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Playing Dead (Blade #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  468 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
Nobody knows the city like Blade. You have to when you're on your own, when you can't trust anyone, when you've got a past you need to hide. Blade is practically invisible, perfectly alone, living only by his wits - just the way he likes it. Until the day a chance encounter sends his world crashing down around him and he finds himself on the run again. Yet he's not alone t ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 14th 2009 by Philomel (first published 2008)
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Ariel Acupan
Jun 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted at PINOYPETERPAN.

A Letter to Blade (A Review of "Playing Dead")


I remember you told me, "I'm going to blitz your mind".

Well that's what happened Blade . I was not that sure at first when you started telling me things about how to stay down, being invisible or the way you put it, "Playing Dead" . I was having trouble following you around the city that you knew so well because I'm not so sure why we are hiding on the first place. At the age of 14, you seemed so troub
Carlos P
May 24, 2016 rated it liked it
I rate this book a 4/5 stars. I recommend this book to people who like to read books with cliffhangers. I would also recommend this book to people who like a read deeply in order to find out more information about the main characters back round. " Woman's voice, nice voice, kind of warm, kind of friendly. Sort of person you'd want to talk to. Only I can't do it." I chose this book because the main character Blade is not your average 15 year old he has a different way of thinking. and he is also ...more
Nov 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Kyle Purcell
Block E

I would recommend the book blade by Tim Bowler to a friend because it is an exciting story about survival, staying invisible, and that you cant run from your past.
Blade is a book about a teenager who is just trying to survive in the big city. When he is doing this he is faced with difficult challenges. Most that threaten characters lives. He is hated by gangs both male and female. This made the book rather exciting The book is exciting because of its suspense.
Jan 08, 2013 rated it liked it
“Trust no one,” A quote frequently used. Blade; Playing Dead by TIm Bowler is a very interesting drama. This book teaches a lot about knowing what is the right and wrong thing to do at very serious situations and teaches self-control.
Everyone has experienced a time where you feel like something bad is going to happen. With Blade, it’s a gift. He senses everything. “Otherwise silence, in the house, around the house. But it’s still not right. I’ve felt this before, many times, and I’m never wron
Mani Sundararajan
May 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Blade Playing Dead was written by Tim Bowler. This is an interesting drama which is about a boy who is alone and living on the streets of the United Kingdom trying to survive. He steals, lies, and tricks people to get what he wants. Something that really interested me was the main character is going to the story while talking to the reader. He refers to the reader at many points in the book "I know what you’re thinking" and other phrases. He is telling the story to the reader and I liked this be ...more
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love the style of it; the way Blade speaks directly to the reader. It draws you, not only into the book, but into the city, right next to Blade. Plus the short, sharp sentences keep the suspense up and reflect the panic/intensity of the situations he gets in. And who honestly always talks in long, laborious sentences in a casual conversation? Very realistic writing style. Loved it :-)

