or a suicide - in which case Donnelly's family won't get his life insurance. Biden doesn't accept any of this. He doesn't believe Donnelly was a bad guy or a drug addict or a drug pusher, and he doesn't want Donnelly remembered like that by his loved ones. So Biden decides to investigate Donnelly's death himself, and Obama jumps on board to help. Obama even offers up his new car, the 'Little Beast' for transportation. The Little Beast - purchased with Obama's own money - is an armored Cadillac Escalade that's as bulletproof and bombproof as a personal car can be. As Biden starts making inquiries, he learns that Donnelly's wife is terminally ill and residing in a long-term care facility. He also discovers that Donnelly had sold his house and was living in a cheap motel. To further his inquiries, Biden plans to visit Donnelly' wife; attend Donnelly's funeral; talk to Donnelly's daughter; examine the accident site; speak to Donnelly's Amtrak co-workers; scope out Donnelly's motel room; etc. Obama more or less tags along for the ride and jumps in when he's needed. Biden insists on 'disguises' for himself and Obama, which consists of things like baseball caps; sunglasses; and an aloha shirt and shorts for himself. This isn't very effective, and most people recognize the former Commander-in-Chief and his right hand man. Secret Service Agent Steve tries to keep Biden and Obama from doing anything dangerous, but he's only partially successful.....especially when the detective duo ditches him. Biden's inquiries infuriate Lieutenant Selena Esposito, who's in charge of the Donnelly case. Esposito warns Biden off repeatedly, but the former Vice President keeps investigating, and charges in where he shouldn't go. Thus the amateur detectives come across a beautiful blonde swathed in nothing but a towel; a dangerous gang; and another dead body!! In the end, Biden demonstrates some serious cojones, Obama proves to be a valuable sidekick; and the truth about Donnelly's death comes to light. As you might expect, there's a good bit of humor in the book, a few laments about the current administration, and Biden's speculations about running for President. In one funny scene, Biden and Obama play a game - popular in the Capitol - called POTUS, SCOTUS, OR FLOTUS. In this game, one player names three women and the other player decides which should be POTUS; SCOTUS; and FLOTUS. Biden names Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, and Hillary Clinton.....and Obama decides who to put where. This is a good story, and (fictional) Biden and Obama make a great sleuthing team. I'd recommend the book to fans of quirky, amusing mysteries. You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....

  9. 5 out of 5

    Edita S.

    Y’all. Wut. This is campy as hell, no doubt about that. Containing some amazing moments such as (slight spoilers): (view spoiler)[An intense fight on a train Obama on a unicorn A very dramatic “GET DOWN, MISTER PRESIDENT” The former POTUS wielding a sawed off shotgun And a whole lot of Joe being slick as shit in a sweet pair of Ray-Ban aviators (hide spoiler)] Would totally recommend. * Thanks, Netgalley! Y’all. Wut. This is campy as hell, no doubt about that. Containing some amazing moments such as (slight spoilers): (view spoiler)[An intense fight on a train Obama on a unicorn A very dramatic “GET DOWN, MISTER PRESIDENT” The former POTUS wielding a sawed off shotgun And a whole lot of Joe being slick as shit in a sweet pair of Ray-Ban aviators (hide spoiler)] Would totally recommend. * Thanks, Netgalley!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Char

