Girl Fights Back

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Girl Fights Back (Go No Sen) (Emily Kane Adventures)

Last Free Dates: 19th Nov 18 to 21st Nov 18
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...I simply did not fall in love with the story....

The story of Emily Kane, the first in the series, this is the story of a girl who is studying martial arts, the destruction of her family by black-ops agents and eventually her entry into a martial arts tournament.

This is an interesting book. Despite its apparent action focus it has a slow start that paints a portrait of the main character, her focus on martial arts and does not even name her until the last paragraph. It works.

What works less well is maintaining the same extremely slow pace throughout the first part of the book, with the first three chapters spent on set up describing events and background while you wait for the plot to actually start. None of the characters appear dynamic, more reactive and waiting for something to happen – much like this reader. At some points it appeared point of view changed without a scene or paragraph break, and yet this clearly was not omniscient view point. It’s not badly written, just slow and even once the action starts the pace hardly picks up.

This is apparently aimed at children, but I have doubts from the descriptions of Emily and the genetic modification program, gangsters etc. that this would be suitable for anyone under 13 – or really appeal given the exceptionally slow start.

Because it is for children I probably should not critique it for realism issues, but I’m going to anyway. There were a few things that jerked me out of the story early on. There are a couple of moments in the first chapter which read as though the character is a female being written by someone who is not a woman. The only place I have ever seen street clothes worn for sparring or even training was not a martial arts class, and given the damage buttons can do the chances of her being allowed to wear a denim jacket (armour) in a martial arts class are low. Striking an opponent during a tournament when a bout is not in progress? Carries a felony charge in the US and a DQ and assault/battery charge in the UK – it’s not something you want child martial artists thinking is cool.

If you aren’t into martial arts you will probably love this, but the detail isn’t there. I put it down several times and finished it for the sake of the review.

The formatting is great, the cover is attractive and caught my eye…and I simply did not fall in love with the story.

3 stars – it did not hold my attention but I’m not the target audience. Teen readers may love it.

Rating: 3
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