As a character, it's obvious that Blade has a tendency towards violence. But t
Ivan Guzman
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it
The book that I have been reading for the past weeks is called Playing Dead by Tim Bowler. I have read other books written by this author such as Frozen Fire. This book was a good book but not one of the author's greatest books. This book mainly talks about a group of teenagers being in a gang and doing not so good things as well as their leader “Blade.” They never said his real name in this book. But he was the main character in the book and he would be the one that would do all the illegal thi ...more
May 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing book. I loved the suspense it has and the characters. The style was just right. The author did a great job by describing the areas making almost a vivid picture of the setting. I like how nobody even pays attention to him, so he can take somebody's wallet and they wouldn't even know. this book is good for people who like twist and survival Books.
Salim H
Nov 07, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was fun to read but it was a bit predictable.
Sep 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Derek Hunter
Ms. Romaniuk
Reading/LA, Book review #1
21 September 2010
Blade: Playing Dead
A Wonder with the knife
Can you imagine living on your own at age fourteen stealing, getting beaten up well that is the life of blade? Blade is a young delinquent stealing for money so he can buy food and eat. There are many gangs that Blade must avoid. The only time he is not watching everywhere around him that is when he gets caught. When Blade gets caught it is not a pretty sight. When an incident happens Bl
Blade has learned to survive. Alone in The City, he has studied every nook and cranny, staking out the whole community just to find a place to sleep. He has an arsenal of snugs, or homes, knows when their owners are absent and uses the places undetected. These days, his goal is to be invisible in The City. But he has a dark secret. It involves his skill with the knife, and it’s coming back to haunt him.
Blade: Playing Dead is the first in a series of books about a homeless teen in an unnamed UK
Josh Baker
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I think this book was a really good read considering it kept me interested through out the whole book i really liked blades character and seeing the changes he underwent through out the book i also think becky played a pretty important part as she is the one that ignited the change in blade along with jaz.
Oct 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, book-eval-book
Blade is running from his past but he gives few clues throughout the book to what that past entails. Blade lives in an unnamed British city, he is homeless, and he breaks into houses and apartments just to sleep, shower, eat, and read books, which helps to humanize him. The writing style is reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange with short, choppy sentences, an unusual slang, and the first person narration is directed at someone he calls “Big Eyes.” The short sentences contribute to the excitement an ...more
Sue Murdoch
Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just could not put this down! The way Blade speaks to the reader really makes you feel that you are in that dark street trying to escape with Becky and Jaz. We know that Blade has the capacity to be violent, but something tells us that he's not all bad and that somewhere in the past is the reason for all of this; his life is one of constantly being alert, staying in the shadows and one step ahead, but that moral compass pulls him back to something. Blade's character elicits a range of emotions ...more
Chris Winter
Jan 09, 2014 rated it liked it
A 14 year old boy that goes by the name of Blade lives on his own in a city he knows like the back of his hand. He has been living on the streets for some time now, so he has learned to notice the slightest details. Anything and everything that goes on, he is aware of. Playing Dead by Tim Bowler is a book that keeps throwing things at you and making twists in your head. It is told from the first person point of view. His tactic for surviving is; don’t trust anyone and stay hidden. While hiding f ...more
Jun 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Instantly tense and engaging, this was a surprising thriller. As Blade speaks directly to the reader, Bowler spins an action packed story that takes surprising twists in the seedy world at the bottom of the British social ladder. Chapters are short, descriptions are economical, character development is nil. UK slang peppers the book, which might slow some truly struggling American readers, but generally adds to the flavor of the story. The conclusion came up a bit short for me, but the velocity ...more
Kinch Roussell
Aug 26, 2015 rated it liked it
I think Blade Playing Dead was a okay book. I feel like the book was kinda slow at first but really picked up at the end. I didn't rate the book any higher was because I did't like how they left you hanging. They didn't give you and more background or history on blade and that really
ruined the book for me. I would recommend this book to some friends mainly because they have another book to follow up.
Summary of book
It's mainly about a young kid who doesn't have a family and is in trouble of so
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I think Tim Bowler wrote this as a thrilling adventurous tail. It is a fun story with a lot a twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat. In the book the main character, Blade, spends most of the time trying to get away from his past, and in the end it came back to bite him in the butt. Bowler tries to show us that if in the past you have made mistakes, it is wise to just stand up strong and take care of it so it doesn't become a problem for you forever. I am under the impression t ...more
Artin Hakobyan
Oct 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Blade is about a fourteen year old homeless kid with a past that he mostly keeps a secret. He is very familiar with his unnamed British city and manages to survive by stealing wallets and living in people's homes while they are not home. But one day things go wrong. First, he is tracked down and beaten by a group of teenage girls who leave him naked. An old woman named Mary gives him some clothes, but then two violent men show up at the door and they want Blade. Soon he gets on the run, with six ...more
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es difícil de decir qué me hizo sentir este libro. Es prácticamente una introducción muy, muy pequeña que me hace querer leer más, pues aún al final existen muchos secretos y el inicio de una historia. No me fascina que, siendo una historia que podría tener un buen provecho, esté dividido en pedacitos.
Por otra parte, me agrada como Blade interactúa con el lector. Hubo momentos en los que me sentí detrás de él, escondiéndonos de las personas que lo persiguen, siguiendo sus ordenes. No sé si se d
Isabel Huizar
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was very interesting yet very confusing at the same time. This book was confusing because the main character Blade was talking to the reader and was not very clear about it, when he is talking to the reader and because the beginning the book starts off with Blade telling a story. Otherwise from the book being a little confusing it was really interesting and exciting. It was really interesting and exciting because Blade is practically invisible and tries to help out the people around hi ...more
Syed Hussain-Sani
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
-Blade is the main character and he has been playing dead for 3 years. He lives in a dangerous city and sleeps in the streets. He is very smart, he can tell if someone is following him from far away.

