Review: Hit the Ground Running by Mark Burley

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Author’s Website  –  Goodreads

Published: 25 April 2017

Publisher: Blue Moon Publishers

Category: Fiction/Adventure/Action

“Eric—Mom and Dad are gone. I don’t know what happened, but I’m going to find out.”

Eric might not be getting along with his family—or anyone else, for that matter—but he’s pretty sure a boarding school in another country isn’t the answer. Skilled in parkour, running helps him deal. So be it, he decides. Do the time and get out. Flow like water. But when he gets a cryptic message from his brother telling him their parents have been abducted, and then his brother disappears, he realises they weren’t punishing him, they were hiding him. To find them, Eric has to discover the secrets of his parents’ research, but the conspiracy he uncovers threatens more than just his family. With help from unlikely new friends, a hack-first-ask-questions-later approach to computers, and a dangerous plan, he soon learns that some secrets don’t want to be found, and others have a way of revealing themselves at all the wrong times.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

The summary for this book sounds the basis for an exciting new movie or, at the very least, a television series. Eric, the main character, finds out that his family is missing under mysterious circumstances. Not only that, but he receives a video from his brother warning him against coming home and, not only that, but the video also shows his brother is in danger. What comes next? An international journey to discover where his family is, what they’re involved with, and what he can do about it with the support of a few classmates.

Reading the passages when Eric engages in parkour practice (is that the term?) was interesting. It was a combination action/art scene because while there was a lot going on (jumping, spinning, kicking off of rocks and walls), there was also the beauty to it that Eric espoused. It cleared his mind and gave him the ability to think. It was a unique skill for a novel character, at least for my part.

Having seen parkour on television and YouTube, I wondered if Hit the Ground Running would make a good web series. It certainly had the feel: mystery, action, family secrets, etc.

My favorite characters were Seth and Lakey, the twins that helped Eric clean up and learn more about the video that alerted him to his family’s trouble. They’re intense adrenaline junkies that also have a head for hacking and reminding me a little of Fitz & Simmons from Agents of Shield.

With really good characters to pull it along, I didn’t mind as much that the writing wasn’t as exciting as I would have liked for what felt like an action-adventure book. It took me awhile to really get into the story because there were just big portions where I could feel myself getting bored stiff, but I pressed on because I needed to know what happened to these people next.

The ending was a real cliffhanger (no pun intended toward Eric). I almost forgot this was a trilogy, but as the book was nearing 100% on my Kindle I realized that not everything would be solved, not everyone would be saved. The leaving off point makes me very anxious to get to the next book because we are left with two characters being introduced to a potential new baddie and it’s one that’s quite high in a particular society. Who will it turn out to be? Truly bad or someone that will ultimately help? Things could go either way and if you want to read the firsts step of the journey, you should pick up Hit the Ground Running and see for yourself.

It is well worth a try, especially if you like hackers, mystery, and if you’ve ever thought parkour looked cool.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.
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