    As soon as I saw the cover of this book, I knew I had to have it! Thanks to NetGalley and to Quirk Books for granting my wish. Andrew Shaffer takes the former leader of the free world, joins him back up with Joe Biden, and together they work on a mystery. Amtrak Joe lost a friend, an engineer on the train that he rode nearly every day before he before he became Vice President. (This story is told from Joe's point of view.) After discovering a few unsavory facts about his friend and discovering a As soon as I saw the cover of this book, I knew I had to have it! Thanks to NetGalley and to Quirk Books for granting my wish. Andrew Shaffer takes the former leader of the free world, joins him back up with Joe Biden, and together they work on a mystery. Amtrak Joe lost a friend, an engineer on the train that he rode nearly every day before he before he became Vice President. (This story is told from Joe's point of view.) After discovering a few unsavory facts about his friend and discovering a few things about himself, he teams up with former best friend Barack Obama, and together they set about learning what happened. Will the two solve the mystery of the Amtrak engineer? Will they continue to be friends after this case is over? You'll have to read this to find out. I'll admit here and now that I was and am a big fan of both of these men. It's because I miss them and because the cover made me laugh that I requested this book. HOPE NEVER DIES doesn't get into politics much and I appreciated that. (I did enough comparisons between these two and our current administration in my head, I didn't need anything more spelled out.) I have no way of knowing how close this book comes to the real personalities of these two, and you know what? I don't care! It was a fun and entertaining story and that's all that I was looking for. That said, I had only one big issue and it's likely mine and mine alone. I know that Joe Biden loves cars, (well Corvettes at least for sure.) So do I, and I've worked with them in some capacity my entire adult life. With that in mind, I couldn't understand why a lot of the vehicles referenced in this novel are referred to incorrectly. Ford does not make Impalas. I'm pretty sure Plymouth didn't make Firebirds either. (They made Thunderbirds and Superbirds- Firebirds were all Pontiac.) I did receive an ARC of this book, so perhaps those things were tidied up before publication? Even if not, most people probably wouldn't even notice. Other than that, HOPE NEVER DIES was a lot of fun. It's not going to break any literary records or anything, but as a humorous detective story featuring two of my favorite politicians, it certainly fit the bill! I recommend it to anyone who thinks this premise is fun! *Thanks to Quirk Books and to NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

  11. 4 out of 5

    Leigh Kramer

    If you've wondered what Joe and Barack have been up to since leaving the presidential office or what might happen if they teamed up to solve mysteries, HOPE NEVER DIES is the book you never knew you always needed.  Essentially Obama-Biden fanfic, this was such a fun ride. And honestly, reading it did give me hope. I mean. What if Obama and Biden really are out there fighting crime? Lord knows we could use their help. Just the thought of this being a possibility made me feel warm and fuzzy. Joe Bid If you've wondered what Joe and Barack have been up to since leaving the presidential office or what might happen if they teamed up to solve mysteries, HOPE NEVER DIES is the book you never knew you always needed.  Essentially Obama-Biden fanfic, this was such a fun ride. And honestly, reading it did give me hope. I mean. What if Obama and Biden really are out there fighting crime? Lord knows we could use their help. Just the thought of this being a possibility made me feel warm and fuzzy. Joe Biden serves as our narrator. His bromance with Obama has hit a few bumps in the road since they left office. He's not sure where he fits into Obama's post-presidential life and it was heartwarming and relatable to watch him make sense of it all. He's drawn deeper and deeper into the mysterious death of an Amtrak conductor he knew and Obama is at his side, both helping him and questioning why Joe wants to figure out what happened. Their interactions are so believable. I could see this happening in real life. It was interesting to think about how their relationship might change outside of the Oval Office and what their respective lives would look like. Shaffer clearly did his homework in bringing these two well-known men to life. At the same time, you can't be too tied to your ideas of who they are. There were small moments, like Obama smoking a cigarette or Biden thinking something racist, where I'd think, "they wouldn't do/say that!" But how can I say that for sure? I've never met either man and this is all a figment of Shaffer's imagination. (As far as we know.)  The mystery itself was enjoyable to read. It had some interesting twists and turns and while I'd figured out the killer before they were revealed, it was much closer to the reveal than usually happens for me. I like when I'm kept guessing.  I haven't heard whether this is the start of a series or not but I sure hope we'll get another Obama-Biden mystery, maybe from Obama's perspective next. In the meantime, I'm glad hope never dies when this duo is around. A favorite line: “Barack Obama was, at times, a fortress. At other times, a glass cage of emotion, as Will Ferrell would say.” Disclosure: I received an advance copy from Quirk Books in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    This book was so much fun! "Hope Never Dies" is a murder mystery combined with a bromance. In this case the two buddies are Joe Biden and Barack Obama. When the novel opens, Joe is depressed and misses hanging out with Barack, who soon shows up with news that a railroad employee Joe knew has been found dead. The two decide to investigate, and it was a delight to see how the story played out. The author has a good sense of humor, and I enjoyed the conversations between the former president & vice This book was so much fun! "Hope Never Dies" is a murder mystery combined with a bromance. In this case the two buddies are Joe Biden and Barack Obama. When the novel opens, Joe is depressed and misses hanging out with Barack, who soon shows up with news that a railroad employee Joe knew has been found dead. The two decide to investigate, and it was a delight to see how the story played out. The author has a good sense of humor, and I enjoyed the conversations between the former president & vice president. I listened to "Hope Never Dies" on audio, which was a lot of fun because the narrator did a good Obama voice impression. (I'm still smiling because of how good he imitated Barack saying, "Now, Joe...") I read my share of murder mysteries, and I thought this book was a fun addition to the genre. I look forward to reading the next installment of the Obama-Biden series! *Personal Note: I have to give credit to a cheerful clerk at Malaprop's bookstore in Asheville, North Carolina, where my friend and I were browsing the Staff Picks section, when she walked by and pointed out this book to us. She basically said the first sentence of this review, and that she had recommended the book be featured. I was flying home the next day and didn't have any room in my carry-on backpack for a book (there was no way I was paying $50 to check a bag on Frontier!) but I made note of the title and requested it from the library the first chance I had. As a consolation for not buying the book, I'll mention how wonderful Malaprop's store is and that if I lived in Asheville, I'd be there all the time. Go check it out if you can. Opening Passage "The night this all started, I was in a black Irish mood. And that was before I learned my friend was dead. I was sitting at my computer, and I'd stumbled across one of those so-called paparazzi videos. It opened with a wide shot of Cape Town's fabled Table Mountain. The camera panned down to the white-capped waves in the harbor. An impossibly long speedboat entered the frame, cutting through the surf like a buttered bullet. A parasailor trailed behind the boat, high in the sky, tethered to the stern by a thin rope. The camera zoomed in on the daredevil's face, and I saw that my old friend Barack Obama was having the time of his life."

