Friday, October 20, 2017
Review of Broken Nights by Matthew Davenport & Michael Davenport
Author:Matthew Davenport and Michael Davenport
Pages/length: 202 Pages/ 6 hours, 23 mins (Audio)
Release Date: 2016/August 2016
Publisher: Crossroad Press
Narrated by Carson Beck
Imagine that after the death of his parents, Bruce Wayne decided to become a masked vigilante. Not hard to imagine, obviously. Now imagine if Bruce Wayne wasn't rich, wasn't a child, didn't have unlimited resources, as well as years with which to train before he started fighting crime. That's the premise of this story, where an ordinary young man named Jason Night decides to start fighting crime after a personal tragedy.
When his mother is murdered in the family hobby shop in front of his eyes by a man who randomly killed her decides he wants fight crime. He takes MMA lessons, learns Parkour, and build himself a suit with off the rack components, consisting of a cowled mask, bullet proof vest, padded gauntlets, with kevlar sleeves, with tonfas for weapons. Stuff a guy who owns a hobby shop can afford. He then starts fighting crime in the local neighborhood, stopping break ins, stuff like that. When he runs across a break in at the local Chinese restaurant, with a group of guys just busting the place up, he stumbles across a conspiracy that he is ill equipped to handle, since these guys travel in packs, and are armed with guns. That bullet proof vest comes in handy, although getting shot still hurts a lot! This group is on orders, and Jason needs to find out who's behind the break ins that are terrorizing his neighborhood.
Jason also has to deal with problems in his real life. His father has Alzheimer's Disease, and Jason and his sister Amy have to care for him as he deteriorates further. Amy has dealt with the tragedies by diving into work at the tech company she works at, and has no idea Jason is moonlighting as the vigilante the news dubs The Darden City Guardian. As the pressure from these break in continues, and the danger increases each run in, Jason has to decide if he can continue. The fact a villain has discovered who he is and where his family is increases his doubt that he can continue as the Guardian, since it is endangering his family and friends.
What follows is a hard fought battle for Darden City itself, as the true power behind all the disturbances makes itself know in a quest to further their plans to take over the city. This includes an army of super villains that Jason and his friends need to face in order to stop the insanity gripping Darden City, and someone will make the ultimate sacrifice to help stop the insanity, all leading to a pulse pounding, action packed ending you wont want to miss!
This is an interesting book, since while it is about a superhero vigilante, its also about family struggles, friendships and sacrifice. The characters are well thought out and come across as real people, with real problems and successes. They are people you can really get behind. The villain actually comes across as realistic, even in this setting. The master plot actually gets you sucked into the story, and is actually pretty original. The training flashbacks are really good, with his sister making fun of him for getting beat up in MMA classes, and his broken arm from his parkour accidents is handled a funny way as well. It is a very humanizing touch. The world building is well drawn out, giving you a first hand look into Darden City. You get a feeling of fighting crime on the streets. All told excellently done.
The narration duties are handled ably by Carson Beck. He brings a real warmth and is believable as the various characters. He really has a good pace, and his narrative voice is smooth and well paced. excellent work.
Any fans of comics should really enjoy this story, as should fans of writers like Drew Hayes, CT Phipps and Jim Bernheimer. I can't recommend it highly enough, and can't wait to see where book 2 goes!