Shelf: fantasy-pr-everything-untoward, myth-mix
Thai martial arts, international crime, celebrity and mythical creatures combine in this masterful new tale of two people facing incredible dangers, from award-winning author Tricia Sullivan. Nothing she’s faced in the cage will prepare her... Jade is a young mixed martial arts fighter. When she’s in the cage she dominates her opponents—but in real life she’s out of control. After she has a confrontation with a Hollywood martial arts star that threatens her gym’s reputation, Jade’s coach sends her to a training camp in Thailand for an attitude adjustment. Hoping to discover herself, she instead uncovers a shocking conspiracy. In a world just beyond our own, a man is stealing the souls of children to try and live forever.
When it was good, it was superb but other times, Shadowboxer was dulllllll.
I’ll keep this short: Yay for Jade, who’s an awesome fighter and narrator and totally a character to root for. Not the nicest person around town, PARTICULARLY around the ring, Jade is (to some extent) nuanced and able to carry on the story. I was invested in her story as a fighter, the politics along with the hard work working gears in the background. As if it’s not a tough field already, when you add Jade’s attitude in the mix, it gets serious like career-killing serious.
Beyond that, there’s the fantasy aspect in Thailand involving myths and tigers, a little girl and evil men. Tricia Sullivan has an awesome writing style that very aptly conveyed the surreal feelings of the different settings. However, I feel like there was something amiss in the merging these two aspects and the fantasy element only served inimically to Jade’s story, which as I have stated in different terms, I really enjoyed.
It takes a long-ass time for the two stories to finally come together – way too long – and after that, the story moves too fast and honestly, I was left wondering how, when I couldn’t get a sense of it and here I am who’s seen this evil man and this little girl and this tiger play with each other from the begging, could Jade manage it. And all THAT, well, made it dulllllll.
Too much play makes Jade’s a dull story. WORK WORK WORK HARDER GIRL.
I had a few other peeves as well. First: the girl hate that had no basis besides a flimsy crush and some very construed assumptions. Second: THAILAND. JADE GOES TO THAILAND and all that the author elaborates from that happening is the scenery (which could sometimes be very generic) and all stereotypically English-challenged people.
BUT I still enjoyed Jade’s fights and personality thoroughly. Which is why I’m not going to rate; my holistic experience left some things to be desired. Nevertheless, it was a very different story from your typical YA book and whatever, cool girls throwing punches is always a reason to celebrate, in my opinion, so long it’s not aimed at meeeeeee.
Ummm… this was not short.
Review copy provided by the publisher.