Yo-Yo (All Tied up with String #4) review by: Mandy Tyra

Spinning in as the 4th twisted All Tied up with String personalized story is Yo-Yo and this one is an all spun out, brutally sick little tale. Sprinkled with just enough dark humor to make us feel uncomfortable, hop-the-fence in a squirm.
It stars Zachary Walters, that popular reviewer feller from the Ex Libris The Eyes of Madness blog.
Zakk enjoys scary books, cheap whiskey, smooth yo-yo’s, and long moonlight lurks on the Cali beaches with the above items firmly in hand.
Taken from his website, well, except that last one. Maaay have overtaken a touch of creative license there…. 😀

Right after I read this wicked tale, I felt a taunting pull to seek out some yoyo tricks, see what all this hoophla is about.
Moves like hoophla, hop the fence, barrel rolls…
And WOW, I had no idea it was that intricate! It really is an art form and I was completely transfixed.

Whirling in at around 28 pgs.

“Playing with a yo-yo, or a return top, is the manipulation of a toy that requires patience, precision, balance, and the right amount of string tension. Expect cuts, scrapes, bruises, and string burns. Apply the qualities and characteristics of this toy to anything else and it sounds a bit morbid.”
Zachary Walters ~ the unwound and unsound dictums of…

Zachary Walters is a loner but he never feels alone, not with his coveted (cough…modified cough-cough severely) collection of yoyo’s.
He plays with them, pampers them, cuddles them, names them, has conversations with them….yea, Mr.Walters is a little schizophrenic.
A bit batshit.
And whilst he may be missing a bearing or three on his fractured axle, in no way is it a debilitating kind of…condition. He is smart and cunning, finely attuned and calibrated to his own special needs and…hobbies, uses his good looks and swift skill-set to tally up a different sort of collection.
With Molly, his favorite (shhh don’t tell the others) and most proficiently clean-cut yoyo tucked away in invisi-whip mode, he snap-starts his prowl, eyes his pretty mark, and formulates his flytrap.
A momentums worth of hesitation finds him strung out in a lindy loop… just who’s stringing whom along here, child’s play…this is not. Is he saavy enough to throw down an iron-whip sleeper pull before it all spindles out of control???

You really can’t help but almost like that raving schizo, you know you’re not supposed to but I found myself rooting for him, at times.
That’s the beauty (and beast) of a Keane badguy, they are always written with a layer or two of likeability.
It’s a love to hate/hate to love kind of thang.
Yes, my morals have been questioned.

This story was fun and fast paced, a breakaway brain-twister!
Big props to Keane for making such an interesting story centered around yoyo’s, I’m sure it was a challenge. There really is nothing he can’t write.

** I apologize to any yoyo enthusiasts that I may have offended with my lame puns….
I was over a barrel..roll….sss :/

So this go round, I didn’t have to frogger across the pond for my journalistic investigating, since Mr. Walters is a fellow American. Out in California, SWEEET, it’s so beautiful there!
With legitimate wine in hand and illusioned meet and greet underway, I proceed to ask Zakk the tough questions. He was in-hiding and rather combative at first but I broke him.
I gots skills too. 😉

1.) How do you know the author?
I connected with Stuart as most do these days, on social media. Facebook. I had been looking at his titles for a little bit with some interest. I had recently joined a podcast lineup and found my way to a Facebook release party Stuart was throwing. We chatted a bit and got to know each other’s interests.

2.) What is your first and/or favorite Keane book?
I ended up winning a copy of Charlotte at said facebook release party. I devoured that book the day after the party, loved it, then purchased The Customer is Always… I devoured/loved that one as well. At the moment I’d say that Cine is my favorite Keane read, entertaining and brutal as all hell. That book got to me.

3.) Tell me a little bit about the treasured topic you chose for Keane to utterly desecrate with little or no regard for?
I got into Yoyoing a few years back when my kids got Yoyos for Christmas. I got one so I could play with them. We all kind of lost interest pretty quickly, then one day I saw a video of a modern master doing a stage demo and I was hooked. Coupled with the myth (conceived and perpetrated by one of the larger Yoyo companies) that it was an ancient weapon, I thought that it could make for a great horror story.

4.) Are you equal parts disturbed and delighted with you tailor-made tale?
Delighted, for sure. There are a couple of aspects to Yo-Yo that I love. Without going into spoiler territory, an aspect of “Zach’s” character I simply adore and made me smile wide. On the other side of things, one action by the antagonist, intentional or not, shows a complete disregard and disrespect to “Zach” (back to the whole walk-the-dog thing). I thought it was perfect. All-in-all I think Yo-Yo is great.

Preciate ya Zakk, thanks for playing along, you are the 2nd Keane pawn plaything to name Cine as a favorite ~ I agree!
And major points for giving Keane that unusual topic to play with.
He also tells me he can do the skin-the-gerbil and gentrified yoyo tricks, those are some pretty complex and amazing looking moves but OUCH, those yoyo’s really do pack a punch when hit in the head. I think I’ll stick with my fidget spinner. Old dog, new tricks, and all that jazz.

Next up Keane free-range tackles reviewer extraordinaire Nev Murray from Confessions of a Reviewer with a story called Primitive about turkey dinosaurs. Really Nev…turkey dinosaurs
Eh, outta be a funky fowl fun time. And oddly appetizing.
Out in a couple weeks, so till then, TTFN.


You can buy the book here:


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