As martial artists we often get bogged down in details. Techniques, training, research…it’s all very technical and thick.
Every now and then it’s fun to explore the ‘what ifs’ of martial arts. Luckily, for those times, we have authors like Sarah Gerdes and novels like Chambers.
Chambers is a martial arts mystery whereupon two teens are thrust into their father’s world of unusual artifacts, double crosses, and historical intrigue.
When Ms. Gerdes asked me if I might be interested in giving the book a read, I was happy to agree. The martial arts world is filled with spiritual and magical possibilities if we give ourselves permission to enjoy them (if only from time to time). When I found out that this book was interlaced with historical flavor from 15th Century China (an area and time not my specialty), I knew I’d be able to enjoy the read.
The story begins…
with two protagonists, Cage and Mia, who are a brother/sister team. They are both teens and exhibit some classic American qualities. Cage is a fiery martial arts student who is fairly confident in his own greatness. Mia is a very self-assured soccer player, aware of her budding attractiveness but often underplaying it.
The two find themselves mixed up in a scuffle between their dad and his boss, and before they realize the scope of their situation, they find themselves transported to a distant time and place – Ming Dynasty China, face to face with the 14 year old emporer.
As you can imagine, there is significant “fish out of water” elements to the story as the youngsters attempt to find their dad and save him (without altering history).
This book is good for…
any martial artist who wants to let imagination take over. The story is threaded with tidbits of real history and real training (the author is a martial artist herself), but for the most part raw action and magic rule the day. Cage exhibits skills well beyond his years and commands some intriguing powers as the story develops.
I think the best readership for this book is the teenage bracket, although adults (like myself) can certainly enjoy it. The mindsets and situations faced would speak most clearly to a teenager, especially one who is starting a martial art and is experiencing all the vast possibilities and unknown benefits that comes with it. Romances, conflict, and martial encounters (often with large groups of baddies) keep the pages turning and the story progressing.
The good news is…
if you like this book, there will be more to come. Ms. Gerdes plans to create a total of 5 novels in the series, following the adventures of Cage and Mia as they attempt to unravel the mysteries of their father’s research. Furthermore, Chambers has been optioned by Warp Entertainment and producer Lucas Foster with plans to adapt the book into a movie. Certainly the scale and far-off-setting of the story will translate well onto the silver screen.
Right now Chambers is available via Kindle (which you can use on any Kindle ereader or PC via the free Kindle software), Nook from Barnes and Noble, and for Apple products. The price is extremely manageable at $2.99 a copy.