  13. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    YES I IMPULSE BOUGHT THIS AT THE BOOKSTORE TODAY. DON'T JUDGE ME. I read this in under a day. It is a really fast read, and a surprisingly good one. It's presidential fanfiction and I loved it. It made me super nostalgic for the Obama/Biden bromance (their bromance name is Obiden, pass it on!) and I loved the idea of them teaming up to solve a murder. Because of course they would. I laughed so much during this book. And I really hope this is book one in a long, long series.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Misfit

    Ugh, what a mashed up mess. I would typically have rolled my eyes and moved along, but since this was written by the author of the hilarious Fifty Shames of Earl Grey, I decided to give it a whirl. Clever idea (I guess) to have Obama and Biden getting involved in solving a mystery (is this going to be a series?), but I hate to say it - the jokes fell flat, as did the characters, as did the mystery. Biden is the narrator (first person), and he was especially annoying and his constant falls and in Ugh, what a mashed up mess. I would typically have rolled my eyes and moved along, but since this was written by the author of the hilarious Fifty Shames of Earl Grey, I decided to give it a whirl. Clever idea (I guess) to have Obama and Biden getting involved in solving a mystery (is this going to be a series?), but I hate to say it - the jokes fell flat, as did the characters, as did the mystery. Biden is the narrator (first person), and he was especially annoying and his constant falls and injuries just weren't funny. Nothing was funny, except for the dig at Fox News. Your mileage may vary, as always, but this one just wasn't my cup of Earl Grey tea.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    3.5, it might not be great literature but this will be the feel good read of the summer. It’s like all those meme you love come to life.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    Is this book 100% Barack Obama and Joe Biden fanfic where they solve crimes together in a sweet-ass car? Yes, it is. I love Quirk Books as a publishing company because they publish the weird, quirky shit that other people wouldn't think of. Like who would have gone "oh hey, now that Obama/Biden are out of the White House, let's write a book about them?" Andrew Shaffer, that's who. This was a fun book. It was engaging. I can't attest to how well the author sticks to the personalities of Obama and Is this book 100% Barack Obama and Joe Biden fanfic where they solve crimes together in a sweet-ass car? Yes, it is. I love Quirk Books as a publishing company because they publish the weird, quirky shit that other people wouldn't think of. Like who would have gone "oh hey, now that Obama/Biden are out of the White House, let's write a book about them?" Andrew Shaffer, that's who. This was a fun book. It was engaging. I can't attest to how well the author sticks to the personalities of Obama and Biden, since honestly I have never met them or researched them much. It was a fun mystery, not too scary, not boring at all. The fun of this book, I think, is giggling over the situations that Obama and Biden find themselves in, and how they interact with one another. Especially in the shithole that is the Trump administration, it's nice to think these guys are out there, still doing good deeds in the world. I hope they actually read this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Delightful! I went into this with somewhat dubious expectations, but I really enjoyed it and hope this is the beginning of a series. Joe Biden has been out of office for six months, and he's down in the dumps. He hasn't heard a word from his old friend Barack Obama, and meanwhile he's tortured by a constant stream of photos of Barack having fun with various celebrities. But when Barack shows up to break the news that Joe's favorite Amtrak conductor was killed--and found with a map marking Joe's h Delightful! I went into this with somewhat dubious expectations, but I really enjoyed it and hope this is the beginning of a series. Joe Biden has been out of office for six months, and he's down in the dumps. He hasn't heard a word from his old friend Barack Obama, and meanwhile he's tortured by a constant stream of photos of Barack having fun with various celebrities. But when Barack shows up to break the news that Joe's favorite Amtrak conductor was killed--and found with a map marking Joe's house--the two do some digging around and are thrown into a mystery involving drugs, an outlaw motorcycle gang, a suspicious blonde, and lots of danger. Along the way, they deal with their friendship, the pains of aging, and whether or not Joe is going to run for president. This made me smile big-time. The story is told from Joe Biden's first person POV and I thought the author captured his voice (or at least what you'd imagine it to be) perfectly. There were times I didn't think Obama's character rang quite as true, but he's a more enigmatic man than Biden, and it was mostly believable (as long as you're willing to accept that the former president and vice president would take up amateur crime solving together). Such a fun mix of mystery and bromance!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    I mean, it was Barack Obama and Joe Biden in a murder-mystery-action-thriller. I got exactly what I expected and I loved it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Colleen Fauchelle

