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The Lion and the Five Deadly Serpents (Just Cause Universe Book 8) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 285 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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In "The Lion and the Five Deadly Serpents" he goes to pay his last respects to his former martial arts master and is pulled into a war with the triad who murdered him. The characters are believable and the action exciting. Lionheart redeemed.
But the writing is heavy and over detailed, killing tension and pacing. I struggled to keep focused, getting bored during each half page paragraph.
At two thirds the words, it would be a riveting four star action adventure. As is, I can't recommend it to anyone who isn't already a fan of the series.
I received this book free in exchange for my honest review .
When I bought the book, the author described it as his tribute to 80s kung fu films, and it definitely felt like it. Our hero, Lionheart, reminds me a bit of Jack Burton, a bit of Danny Rand. Lionheart, as an American superhero, is out of his element in Hong Kong, and yet he’s there to visit his former kung fu teacher, who’s dying. He’s an outsider, but he’s got some insider knowledge. I liked how this book navigated the unfortunate trope of a white man going to the Orient to be better at kung fu than those who’ve studied it all their lives. Fortunately, I never felt that Lionheart, or more importantly the author, ever fell into or exploited that trope.
The plot is tons of fun. Between the honorable martial arts school, the evil triad, the superpowered kung fu artists, the culture clash, and the romance, I was thoroughly entertained. The author has fun with archetypes while undercutting a few tropes. The way it all progresses is nicely done, if a bit predictable.
Favorite line(s) of the book: Perhaps it was the superhero in him, seeking a means to justice, to protect those who needed it. Perhaps it was his own personal sense of honor and duty. Or perhaps he was just looking to beat up a bunch of gangsters.
Minor Spoilers Ahead
This is only the second book of the Just Cause series I’ve read, but already I love the depth of history it has. The number of characters and how they’ve interacted is fantastic. At the beginning of this novel we get to see Lionheart interact with Faith, aka Pony Girl. This is five or so years before the birth of Sally from book 1. Faith reappears in the epilogue, about four years later, to tell Lionheart about the immanent death of their mutual friend, and if you’ve read book 1, you know how that funeral turns out.
Also, there’s Bao. I certainly hope to see more of Bao in some of the other novels.