-One day he is mugged by a girl gang, he gets beaten up really bad and then a woman name Mary finds him takes him to her house. Then someone from his past comes and attacks Blade but Blade escapes and the woman and her dog dies. After that day he comes back to the same house and finds all the member
Justin Alfonso
Oct 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
The main character is a teenager who calls himself Blade. Blade was a trouble maker his whole life. when he was little he had fun playing in the middle of the road and trying to see how many cars he could stop. He had to learn how to survive on his own in the streets. once he got older he realized that life wasn't as easy as he thought.After roaming the streets for a while he felt like he was being watched,it turned out he was being watched.He gets beat up and left in a parking lot. An old woman ...more
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was really into this book, so I would give this a book a chance. I recommend this book to Georgianna Tikluk. She was wanting to read this book for awhile. Terrel Lord was reading this book at the time, so Georgianna did not want to interrupt his good reading time. Terrel was also into this book. That is why I moved it on to him to get him interested into the awesomeness "Blade Series". Now he's onto the second one. I would also recommend this book to Nicholas Gordon. It seems like he is into " ...more
Nov 02, 2012 added it
Blade wanted to remain hidden but people from his past found him so he started to run with a girl that got in trouble with him and his whole world started crumbling apart and he realized his past would always be in his future. i thought the book was a very good suspenseful story. At one point Blade was watching some grunts from a ditch, and one came up behind him and just stood there. You never know what's going to happen next. He could attack Blade, walk past him, or Blade could have attacked t ...more
Thomas Torrens
Nov 06, 2013 rated it liked it
I thought this book was boring in the beginning it started picking up near the end. I did not like the ending very much, there were a lot of twists in the end and overall it was a confusing book. The beginning was very shady and did not explain the main character, it made him even more mysterious than he already was. There wasn't much excitement in the beginning, I am a person that likes excitement. I didn't like the story line it was so different and it did not explain itself very well at all. ...more
Gwyn Ryan
Mar 22, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Blade knows the city better than anyone. He knows how to escape, how to hide, how to go unnoticed. But when he meets Becky and her daughter Jaz, everything changes. Because now they all have people after them, and it looks like Blade's past and Becky's past have joined forces, and there's nowhere left to run. This was actually really good, fast-paced, gritty and realistic. But it's very dark and depressing. It's the first in a series, and I don't know if I'll continue or not. On the one hand - r ...more
Gustavo Macias
Aug 28, 2013 rated it liked it
1) This book was made for people who like thriller that keeps throwing more at you.

2) I give it 3 stars.

3)I feel that blade should have know that he couldn't have helped anyone in his situation. I would like to know a little more about his past, but in my opinion he made almost perfect choices with what he knew at the time except leaving them alone.I also don't like how he couldn't tell the lie when in the beginning he could tell if anyone was not telling the truth.

4) Blade show's us that it do
Dec 14, 2016 added it
This book by Tim bowler is a thrill and action packed book. The main character Blade is battle challenge throughout the book. Blade meets this character named Becky and helps save Becky’s daughter from her gang’s meeting house. Blade has been hiding from these goons of people he has meet before. These goons killed Becky leader of their gang named Trixie she didn’t like Blade or Becky. The end of the book leaves you on a cliffhanger leaving to figure out what happen. I recommend this book to peop ...more
Nov 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: outside-reading
Blade is a captivating book about a 14 year old boy who essentially is a killer an thief. While this book may be hard to follow at some points in the book, it is an easy and thrilling book. This book left me wondering what happened. This is not a book for people who only read the first book of a series. In order to find out what happens and I all ends up well you have to read the sequel to this book, Out of The Shadows. I highly recommend this book to people who like odd books and an easy read t ...more
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Tim Bowler is one of the UK’s most compelling and original writers for teenagers. He was born in Leigh-on-Sea and after studying Swedish at University he worked in forestry, the timber trade, teaching and translating before becoming a full-time writer. He lives with his wife in a small village in Devon and his workroom is an old stone outhouse known to friends as ‘Tim’s Bolthole’.

Tim has written t
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Other Books in the Series

Blade (8 books)
  • Blade: Out of the Shadows
  • Breaking Free (Blade, #3)
  • Running Scared  (Blade, #4)
  • Fighting Back (Blade, #5)
  • Mixing It (Blade, #6)
  • Cutting Loose (Blade, #7)
  • Risking All (Blade, #8)