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A Triumph for Sakura Kindle Edition
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His writing keeps getting better and better.
Can't wait for the next!
I'd first discovered Jason Riddler with Blood and Sawdust. I thought the world he'd created, along with his fresh take on vampires was inventive and entertaining. See, his vamps aren't all glamorous, walking works of art with breathtaking beauty and flowing hair. Some just struggle to make their way. The same holds true for Triumph. Triumph works the seasoned veteran takes the talented yet unfocussed newcomer trope and, thanks to Riddler's imagination and writing ability, makes it something new. The world he created in Triumph is part Fight Club, part Rocky, part Running Man, but it's filled with heart and fantastic characters. Ned suffers from a troubled past and a long history of losing, but he's got a code of honor;something that's sorely lacking in the current time period's blood thirsty populace. Sakura is naive but talented, but she's got heart and ability. At the end of the day, Triumph for Sakura is a very human story, a story about that one last chance to make a difference and try to change the oppressive world the characters inhabit.
Riddler's prose is fast and furious, but also descriptive. His characters are fantastic, each having their unique voice and consistent characterizations, and the dialogue is quick, snappy, and at times laugh out loud funny.
In a sea of 'safe' and 'been there done that' vampire fiction, Riddler sets himself apart by being different, by doing something that goes against the grain. The good thing? He does it well and makes it entertaining.
If you're looking for a break from the norm, if you like an alternative history David Vs. Goliath story, with a hint of the fantastical, and a good does of action, look no further than Jason Riddler. His is a great and welcomed new voice in vampire fiction.
Take the old fight coach who wants another shot at making a big fighter, and an underdog the likes you've never seen, shake them up, add a dash of vampire, and you have an action packed novel that combines motion picture style fights and the politics of high and low end society.
If you haven't heard of Jason Ridler you should take a hard look at his writings. They are smart, action packed, and well written. A Triumph for Sakura is no different. Although it takes the rather over-played plot of an old coach, or an old fighter looking to regain their former glory, he adds another twist to it by adding vampires into the fray.
This works to elevate the story beyond just the coach/fighter relationship and adds political drama to the story. Essentially telling a tale that goes beyond the lines between the poor and the wealthy, but about having power, and controlling those with that power. It's also about getting behind something that should be impossible and rising to the challenge.
As an avid fan of fighting and wrestling it was good to see that the fights that took place, and the means of training that Ned and Artur use make sense. The descriptions of the fights are paced well, he describes and utilizes openings that might actually occur in a fight and capitalizes on them. He doesn't insult the intelligence of people who enjoy the world of mixed martial arts by doing crazy things that are impossible, even against vampires.
Using the fight training and competitions he is able to build these flawed characters to be quite endearing. You are always rooting for Sakura, but Ned is pretty deplorable at times, you know he's only really looking for redemption of himself. Yet along the way, you get to know more about him and his position and he becomes sort of a victim of circumstance and you then root for the team of Sakura and Ned Bangs. Jason also is able to create characters that you originally loath and slowly turn them into ones that you are rooting for.
One thing that I did like, and I think this may make it appeal to a wider audience, is that while there are vampires in it, and they do play a big part of the culture of the book, you could easily re-imagine them as a higher class of human society and be just fine. They don't have to be vampires to make it work. It does make it more interesting however.
The Bottom Line: There is a lot going for this novel. The action and drama are both high and propel you through all 375 pages quickly and leave you wanting to know what will happen after the book ends. There is a LOT left to explore, and certain ramifications of Sakura fighting will have long lasting effects. I'm left wondering if there is more that Jason Ridler has to say about Cascadia in the future. I'd be interesting in looking into the past, and the future in this world.
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Fans of Ridler’s longer works have come to expect supernatural thrillers usually set in a wrestling background.Read more
I loved it! I read the first one, Blood and Sawdust, as a new reader on Goodreads a few months ago, and it...Read more