    loved this story.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Speckels (Metaphors and Miscellanea)

    Actual rating: 3.5/5 stars, rounded up because it was just really fun. Hilarious, campy, and some welcome relief from the stressful state of American politics today, Hope Never Dies is one of those quick and wacky reads that you’re not always certain you’re in love with, but also just can’t put down. Plus, an Obama-Biden bromance, from good ol’ Uncle Joe’s point of view? How can that not be freaking amazing? It’s hard to write a lengthy review for a book like this, because…well...it’s a satire. It Actual rating: 3.5/5 stars, rounded up because it was just really fun. Hilarious, campy, and some welcome relief from the stressful state of American politics today, Hope Never Dies is one of those quick and wacky reads that you’re not always certain you’re in love with, but also just can’t put down. Plus, an Obama-Biden bromance, from good ol’ Uncle Joe’s point of view? How can that not be freaking amazing? It’s hard to write a lengthy review for a book like this, because…well...it’s a satire. It isn’t meant to be a top-quality mystery or an in-depth character study or a nuanced critique of America’s problems–it’s meant to be fun, to take a pair of iconic political figures (whose friendship has spawned many a great meme) and put them in a new and crazy environment so that we can pretend their story never ended and they’re still enjoying some fresh victories. And in that regard, it more than succeeded; seeing Biden driving Obama’s new car in a high-speed chase with a biker is a scene I never knew I needed in my life, and I like the juxtaposition the two of them as a crime-fighting duo: passionate, sometimes-bumbling Joe, alongside the intelligent, cool, calculated Barack. Of course, some (okay, a lot of) liberties were taken in the writing of this book, with characters making utterly ridiculous choices–the pair threaten to throw someone in Gitmo (bluffing, but still), Obama has taken up smoking again, and so on. This is, again, a satire, so this is not unforgivable, but in my opinion, the better satirical moments are the ones very closely rooted in reality–Biden goes to a diner and doesn’t order coffee, just ice cream; Biden’s narration uses corny phrases like “not worth a hill of beans,” and other cheesy goodness. They even had memes–at the start of the book, there is a single page that just says, “Acknowledgments: Thanks, Obama.” Even with all his idiosyncrasies, though, Joe Biden’s character was surprisingly deep in all of his feelings, filled with mingled doubt and sadness about his physical aging, the deteriorating state of his relationship with Obama, and the feeling that maybe he didn’t make a difference and never will. These insecurities drive his impulsive behavior, so that even as he is making a muddle of this mystery, you can’t help but root for the poor guy. Plus, as mentioned previously, his narration is spot-on in its language; I could practically hear Biden’s voice in my head speaking every line, especially the ridiculous ones, as well as the ones that pull lines he has said many times in real life (e.g. “now, I don’t have a racist bone in my body…”). The author even thought to include Joe’s slight stutter when he gets flustered or upset. (Also, Biden’s sadness makes Obama look like kind of a dick–take that as you will.) So, to answer a few other burning questions you might have: Is this book super political? No, not really. Obviously Obama and Biden talk about how they feel like they accomplished things in the White House that the present administration is now undoing, but these statements are less an attack on Trump and more a point of character/plot development. Though there is a fair amount of talk about the opioid crisis, as it is central to the plot. What about Biden running for President? This book is set before Joe declares his candidacy; at the end of the book, he is considering whether he wants to run or not. Fear not, the sleuthing does not interfere with a campaign. Is the mystery that good? It’s okay. There were a few twists, but I had a pretty big suspicion about who the bad guy was from early on and ended up being proved correct. This one is more about characters and narration than it is about plot, but you do still get lots of clue-hunting, some action-packed scenes (car chases, shootout on a train), and a wide cast of characters. How about the humor? Well, I definitely laughed out loud multiple times, and I internally chuckled and/or groaned quite a lot. So yeah, I would say it is pretty funny. The humor is very clean, mostly silliness. Bromance or romance? Definitely bromance, just two dudes who are besties. There was one moment though that made me crack up because the two had to share a bed, after desperately trying to not have to do that (hello, fanfic tropes!). In summation: a fun, if corny, read. For anyone filled with nostalgia for the Obama era, and anyone who ever shared an Obama-Biden meme, this one is for you. Don’t expect a masterpiece, but do expect a heck of a fun time.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maine Colonial

