Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Harvey Black & Jonathan Levine: Kidd Black "The Beginning"

In their debut novel Harvey Black & Jonathan Levine show how it is the Ghosts who are really protecting the United States and the world from terrorist attacks.

Kidd Black had a choice 18 years ago, he could serve his country or he could go about a regular life. The only thing Kidd has ever wanted to do was serve his country, this is when Kidd starts on a path of becoming a ghost. Kidd is believed dead by everyone he has known and loved and this has allowed him to work throughout the world, however, there has always been one terrorist who has eluded him Dalakos. Kidd makes it his own mission to have everything to do with the Dalakos, but Kidd does not just know about Dalakos, he is very aware of Kidd and his next terrorist acts going to have everything to do with Kidd and the people he left behind 18 years ago and it is up to Kidd to save them and the world.

I wanted this book to be great. It starts off awesome and the introduction to Kidd Black was really well done and I started out thinking that book is going to be a great adventure. However, I felt that after the first opening scenes that the book fell a little bit flat. Yes, there was some action, but after the clinic scene, they were just too unrealistic and short to fully entertain me. Additionally, there were a few points in the beginning of the book, where you know that Kidd has had a relationship with the individual he is interacting with, but it is not really fully explained. A simple "worked with him before" or we went to college together would have enough, but when there was not anything there, I felt that this book was not "the beginning" but a second book.

I felt that Black & Levine had too many point of views throughout the book. The book jumps from Kidd, to Sabrina Rose to Devon to Bryan to Ike to Dakotas to Amanda to The President to Monique and those are the only ones off the top of my head and the main characters in the book. There are many secondary or even fringe based characters that seemed to get a chapter to themselves, granted the chapters were short, but still I do not think we needed the point of view of all these characters. If the chapters would have been longer so you could get to know each character that Black & Levine want to write a chapter for, then you would get to know all the characters better and not just scratching the surface of each. On a different note, if I had to read the black man with the blue eyes one more time.....they really over used this line, especially in the beginning of the book.

I think that Kidd is a fairly complex character, with complex relationships, that he actually not allowed to have as ghost operative, but this book opens him up to all the relationships that he had to let go of in order to serve his country. I think that the book format hindered the reader from really getting to know Kidd, as you get to know bits and pieces of each of the characters in the book, instead of just one or two.

I enjoyed that Black & Levine allowed Kidd and other characters to be emotionally hurt, however, I found that there was really no physical danger to the any of the characters in the book (well other than the villains). I enjoy books more when there is that sense of danger and that at any turn one of the main characters may be hurt or killed, this book has none of that. I do not think that in any of the fights in the book that the main characters get anything more than a few bumps and bruises.

I would say that this book is okay, it was able to keep me mostly entertained, but I just wanted this book to be so much more and be able to keep up with its great beginning. I think that Black & Levine have potential as writers and  I would read the next book in this series, to see how they further develop Kidd as a character. Therefore, (and you might have guessed this) I hope that the next book focuses more on Kidd, but if the book follows a similar format to this one, I probably wouldn't read anything after that.

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