As far as sequels go, this book was fantastic! I was really surprised that I enjoyed this book as much as I did. Winger is still better, however Stand-Off was a great follow up.
As in life, tragedy doesn't slow things down for Ryan Dean. Smith's foray into grief has Ryan Dean dealing with the aftermath of the tragedy of his best friend. Smith's writing is honest, and raw. He captures Ryan Dean's grief, his struggle to process the tragedy, and emotion.
Much like Winger, the humour is present, juxtaposed against Ryan Dean's pain, and it pushes the story forward much like it is pushing the character forward to come out the other side of his grief.
“I’ll tell you what, Ryan Dean. If it makes a difference, and I believe it might, we won’t call you fly half. We’ll call you stand-off. I prefer the name for the number ten, anyway, because it really says what it is you do on the pitch–you stand off from the pack and you design the strategy for the squad to win.”