“So what am I going to tell you? Not much so don’t get excited. You probably want to know my name. Well, that’s a bit of a problem. I got loads. But there is one name I like. Everybody called me it in the old days. No one does now cos no one in this city knows it. And that’s fine. I don’t like to remember. But I do like the name. You can use it if you want. “
Meet Blade. But be careful. You might not like what you see. He’s dangerous. He needs to be. Because there are people who want him dead. It’s dog eat dog in his world. Win or die. He thought he was safe. But now they’ve found out where he is. And they’re coming.
I’ve made no secret on this blog of my admiration of Tim Bowler’s writing, but for some reason, I’ve never picked up his Blade series. Then at the end of last year I was contacted by a publicist working on a repackageing of the series, to see if I was interested in reviewing the first book in the new series of bind-ups.
I’m so pleased I said yes. I tore though the book and being unable to wait, I bought and tore though the rest of the series as it was originally issued. (And that more than anything tells you how good it is!)
His stand-alone books tend to be psychological thrillers with hints of the mythical or supernatural, the Blade books come from a much grittier reality, with the danger much more real and obvious, (and a lot more threatening).
Blade himself is an immensely compelling narrator, who has done some really bad things in the past, but despite that isn’t a thug in the traditional sense himself. He’s actually very intelligent and likeable. His past is filled with many horrors, some of the most horrific and that don’t include knives and guns are alluded to, using the slang that is littered throughout the books.
As can probably tell from the previous paragraph, while Tim Bowler doesn’t chose to go into graphic detail, neither does he pull any punches, there is no doubt as to both what has been done to Blade and the danger and violence of events past and present.
As his past starts to catch up with him, Blade starts to make connections with people and the when danger he faces, starts to envelop them, his conscience won’t allow him to cut and run, can he save them and him before it’s too late? I don’t want to say much more than that about the plot, because you really need to see it unveil for yourself.
The original books are very short (around 160 pages in paperback and showing around 65 pages on my Sony eReader) and each took me less that an hour to read, often feeling like a longish chapter than a book in a series. So I think these new bind-ups are a fantastic idea and much more value for money, and will still hook even the most reluctant reader.
I do have a concern though, the copy I received of the first in the new bind-ups gave no indication of this being a re-issue (other than a small note on the copyright page) and I can see people confusing it with and entirely new set of books within the series.
My copy of Blade: Enemies was proved by the publicist for an honest review, my copies of Breaking Free, Running Scared, Fighting Back, Mixing It, & Breaking Free were all purchased by myself.