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Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Adventures of Kid Combat Volume One: A Secret Lost By Christopher Helwink

Blurb: Kid Combat - the books used in schools around the United States - is now available everywhere! Evil. Corruption. They are everywhere in Elmcrest. In the first volume of this exciting series, Kid Combat's group struggles to open their new secret base, keep their identities a secret, and save one of their own from being kidnapped. Meanwhile, a trap is set, one that Kid Combat falls right into... 

Reviewed by Dale

Having just reviewed something that pushes the boundaries of Young Adult to the adult end of the genre I thought it time to try some thing a bit more tween friendly.  

The kid combat series has been pushing its way up the barnes and Noble top 200 list for young readers and with such a mysterious looking cover I couldn't hold off reading it any longer.

What Helwink has created here in his debut for the Kid Combat series is an exciting groundwork for a fantastic concept. The opening gambit jumps in, James Bond style, with Kid Combat neck deep in enemy territory, mission accomplished all that remains is escape. Escape from a highly fortified, highly guarded enemy strong hold. How does he do it? Well you will have to just read the book to find out. But it does involve some pretty slick writing and a great imagination on Helwink's part.

Often when writers set up stories that they know will be an ongoing series they needlessly bog the reader down with endless details setting the scene, filling in all the gaps and over fleshing the setting in the first book. Helwink doesn't fall into this trap and charges headlong into the adventure adding just enough detail as he goes to keep the story fluid. Some major elements only falling into place in the final chapters. The mysterious secret base known only as 'the playground'  being one such example. He also leaves plenty of questions unanswered, compelling reason enough to go find the other books in the series. "The Heist of Spring Road Toys" and "Jones Strikes Back".

Of course the ultimate hero is only convincing if he faces a truly powerful arch nemesis. So who is Kid Combat's Moriarty? His evil other half that plots to destroy the town that Kid lives in? The nasty Phillip Arthur Jones and his mewling minion number two fill the roles. Jones is a very believable villain, especially post recession.

Kid Combat isn't alone in his quest to rid Elmcrest of this malevolent menace. He is accompanied by the familiar band of sidekicks. There is the braining computer whiz, hacking military satellites and local power grids. The strong-willed and clever girl, the comedic twins and a raft of slick gadgets all helping Combat in his missions.

The most amazing thing about this series is the price. They are all free. Yes thats right you can download all three books in the series for absolutely no money down. Amazing. Suitable for eight years and up, but be warned exciting scenes may cause hearts to race and nails to be bitten. 

Look out for the other Kid Combat books reviewed on here soon.

Age 8+ (Advanced Readers)
Format: eBook
Available from Smashwords
Link to Download: Here
Price: Free (at time of review)   Dont wait, Helwink might change his mind!
Wordcount: 32,000 (appx)
Author: Christopher Helwink