Never Die by Rob J. Hayes
As I said in one of my previous posts, I have set myself a reading goal of reading a number of different series throughout the year and I thought I would start with a series that has been on my radar for ages.
This series has been lauded by loads of other book tubers and bloggers, so I thought okay let's give it a go.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Samurai, shinigami, vengeful spirits, and an impossible quest.
The Emperor of Ten Kings has plunged Hosa into war, and the gods are angry.
When the god of death gives Ein a mission to kill the immortal emperor, he knows he can't do it alone. He needs allies, heroes who will fight for him. How else can an eight-year-old boy hope to do the impossible?
Whispering Blade, Iron Gut Chen, the Century Blade, and Flaming Fist. These are all names of legend. And the god of death has given Ein a way to bind them to his cause. There is only one catch. In order to serve him, they must first die.
Never Die is a stand alone set in the world of Mortal Techniques. It’s a wuxia adventure filled with samurai, shinigami, heroes, and vengeful spirits.
Ein needs a hero, well to be honest, he needs four!. He needs them to complete a task set by a Shinigami, a God of Death. However, you just can’t go to a shop in Rob J. Hayes’s new book Never Die and purchase said heroes, so Ein has come up with a pretty novel idea. He raises the dead. He goes around collecting dead heroes, bringing them back to life and ties them to his will. The first that he collects is Itami Cho, The Whispering Wind. The second is Zhi Hao Cheng, The Emerald Wind and also a member of Itamo Cho’s enemy, The Flaming Fist’s army that has just decimated the village which The Whispering Wind is protecting. The third member is Iron Gut Chen who as you can guess has an iron gut and also iron skin that no weapon can penetrate. And finally, there is Bingwei Ma, the champion of Sun Valley and master of hand to hand combat.
This is the team that Ein has formed to carry out his impossible task of killing the Emperor of Ten Kings, who cannot be killed by a mortal man. This leads Ein to travel across the land of Hosa, collecting his heroes and also joining in various skirmishes, battles against spirits and a revolution.
The book throws us straight into the action with a battle in which Itami Cho is attempting to protect an innocent village from the forces of The Flaming Fist who believes have kidnapped his daughter, Yanmei, so in retaliation he has pledged to kill every last one of the village. In the battle that ensues, Cho is killed but comes back to life at the hands of Ein, who then promptly nips across to the evil lot and raises The Emerald Wind. Once Ein has his first two heroes, he must collect his other members of his Motley Band. What ensues is the three man (and woman) team collecting the other members.
This book is just fantastic. It has all the ingredients that just make it one of those books that you can’t help enjoying. It’s got a rip roaring pace, brilliant story, great characters and is just good fun. It’s a winning formula, and let me tell you, Never Die will win you over.
Rob J.Hayes writes with such fluidity in Never Die that his prose is as smooth as silk. Not once did I feel that the pace of the story faltered, and it just moves easily to its conclusion. There are so many good things in this book, such as the combination of the wuxia inspired action and the mix of japanese mythology and brilliant interactions between the characters.
Now as you probably know, I have a few years on these bones and whilst I recognise that a lot of people will cite anime and manga, but for me, this gave me those reminiscent feels of things like The Water Margin and Monkey which I loved as a kid and introduced me to tales from the far east.
With Never Die, Rob J. Hayes has hit a winning combination that makes this book a wonderfully fun read. If you like Asian inspired fantasy, then this is a book I would highly recommend.