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Blade: Playing Dead Hardcover – May 14, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Blade (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel (May 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399251863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399251863
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,337,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—From the beginning of this novel, fear and suspense are palpable as 14-year-old Blade is chased and savagely beaten by a gang of ruthless teenage girls. He is a gritty, British street kid constantly on the run for his life, but readers don't find out why until the end. He has amazingly keen instincts and startling skill with a switchblade, and he knows how to seem invisible, to go unnoticed and stay alive. Blade watches silently from the shadows to learn whether homeowners are in or not, and then uses unoccupied houses as snugs, safe havens where he sleeps, eats, and reads. Books are Blade's one solace, and his love of books softens the character of this streetwise thief. This is a solid choice for reluctant readers who are willing to accept the British slang, which is easy enough to interpret in context. "Quite a few nebs here too but they're all muffins" translates to, there's lots of people out in the neighborhood, but they're harmless. Bowler's use of short, clipped sentences creates a breathless tone that keeps readers on edge and turning pages at breakneck speed as Blade eludes murderers, drug users, and thugs.—Patricia N. McClune, Conestoga Valley High School, Lancaster, PA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Combining the first two of a projected eight-volume UK series called Blade, this headlong thriller introduces a feral street teen in an unspecified urban setting who manages to find himself pursued not only by police (“porkers”) but by both a girl gang and murderous thugs from his mysterious but evidently violent past. Addressing an observer he dubs “Big Eyes” in staccato, present-tense prose laced with an invented slang (“BLADE. That’s what they used to call me. And I liked it. Bit of style, bit of clash. But remember—it’s a secret. Don’t be a claphead and spew it. If I find you’ve blotched on me . . .”), the narrator alludes tantalizingly to past misdeeds and absent characters as he sweeps up a frightened gang member and a small child in his attempted flight. This first installment ends so violently that, if it weren’t for the certainty of upcoming volumes, readers would be sure that Bowler had killed off his main character. Reluctant readers in particular will be pleased by the fast pace and the action’s immediacy. Grades 5-8. --John Peters

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By High school teacher on March 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Wow! The suspense is palpable right from the get go as fourteen-year-old Blade is chased and savagely beaten by a gang of ruthless teenage girls. The author uses short, clipped sentences to create a breathless tone that keeps readers on edge and turning pages at breakneck speed. Blade is a gritty British street kid on the run from murderers, drug users and thugs. He's a survivor with amazingly keen instincts and startling skill with a switchblade. He knows how to seem invisible, to go unnoticed and stay alive. Blade watches silently from the shadows to learn whether homeowners are in or not, and then uses unoccupied homes as snugs, safe havens where he sleeps, eats and reads. Books are Blade's one solace, and his love of books softens the character of this streetwise thief. This book is a solid choice for reluctant teen readers who are willing to accept the British slang. "Quite a few nebs here too but they're all muffins" translates to, there's lots of people out in the neighborhood, but they're harmless. It's easy enough to interpret and adds flavor to an overall exciting story.
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By neek on August 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I can't say anything about the shipping, because I havent gotten my copy yet, but I have read this book from my local library, and I can honestly say that this book is amazing. You can't really connect with the main character, and that's whats so great about it, you feel as if you are a character yourself, and he is being distant with you, taking you along with him. don't get me wrong, this isn't written in 2nd point of view, but it's definitely got an essence to it. I found this book to be a page turner, even though it's rather thin; I finished it in a day. nevertheless, it's full of suspense and you have no idea what's going to happen next, it keeps you guessing. I haven't yet read the rest of the series, but I definitely plan on buying the rest of the books once I'm able. if you're thinking about getting this book, get it! but just know the ending will have you wanting the second one immediately.
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By Arav Patel on October 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Blade Playing Dead is written by Tim Bowler. This is an interesting book about a 14 year old boy living in the streets of the UK. He goes by the name of Blade. He lies, tricks and steal from people to make his life better. The author had a different approach to how he narrated the book. Blade would talk to the reader and tell him what he is doing and why he is doing and why he is doing it. He called the reader Bigeyes. There is a decent amount of action in the book. It is somewhat hard to understand because of the words Tim Bowler used.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Karla on September 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I went into this book expecting a thriller, but ended up getting an average story. There was action, but you couldn't connect with Blade enough to feel strongly that you wanted him to live, and it's written so blatantly you don't feel upset, even though Blade does.

There are a lot of blank spaces and unanswered questions. Blade alludes to a violent past, but we are left completely in the dark. I think if there had been more information about his past we could empathize with him more. It's difficult to feel for someone when you don't really know why you should.

The ending was pretty bad. Maybe it was just me, it was probably 1:30am, but it came together much to well, and way to fast. There's no conclusion, it's just "danger, danger, danger, end." I assume that this is because it's a series, but as only the first and fourth books are available here on Amazon, it's not much of a series is it?

If the next books became available I would probably read them, if only to see if they get better, but this one was... thin. Like a thin soup. Like he had a template for a book and wrote it from that. Everything is done right, but it doesn't seem right.

Well, I hope that was even slightly helpful. :)

Kaitlyn
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