    Thanks to the publisher for providing a free review copy. When I saw the cover of this book, it cracked me up and I just had to read it. It’s a lightweight and quick read, but I was surprised to find that as mysteries go, it’s not bad. But the main appeal is that it’s told from the point of view of Joe Biden. I don’t know the guy in real life, but I think we all have an idea of what he’s like and Andrew Shaffer pegs that. Biden wears his heart on his sleeve, he’s corny and old-fashioned—and he ta Thanks to the publisher for providing a free review copy. When I saw the cover of this book, it cracked me up and I just had to read it. It’s a lightweight and quick read, but I was surprised to find that as mysteries go, it’s not bad. But the main appeal is that it’s told from the point of view of Joe Biden. I don’t know the guy in real life, but I think we all have an idea of what he’s like and Andrew Shaffer pegs that. Biden wears his heart on his sleeve, he’s corny and old-fashioned—and he talks a lot. Since leaving office, Biden has been at loose ends and he’s frankly moping. He sees his old buddy Barack Obama BASE jumping, windsurfing, hobnobbing with the rich and famous, and Biden feels jealous and left behind. Then Obama and his Secret Service guy, Steve, show up to tell Biden about the death of Finn Donnelly, an Amtrak conductor Biden had gotten to know well after riding the train for years between DC and Delaware. That’s the premise of this nutty story of the former Vice President and President teaming up to investigate what they quickly decide is a murder. It’s action-packed in a kind of looney way. Making plenty of boneheaded mistakes as they go along, the duo try to solve the case and mend their relationship. The theme of Biden’s hurt feelings gets old fast, but on the whole the book is a hoot.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    A more joyful read than my 3 stars suggest. If you want an easy, breezy, holiday read this is the kind of fun you need in your life. Who doesn’t want to read about Joe Biden head-butting a bikie?

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    This is totally ridiculous and a total delight to read. Good for when you need a palate cleanser of a read that's literal Joe/Barry fan fiction. I enjoyed every second of it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mainon

