I read. A lot. This blog contains my ramblings; thoughts - both constructed and disjointed, reviews to new and old works of fiction (and some fact). My tastes know no genre boundaries nor medium - from noir to fantasy, novel to comics.
Every Day Is A Blast #1 - 'All The Young Warriors'
Each day for seven days I'll be looking back at one of the Blasted Heath titles I've read and reviewed. The first in this series of blog posts is 'All The Young Warriors' by Anthony Neil Smith.
I read 161 books in 2011 and sitting atop the heap was this gem by Anthony Neil Smith (of Laffite series fame). ATYW was an instant hit for me. A cross continent violent showcase that encapsulated all that terrors while delivering a message about fanatics, the darker side of war, and the easy taking of life. I can’t begin to praise this book enough. I originally read this in November 2011 and plan on re-reading prior to the release of the sequel, below is my review.
All The Young Warriors is by far the most accomplished and ambitious novel yet by Anthony Neil Smith. In ATYW, Smith touches on religious fanaticism and the impressionable American inner city youth misguided by recruitment vultures who feed their delusions by selling broken dreams and false prosperity as a result of a skewed and violent view of faith. At the thrillers' heart lies a breaking man whose second lease on life is taken away at the hands of a merciless thug turned terrorist-in-training; Jilbriil. Having his partner and unborn child gunned down sets a turn of events in motion which sees the streets of Minnesota and the desert landscape of Somalia run red with vengeance and unjustified blood lust.
Bleeker (the namesake definition 'bleak' is not lost on the casual observer) mourns his partner's passing by fuelling his rage across continents leaving no stone unturned in his quest to rid the world of his personal demon. Accompanied by an unlikely alliance in the form of a local gangster whose son, Adem, has been caught up in the terrorist plight - Bleeker's investigation leads him down a path populated by extremists, pirates, killers, and government officials alike.
All The Young Warriors, for its graphic depiction of murder and retribution, retains a sense of realism delivered through heart thumping emotion and pulse pounding clarity. The aspects of a world ravaged to ruin and ruled by violence yet softened by a few kind souls is thought provoking and awe inspiring. Smith has delivered on one of the best books of 2011 with each chapter providing further evidence of his ability to demand a reader's attention and hold it until the very end. Captivating and utterly essential.