Michael Hirsch's Reviews > 7th Sigma

7th Sigma by Steven Gould
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's review
Sep 08, 2011

really liked it
Read in September, 2011

I really liked this. Like Gould's "Jumper", this is a coming of age story that is very readable by adults. Like Gould's "Helm", Aikido plays a major role. I thought Gould did a better job of integrating the Aikido than in "Helm". The protagonist (Kim) seemed to have really integrated Aikido into his daily life in a way that didn't happen in "Helm". Kim was always pleasant and unassuming, even when given great opportunity to get angry at social slights, he kept is center and didn't worry about what the other person said. I liked that aspect.

The reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that it feels too obviously like the first in a series. There is a major mystery throughout the book, and it isn't resolved at the end. The characters say "yup, I don't understand it" and the book ends. I prefer my novels to be more complete than that--especially the first book should be complete.

The book is a pretty explicit homage to Kipling's "Kim". The books are about a young street urchin being drawn into a secret service, each section starts with a quote from "Kim", and, of course, there is the protagonist's name. I guess I have to go back and reread "Kim" to see just how many similarities there are.

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