Normally when you think of books in the mixed martial arts world one thinks of autobiographies and how-to books. But every now and then an author comes along and writes a fiction novel with ties to the mma community. And when I was presented with the chance to review a fiction book, I jumped at it.
There are a couple of things that need to be stated up front about how I perceived the book.
I didn’t read the first book in the series. Revenge is actually the second but I didn’t realize it.
When presented with a book to review, I don’t read the full press release. This is done to not bias my thoughts on the book. Instead I wait till I receive the book and read the teaser on the cover to get an idea of what is going on.
This later point was something I shouldn’t have done. By that I mean I should have read the full press release. The reason for that is the book centers around an eleven year old boy and my first thought was is this serious for adults?
But once I realized that I was not the target audience, it became a much better read. There are several things that a young adult (9-12) would probably just take as is. I know it is called suspension of disbelief. But as an adult, it made it laughable.
The main character Jason Steed is an eleven year old boy. He has mastered several types of martial arts including tae kwon do, kung fu, jiu jitsu, and judo. He’s a black belt in all of them, something most adults know would take a lifetime to master.
The main antagonist was the evil Triad, a not-so-secret group of Chinese whom are trying to over throw the person with power in China and gain control. Their sinister plot? Raise a lot of money to over throw him. How do they raise the money? They make a children’s cereal that is loaded with addictive illegal ingredients and nearly every child in the UK eats it. Once the expansion moves to the US they would have more money to carry out their evil deed.
Ok so with those two slightly absurd to an adult, but realistic to a child, plot points accepted, it is time to get to the actual story telling of the book.
Steed is approached by the SYUI to infiltrate the Triads and figure out the plan and stop it. The book starts of slow in this as the first hurdle for Steed involves him inside a children’s prison for nearly a month. But after he is done with his time, the book takes off.
The chase is underway as Triads are trying to capture Steed and kill him. They of course have help along the way from the SYUI, giving out Steed’s where-a-bouts, all the while Steed is trying to take them down.
The book was a lot of fun, even with several laughable moments. But each time I read something that was on the absurd side, I thought back to all the children’s movies I have seen and realized this is what kids want.
The author Mark A. Cooper did one fantastic thing with the story. He kept bringing it back to the point that Steed was just a kid. Even with all the violence and action surrounding Steed, Cooper made sure to remind the audience that Steed just wanted to be a boy and do things kids do.
Overall the book was a great thrill ride with twists and turns. The action was non-stop and kept me engaged.