    I have always wanted to read a book in which Barack Obama and Joe Biden team up to solve a mystery. I just didn't know it until I saw this book. It was exactly the bittersweet catharsis I'd hoped, although Obama's character wasn't as recognizable as I would have wished. I think he's warmer than the reserved version described here. Joe's pretty great, though, if a little bit overly emotional. The mystery itself is perfectly serviceable, too. I'll read the sequel if there is one. I received a copy I have always wanted to read a book in which Barack Obama and Joe Biden team up to solve a mystery. I just didn't know it until I saw this book. It was exactly the bittersweet catharsis I'd hoped, although Obama's character wasn't as recognizable as I would have wished. I think he's warmer than the reserved version described here. Joe's pretty great, though, if a little bit overly emotional. The mystery itself is perfectly serviceable, too. I'll read the sequel if there is one. I received a copy of this ebook from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    Joe Biden is bummed. He and Barack Obama have drifted apart. They were brothers til the end, but it seems like the end came along with the end of the administration. Biden is left feeling his age as Obama wide-surfs with Bradley Cooper. Then one night, Obama drops in with horrible news about one of Biden's favorite Amtrak conductors. This is the first in a series of events that leads old Amtrak Joe down a twisting path to uncover the truth of his friend's untimely death, clear his name, and give Joe Biden is bummed. He and Barack Obama have drifted apart. They were brothers til the end, but it seems like the end came along with the end of the administration. Biden is left feeling his age as Obama wide-surfs with Bradley Cooper. Then one night, Obama drops in with horrible news about one of Biden's favorite Amtrak conductors. This is the first in a series of events that leads old Amtrak Joe down a twisting path to uncover the truth of his friend's untimely death, clear his name, and give closure to his loved ones. Joined by Obama, they rekindle their bromance and seek answers. The way Shaffer has captured the voices of Biden and Obama is amazing. From how Biden casually drops a dated turn-of-phrase, to the coolest professor at the university tone of Obama, the writing in the book is endlessly entertaining, endearing the reader to his versions of the characters immediately. Every chapter is full of humor, charm, and emotional moments that ring true. Hope Never Dies will leave you wanting Obama and Biden back for another caper even more than you want them back for another term.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Rose

    Let me preface this review by stating that this particular book is not great literature; it is corny as hell and reads like terrible fanfiction. However, I believe that that is part of what makes 'Hope Never Dies' a genius. I mean, what could be more entertaining than reading about Joe Biden and Barack Obama solving crimes in a sweet car? Considering who the characters in this novel are, I don’t believe that I need to go into characters too much. However, in terms of the mystery, I wasn't expecti Let me preface this review by stating that this particular book is not great literature; it is corny as hell and reads like terrible fanfiction. However, I believe that that is part of what makes 'Hope Never Dies' a genius. I mean, what could be more entertaining than reading about Joe Biden and Barack Obama solving crimes in a sweet car? Considering who the characters in this novel are, I don’t believe that I need to go into characters too much. However, in terms of the mystery, I wasn't expecting too much; however, I was delighted to discover that the plot contained a fully developed mystery with engaging characters and plot twists instead of fully depending on the Biden/Obama novelty. As for the narration of 'Hope Never Dies,' I didn't care too much for Joe Barrett's performance. I mean, I have heard worse, but to me, it sounded like he had smoked an entire carton of cigarettes before recording. Also, there was barely any voice diversity between characters. Overall, 'Hope Never Dies' is completely batshit with some of the most unreal Obama/Biden scenarios that one could imagine. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone that has had enough of the current administration and would like to escape for some lighthearted entertainment.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Scott Rhee

    It’s the day after the elections. As a friend just recently told me, “We live in a weird state.” It’s true: Ohio is weird. We elected Sherrod Brown to the U.S. Senate with 53.2% of the votes (yay!), but we somehow elected Mike Dewine as governor with 50.7% of the votes. (WTF?) But I don’t think Ohio is unique. If anything, it’s a microcosm of the schizophrenic nature of the entire United States. We want to elect good people, and sometimes we do, but we also---accidentally?---elect assholes like It’s the day after the elections. As a friend just recently told me, “We live in a weird state.” It’s true: Ohio is weird. We elected Sherrod Brown to the U.S. Senate with 53.2% of the votes (yay!), but we somehow elected Mike Dewine as governor with 50.7% of the votes. (WTF?) But I don’t think Ohio is unique. If anything, it’s a microcosm of the schizophrenic nature of the entire United States. We want to elect good people, and sometimes we do, but we also---accidentally?---elect assholes like Dewine. I wonder if people realize that when you fill in that little circle by that person’s name on the ballot, it’s permanent. There’s no do-overs. But, hey, when it comes to elections, we probably get what we deserve. For eight years, those of us who value things like democracy and intelligence and ethics had it pretty good under President Barack Obama. Not saying the guy was perfect, but compared to Trump, Obama was like the love-child of Jesus Christ and Superman, only black. I miss him. I also miss Vice President Joe Biden, who was known for just as many gaffes and forehead-slapping statements as former president George W. Bush. He was a good guy, though. Andrew Shaffer misses them both, too. His latest novel, “Hope Never Dies”, is a murder mystery starring Obama and Biden playing detectives. As ridiculous as that sounds, the book is enjoyable for many reasons. The mystery---involving the mysterious death of Biden’s favorite Amtrak conductor---is decent. It’s no Michael Connelly or John Sanford, but it kept my interest. The best part of the book was the “bromance” between Biden and Obama. If anything, “Hope Never Dies” is a romantic comedy about two unlikely best friends who, for eight years, were extremely close, emotionally and geographically. Then, 2016 happened. Biden and Obama went their separate ways. Biden, according to Shaffer, spends his days grouting tile in his bathroom of his suburban home and feeling jealous watching Youtube videos of Obama parasailing with Bradley Cooper. He also feels upset about what is happening in this country. Then, one day, Obama and his Secret Service bodyguard, Steve, arrive in an Escalade, and the emotional floodgates are opened. There are many comments throughout the book about how Biden would be a good candidate for the 2020 elections, even if he would be the oldest candidate to run for president. Personally, if Biden ran on the Democratic ticket, I would vote for him. But this is fiction. The truth is, to become a viable and effective party again, the Democrats have to start looking for new blood. No more Clintons. No more legacies. No more old-school. Having Biden run in 2020 would just be proof that the Democrats learned nothing from the last election. As much as I like Uncle Joe, we owe it to ourselves to look for younger, smarter, more in-tune candidates. The title, by the way, is a sentiment that I believe in...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Kelsey

