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The Combat Codes

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  87 ratings  ·  11 reviews
The Combat Codes fuses thrilling mixed martial arts action into an immersive sci-fi world. A must-read for any fan of unarmed combat.

Murray Pearson is sick of buying broken kids from the slave Circles. He's sick of training them to become skilled combatants, only to watch them break again. He's sick of reporting his failures as a talent scout to men who don't have the
Paperback, 408 pages
Published October 31st 2015 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  87 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Debut author Alexander Darwin really pleasantly surprised me with the Combat Codes. Heard about it first on the reddit's Fantasy sub, basically described as taking place in a dystopian world where hand to hand combat between champions determines political disputes between nations. Cool premise, but the story is really where this novel got me pulled in. It's fantastic, full of twists and turns with likable and realistic characters. And the action scenes really are fantastic.

I'd describe it as
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
A whole lot of elements were thrown into a blender for this one: MMA, cyberpunk, qualification trials, combat schools. It's not badly done, but I'm rating a bit lower because of how well-worn the plot points and character archetypes felt.
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Story

This story is mostly fighting/combat set in a scifi universe. Older, retired fighter finds young hopeful in a fighting pit. Retired fighter recruits young fighter for a battle school. Young fighter is awesome. Retired fighter discovers why young fighter is awesome, rocks young fighter's life with the truth.

The obvious parallel is to Ender's Game - especially with a young boy going to a fight school, but more like if Ender had been sent to a Japanese judo school and learned to fight. It
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I enjoyed 'The Combat Codes', the first book in a series by Alexander Darwin.

The story is set in a Sci-Fi world where wars no longer exist. Instead, any disputes that would previously have been settled by going to war, are now fought between regional champion fighters in mixed martial arts, known as Grievars. They fight so others don't have to. Murray Pearson, a former champion himself, now scouts for potential young fighters in the slave circles, recruiting them for the Citadel - a prestigious
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Combat and murder/mystery

A fascinating world where single combat is used instead of war. What sacrifices will be made to win (for the greater good)? What will the costs be?

Great book and I am looking forward to the next one.
Kristin B. Bodreau
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway. Reading the description I didn't really expect to like it. I'm not into martial arts in the slightest and I was anticipating something needlessly violent and brutish. I was very wrong.

What I ended up reading was intricate, balanced and emotional. The Grievar, the fighters of the world, are a varied and rich group. The main characters, Cego and Murray, show amazing depth of character. These brutes built to fight were compassionate, noble and
Russell Quinton
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book!

I really enjoyed the plot, the fight scenes and character interaction. I think you have a winning series keep up the good work.
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Paul by: Alexander Darwin
The Short Summary: Deep in the caves of the planet Mercuri, home of the Greiver race, a young slave pit fighter and a grizzled retired veteran fight to find meaning in a world that has forgotten it's ancestral teachings of the Combat Codes. This story is Blade Runner + MMA + Heroic Fantasy. There is plenty of fighting and I loved it all. Any fan of martial arts, particularly the oft ignored art of jiu jitsu and grappling, will find this book satisfying the itch they rarely get scratched in ...more
Davis W. Edwards

A martial arts story that seems real. Interesting world building. A fun story that moves at a fast pace. Realistic martial arts.
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There are no wars anymore. Political disputes are fought by champion fighters that train to be the best of the best in hand-to-hand combat. They fight so others don’t have to. The story follows an orphan boy named Cego who is part of a race of people called Grievars that are born and bred to fight. Cego is found alone deep in the underground by slave traders who sell him to Thaloo’s slave circles. He doesn’t know why he fights but he knows that it is what he is meant to do. Murray Pearson is a ...more
Feb 16, 2016 rated it liked it
This was an interesting tale that takes place in a realm where one on one hand to hand combat resolves the issues of nations. I like the changes in focus between two central characters in the story. Later the focus centers one of the two more than the other. This transition was handled well and fit the story perfectly. The only critique I would offer for this story is the cultures in the story are a central part of the background. Because more detail is not given on them, there sometimes is ...more
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Alexander Darwin is a science fiction author with an unabashed reverence for combat sports. He spends his days getting humbled on the mats, staring at the unwritten pages of his next novel, and questioning the dumb luck that landed him such a beautiful wife and daughter.