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The Headlock of Destiny

(Titan Wars #1)

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  34 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Some say titans are descended from giants. Others say they are risen from men. But there’s never any debate about where to find them. They will be in the center of a roaring crowd, beating the hell out of each other. From contenders like the Savage and Scott Flawless to pretenders like Richard the Living Portrait and Troll-Blooded Thom, a titan’s lot in life is the same: T ...more
Kindle Edition, 294 pages
Published March 5th 2020 by Cylinder Publishing
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Average rating 4.47  · 
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Jim Phillips
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jim-read-it
An excellent well written wrestling fantasy with great world building and well developed characters. A fast paced story that was unique and very enjoyable. A quick read that I highly recommend and will definitely be looking for the next book in this series. What more trouble can Van get into?
Jacob Heiner
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a fabulous book. It is fast paced, clever, and just enjoyable.

I enjoyed the characterizations of each of the wrestlers. I feel like it would be easy to have a bunch of professional wrestlers be pretty much the same, but they had distinct personalities and goals, which really made things come alive.

I thought the main character was relatable and well developed. The book isn't very long, but he still has very clear character development that is well motivated and believable, which is someth
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you like wrestling and always wanted to see it over the top in a world where that seems normal. This is the book for you. If you like fantasy and world building you will have fun with this. This is absolutely a chocolate & peanut-butter mashup.

This book was pretty much exactly what I expected it to be. It was fun goofy reading. It had characters that were exactly what I would expect from the late 80 mid 90s WWF (WWE) TV spots. The heels were extraordinarily over the top and exactly what any
Eli Kay-Oliphant
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a tremendous page turner. It grabs you by your shirt collar and lifts you off the floor. I couldn't put it down.

It's been a long time since I've watched wrestling, but it was fun to follow the loose references incorporated into this fully immersed fantasy experience. You don't have to know, like, or understand wresting to love this book -- the wrestling element does provide a unique and interesting layer, though.

I really enjoyed this one. Such a cool story, an interesting concept
Lee Fritz
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This. Is. Amazing. I got an advanced review copy after reading Sam’s other offerings. To be frank I am not now, nor have I ever been, a fan of professional wrestling - thus I began reading with some skepticism.

The story that unfolded was completely original and thrilling, carrying a standard of ethical integrity and raw violence. The backstory with lost love was a jump start to our hero who protects the innocent, embraces diversity, and serves as moral compass with his every decision. All that
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First off, this book is just awesome. Fast paced, great story. Entertaining as hell… it doesn’t matter what kind of reading you usually do.

If you’re a wrestling fan, or more specifically, ever had even a passing interest in the golden era of wrestling (80s to early 90s in my book)—this books is for you. I caught several Easter Eggs, with characters inspired by Mr. Perfect, Razor Ramon and a bunch of others.

Don’t get me wrong, the book in no way relies on that nostalgia. The fights and scenari
Calvin Park
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The Headlock of Destiny is unique, and clever, and fun, and enjoyable, with a lovable cast of characters that draw you in to a zany concept that ends up being more epic than you expect. That admittedly long and winding sentence is the best way I could come up with to express my enjoyment of Samuel Gately latest. Created as a sort of mashup of pro wrestling and epic fantasy, the story begins personally, grounded in the main character, Van. But it expands rapidly without every losing that personal ...more
C.D. Gallant-King
You don't need to be a fan of pro-wrestling to get this book, but if you are you'll appreciate some of the inside jokes and references.

Van is a titan, a giant ten-times as a strong as a mortal man, destined to fight and entertain the masses in a wrestling ring. Despite his humble beginnings working at a brewery in a backwater village, he is of course swept up into the politics and show-biz of the fighting circuit, thrust into the biggest tournament in the world, the Headlock of Destiny. Van beco
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was skeptical going in but this book was awesome! I had read some of Gately's other books (Spies of Dragon and Chalk series) which were great, fast paced fantasy/spy novels. I was looking for some entertaining quarantine reading and saw that this had just come out but I wasn't so sure how well fantasy and pro-wrestling would work together. I shouldn't have been concerned. Gately is so skilled at mixing genres. Just like he blended 007 spy tropes into his previous novels, Gately takes everythin ...more
Jeremiah C
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I started and finished this wonderful book in one sitting. It was a tremendously entertaining read!

