Wednesday, July 16, 2014

It's high noon, "mashup" style, in Gunknight.

As a young boy, you could say Colt is shy.  Being "shy" on Gunmorrah is a good way to survive as a youth.  But one day, while in a dumpster with his mother (who passed away a few days ago) just minding his own business catching some rats for dinner, a friend shows up into his life.  Astra, a girl on the run from a gang, soon partners up with Colt (after declining a meal of some raw rat) and goes to the local temple to gain entrance - along with thousands of other starving children on Gunmorrah.  (The opening scenes have kind of burned into my mind - can you tell?)

Colt and Astra don't seem to understand the meaning of "no" when spoken from a monk and gain entrance into the temple to choose a path to become trained in.  With a name like Colt (and the books name is "Gunknight"), it is no surprise that training to become master of guns is the path that is chosen.

Training to become a Gunknight is no walk in the park.  It is similar to the show Survivor, except that instead of getting cast off the island - you get dead (very dead) instead.  No "Survivor Castaway Reunion" shows featuring Gunknight's have ever been shown on Gunmorrah!

For those few who finish training without taking a permanent dirt bath, they are awarded with a new set of duds - a "biosuit" that can create guns and bullets out of itself while healing the body of the gunknight at the same time.  In a tight pinch?  Need a grenade launcher?  Just think it to your biosuit and pull it out of your holster faster than you can say "put 'em up!"

Just because these Gunknights have badass armor and have killed many of their classmates to become a Gunknight doesn't mean that they don't have heart.  Colt meets Terra, another Gunknight, and falls in love and manages not to kill her during training.  But, just as a Gunknight can fall in love, they can also become bitter enemies.  Something just doesn't seem right about Astra and the guys she is hanging out with, but it really isn't any of Colt's concern - yet.  Right when things are about to come to a head, Terra's crazy mother enters the fray and let's just say she isn't real fond of the new boyfriend hanging around...


"Gunknight" by Scott & Cynthia Green is a book whose motto might just be - "Genre?  I don't need no stinking genre!"  And those might be the last words you hear before a flurry of lead comes your way.  This book has a bit of everything - western, sci-fi, action, dystopia, jumping time back and forth within the story, and a body count that Jason and Freddy Krueger would be hard pressed to match.  If a Gunknight had to put a notch on his gun for everyone he killed, there wouldn't be much of a handle to hold onto anymore - and that makes shooting just a little too difficult.

How does a Gunknight defend themselves from the bad guy's bullets?  Just shoot the bullet out of the air.  Yes, they are just that damn good - and if you have a problem with that, there might be a round somewhere in this biosuit with your name on it.

Some of the very unique things in this book was the concept of the biosuit and how it functioned, along with the imagination of the temple training that Gunknights have to undertake.  I think there is a ton of potential to build upon the Gunmorrah world, however, I feel the authors may have made things difficult on themselves to continue to build off this novel.

First, while the whole idea of Gunmorrah is very attractive to me - the fact that the story jumps back and forth between Colt's past and present (over 400 years later), and pointing out that Gunmorrah has changed leave me a little perplexed about the setting.  I was really looking forward to falling in love with the whole setting, like I did for the Dark Tower series from Stephen King, but the hopping back and forth made that a little difficult.

The character of Colt was built up greatly, but I really couldn't get myself to care about the other characters much (maybe because I was waiting for them to get full of lead and didn't want to disappoint myself!)

There were also a few more extra or misplaced words than I typically would have liked to seen.  I have read books professionally edited and published that contain a few, but any more than that I find distracts me.

That being said, if you are looking for a action packed, shoot em up novel that is going to entertain you and surprise you with some of the "inventions" imagineered by the authors without taxing your brain or making politcal statements - then this is a perfect book.  In other words, read it and enjoy the ride - I promise you won't get saddle sores!

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