First off a little disclaimer, I love MMA. I watch as much as I can including the smaller regional stuff that I can find. That being said this book wa...moreFirst off a little disclaimer, I love MMA. I watch as much as I can including the smaller regional stuff that I can find. That being said this book was right up my alley. The book starts off showing Tommy getting beaten up my some local toughs in his small town in Mexico. Furthering revelations show that though Tommy's father was a fighter he died a few years back and his mother doesn't want Tommy to have anything to do with fighting. As often fighting happens, Tommy ignores his mother and stops by his Uncle's gym to see a famous boxer who is returning to his roots to scout some talent.
Tommy is taken in by Sonny, an old friend of his dad's and begins to learn to box. He shows a real talent for everything involved and begins to feel confident about his skills. When a street fight shows him how limited his boxing really is he decides to come to America to train MMA.
I really enjoyed this book for a lot of reasons. First off the author, Jarrah Loh, has an impressive background with MMA so the book has a gritty realistic feel. Second, Tommy is a great character. While the whole concept of a kid from the wrong side of town growing up to be a fighter isn't really new turf the character is done so well that it feels fresh. Third, the fights. The fights are written so that it is easy to visualize everything that is happening inside the ring/cage. Jarrah also doesn't assume that everyone who reads the book is an expert and makes everything accessible to anyone.
This is a series that I will be finishing for certain and an author that I will watch for more stuff from.(less)
Phoenix by A.J. Scudiere is a tough book to summarize without giving away something important to the plot. It's about a firefighter trying to figure o...morePhoenix by A.J. Scudiere is a tough book to summarize without giving away something important to the plot. It's about a firefighter trying to figure out some truths about his past. There are some relationship issues, family secrets, fires, tragedies, and triumphs.
Jason Mondy was a great character to me. I've read some other reviews that say he wasn't a character that people could relate to, but for me it was easy. He wasn't a guy that was great in the spotlight and didn't really seem to go for large social situations. He had his friends and firehouse family, but he really didn't seem to understand certain social interactions. That is very easy for me to understand so I found him easy to empathize with on his journey of discovery.
I thought the plot pacing of the story was done very well. There were parts that pulled away from Jason's mystery a bit, but I thought those did a pretty good job of helping to develop a better feel for the man. I also thought the reveals of the layers of mysteries were spread just about perfectly to really sink their hooks into you right when you started to wonder what was really going on. There were some that I saw coming and some took me totally by surprise.
The only real negative that the book held for me was the large number of characters. There were a lot of firefighters that were introduced at the beginning of the book and a few more throughout. Sometimes these characters were addressed using their first names and sometimes their last which made it a bit difficult for me to keep track of them all through the story. The major players in the book weren't difficult but some of the smaller characters had me a little confused from time to time.
Overall I really enjoyed the book and will be checking out more from this author in the future. I understand she has some audiobooks and that is something that I will look into for sure.
Review copy received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. (less)
The Last Superhero by Stephen Altrogge is a very quick read, I knocked out most of it in a cardio session, about a multi-generational superhero family...moreThe Last Superhero by Stephen Altrogge is a very quick read, I knocked out most of it in a cardio session, about a multi-generational superhero family. It looks at the burdens of being a superhero a little differently such as the trouble that a teenage boy has to have in order to keep his super strength under control while still living a somewhat normal life. There is also a whole new level of pressure when your grandfather is one of the most famous heroes to ever live and your dad... let's just say isn't.
There is a strong message of family unity in this book with a scene that contains a moderate amount of violence making it great for young teens and up. I'm personally well past the minimum of that mark and still enjoyed the story quite a bit. The good guys are well done and have some fairly amusing personalities the bad guy is a bit stereotypical, but I mean that in a good way. He fits the story perfectly.
The end wraps up well with the hint that there could be more to come. I personally would enjoy seeing the Wagner family together again.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.(less)
Light & Dark: The Awakening of the MageKnight by Daniel M. Fife is a story that has some similarities to other books aimed at the same age group....moreLight & Dark: The Awakening of the MageKnight by Daniel M. Fife is a story that has some similarities to other books aimed at the same age group. Taking a seemingly normal 13-year-old (Danny) and revealing that he has a special ability is not really an uncommon plot device. The fact that a new student at his school turns out to be apart of a secret war of light vs darkness and that he and his friends must attend a special school to learn to harness their unique abilities to become warriors for the light all seems familiar. Although the complete saturation of the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson books make a lot of YA fantasy/adventure books ring with familiarity.
All that being said I really enjoyed this book. Danny discovering his powers while standing up to a bully is a great scene that really sets up his character early. The school that Danny and his friends attend is a well designed place filled with very interesting people. I also really enjoyed the dragon/drake aspect of the story. The plot was good and had a fairly consistent pace, it slowed down a bit in a few places, but nothing that killed the book for me or anything like that.
I have a lot of friends who have kids in the right age group for this book and I will be recommending it to them for sure. If you enjoyed the Zero Sight series by B Justin Shier you may enjoy this as well. (less)
The Madman Theory by Harvey Simon is being released in October in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. In the book Harvey...moreThe Madman Theory by Harvey Simon is being released in October in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. In the book Harvey puts a small twist on the election of 1960 by proposing the Nixon was the winner instead of Kennedy. The book then follows the actions that Nixon's "Madman Theory" of political power playing lead to.
Personally I'm a bit young to really remember much of the Cold War and didn't know a ton about the Cuban Missile Crisis going into the book, but my limited knowledge did not take away from my understanding or enjoyment of the book.
I have always enjoyed history so this book held a lot of appeal to me. I was not disappointed in what I found between the covers of this one. While the book does not cover any actual battle, it does an excellent job building the tension of the men who were in the position to make the decision on whether or not to start a fight that could have led to the end of life as we know it. Nixon is shown as a thoughtful man who is riddled with insecurities, making him feel the need to prove how tough he really is to those around him. This makes the threat of war seem even more frightening, not knowing if he would order the nukes launched just to prove how tough he is.
This book is an excellent read for people who enjoy history and especially alternate timeline reading. Well done Mr. Simon.
I received a copy of this book from a literary agent in exchange for an honest review.(less)
Epic Fantasy 0.9b by Will Weisser is a fun story about a boy named Ian. He has always been a bit different, asking questions that no one else really t...moreEpic Fantasy 0.9b by Will Weisser is a fun story about a boy named Ian. He has always been a bit different, asking questions that no one else really thinks about. That has led him to be an outcast in his village and having a rather eccentric father hasn't really helped him in that regard. When The Decay wipes out his village he sets out with Giesling, the local mage, to get help at the capital. Along the way he meets up with Pip, another young man from his village, and Simon who seems to have knowledge that no one really should.
I really enjoyed the unique twist to this book. I had it figured out fairly early on (almost anyway I was off on a minor detail) but that didn't take away any of the enjoyment for the story. Ian and Pip are a bit mature for their ages, though the world that they live in and the things they have been through could probably explain that easy enough.
The book has a solid flow and I read it in a couple of sittings through the course of a day. I really looked forward to getting back to reading it when I had to take a break as I was curious to see what Will was going to do with the unique twist he put on what seemed to be a very standard fantasy tale.
If you are a fan of the fantasy genre and are looking for something a bit outside of the box this is a great book to check out. I'll be interested to see if Ian and Pip continue to have adventure or if this will turn out to be a one and done story world.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.(less)