International Writers Magazine:
The story starts with
a young black boy in a private school named Jupiter beating the proverbial
crap out of a racist teacher for trying to pick on his younger brother.
Soon enough karma bites him in the arse and said brother disappears mysteriously.
So Jupiter sets off on a quest to find him.
Published by Hodder Childrens books
on 4 October 2007
Jack Clarkson review
When I initially read the blurb for this, my first impression was
that it would be a story of discrimination and slavery much like
A Handmaid's tale. When I finished the first
chapter however, I realised that this is what A Handmaid's
tale would have been if the main character didnt
just sit there and take it like a coward, and had been played by
Samuel L Jackson! Seriously, if you mess with this guy, he will
I was very happy with the opening sequence, it hooked me into the book
immediately and it set up the story nicely while not wasting any time
on the foreplay! The plot moved quickly, almost so quickly at times you
start to wonder if S.I. Martin is subtly taking the mickey. But I enjoyed
every second of it. Whenever I started to think the story was getting
too slow, someone would leap out at Jupiter from behind, or grab at him
from the shadows with a knife in his hand, or start shooting at him and
hed be so busy dealing with that, that he wouldnt notice all
the explosions happening behind him.
It does appear far-fetched at times, which led to a feeling that S.I.
Martin is trying to emulate the plots in big budget action movies, like
some kind of Jerry Bruckheimer adaptation of "The Colour Purple".
It wont turn any heads that havent already been turned by
"To kill a Mockingbird", but you will probably have more
fun reading it.
His writing style suits the fast paced action whilst not skimping on the
evocative detail of the setting and characters, preferring to show you
rather than tell you what the people and places are like, whilst still
having time to make some extremely funny jokes when it doesnt get
in the way. A scene involving a discussion of theology between two drunken
philosophers springs to mind.
My main criticism would be that it didnt seem to have any serious
message to it, but maybe my English course has been feeding me too many
"Worthy" books that dont entertain you so much as ram
its morals down your throat.
S.I. Martin knows didactic stories get in the way of the overall fun and
doesnt try to waste any of our time trying to preach to the audience,
instead he tells us the story of a young boy who does everything to find
his brother, despite the whole world being against him, even if it means
popping a few kneecaps with a flintlock pistol.
It was good, clean, quick read that I managed to finish in one sitting
instead of going to sleep to get up for my lectures the next morning!
And for that and all the explosions and guns and the total lack of educational
content, I commend him. Now if only hed added some hot girls then
it would be perfect for a film adaptation
Im sure Mr Bruckheimer
will have some added in when he gets round to it!
© Jack Clarkson October 2007
Jack is studying Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth
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