Headlock follows a titan from his start as a stoop-shouldered warehouse worker at the Headwaters Brewery through his rise to the Headlock of Destiny Tournament in Empire City. The characters remind me of the wonderful WWE wrestlers I grew up loving (or loving to hate) like the Macho Man, the Ultimate Warrior, the Hart Brothers, the Iron Sheikh, and the Undertaker etc. from the 1980 - 1990s. But...
Mikkel Høst
Mar 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Headlock of Destiny is an incredibly entertaining and exciting read all the way through.

I was sold as soon as I read that it mixed fantasy with wrestling, just because of how refreshing that sounded, and I don't think this book could have delivered more than it did here. It mixes fantasy-strawberry with wrestling-cheese to create a great new flavour.

The different wrestlers are all very different from each other, and a surprising amount of them are fleshed out, with full backstories that expl
Brian Kinsella
Jun 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I was very much looking forward to picking this up. I was going into it thinking it would be dripping in cheese and was ready for it. What I got pleasantly surprised me. The typical epic fantasy tropes (world building/coming of age main character/politics) were all done very well. In particular, the main protagonist was an excellently portrayed sympathetic baby-face, which wrestling fan readers will very much applaud and appreciate. For that, I do recommend it.

However, and this might be my own f
Jack Stubblefield
Sep 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was originally intrigued by the idea of sci-fi/fantasy and professional wrestling mashed together. I was not disappointed! Mr. Gately paints a wondrous picture of larger than life titans/wrestlers and the world around them. As a fan of both genres, this book was right up my alley. I enjoyed trying to figure out what titans were based on what wrestlers. I enjoyed the little easter eggs dropped in the story (Scott Hall LOL). By the time I finished the book, I was disappointed that the sequel was ...more
Apr 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a surprise!

I picked this book up after hearing it advertised on Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard. I figured, what the hell? I like fantasy, and I like wrestling, so why not give it a shot? I went in with VERY low expectations. Wow. I was hooked before I finished the prologue. The characters are believable, and, to a wrestling fan, it’s easy to spot the inspiration for most of them. The story is actually pretty gripping, and the world building is pretty good. I’m heading over to Amaz
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was a pleasant surprise. A mashup of two genres that work so perfectly together it's amazing it hasn't been done before.

I really enjoyed this adventure story. The main character, Van The Beer Man, is vulnerable, endearing and impossible not to root for. If you're a wrestling fan, the references will jump right out at you. Some of the liberties taken with familiar archetypes are very creative. If you're a fantasy fan, you'll enjoy a rich world that slowly unfolds as giant Titans fight,
Asit Goswami
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This tale is terrific. Titans. Beer. Wrestling. What's not to love?! I enjoyed following Van, the lovable misanthropic main character on his journey through this fantastic society that I can't wait to read more about.

This is a creative story that is fun and carries more depth the deeper you go in.

Now, I hear the crowds in the wrestling pit calling for more from Gately!
Charishma Hunjan
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Oct 28, 2020
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Greg T Robertson
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Mar 14, 2020
Chris Newton
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Mar 30, 2021
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Nov 03, 2020
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Mar 20, 2020
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Feb 01, 2021
L J Field
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Sep 09, 2020
R. Joseph
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Apr 27, 2021
Richerd Solomon
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Dec 25, 2020
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Anthony Richter
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May 15, 2020
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Samuel Gately is a writer of novels and short stories in the fantasy genre. Most have spies in them. Samuel lives in Oak Park just outside Chicago with his wife, daughters, and overly fluffy dogs.

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