    A detective novel with Biden and Obama as protagonists is just too golden an idea to pass up. It was hilarious and really enjoyable to read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    Former VP Joe Biden has spent the months following the 2016 election puttering around his house in a state of depression.  While he's grouting the master bathroom, Barack Obama is living his best life with stars like Bradley Cooper and has seemingly forgotten Uncle Joe. Joe is surprised when Barack shows up at his home one evening to tell him about the death of an Amtrak conductor Biden befriended years ago during his time in the senate.  The death is suspicious and Joe feels the need to find the Former VP Joe Biden has spent the months following the 2016 election puttering around his house in a state of depression.  While he's grouting the master bathroom, Barack Obama is living his best life with stars like Bradley Cooper and has seemingly forgotten Uncle Joe. Joe is surprised when Barack shows up at his home one evening to tell him about the death of an Amtrak conductor Biden befriended years ago during his time in the senate.  The death is suspicious and Joe feels the need to find the truth for his old friend's family. Joe begins his own investigation with some help from Barack (and his secret service detail), leading them through the seedy Delaware underworld of cheap motels and biker gangs to uncover the truth behind the opioid epidemic and clear his old friend's name. This book is ridiculous in the best way.  It's a cozy mystery that succeeds simply because of the characters.  It has nothing to do with politics, there's absolutely no need to be fans of Obama and/or Biden to enjoy the humor here.  If you laughed or rolled your eyes at all the Obama/Biden bromance memes of the past few years, this is a book that takes it to the next level. And that cover is beyond epic! If you enjoy cozy mysteries, humor that pokes fun of public figures, and bromance --- do yourself a favor and pick up Hope Never Dies. For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    When I first saw "Hope Never Dies" advertised on Goodreads, I assumed it was a joke. Not that that's a bad thing. It would have been a very funny joke. The cover alone brought me great joy. Obama and Biden solving mysteries together? Yes please! So when I picked up the book and found out it was for realsys and written like a Dan Brown thriller? Joey was quite happy. HND picks up about a year after the election of he who shall not be named (and never is in the book). Biden is in a funk. Obama has b When I first saw "Hope Never Dies" advertised on Goodreads, I assumed it was a joke. Not that that's a bad thing. It would have been a very funny joke. The cover alone brought me great joy. Obama and Biden solving mysteries together? Yes please! So when I picked up the book and found out it was for realsys and written like a Dan Brown thriller? Joey was quite happy. HND picks up about a year after the election of he who shall not be named (and never is in the book). Biden is in a funk. Obama has been having the year of his life with famous friends and Joe feels replaced and forgotten. Then Biden finds out an old friend of his (an Amtrak conductor, naturally) dies in a mysterious way and boom we're off to the races! Andrew Shaffer could have done a lousy job with this book and I would have understood. The premise is patently ridiculous. Instead, he wrote a fantastic book and was as fun to read as it was funny. Most of the twists I saw coming but no more or less than I do while reading other thrillers. I know this book is meant to be a one off spoof/satire but please, please, PLEASE write another one Andrew! Don't let this series die! (You see what I did there?)

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