Blade: Breaking Free is the third book in the ‘Blade’ series. Tim Bowler, the Carnegie winning author of River Boy, Starseeker and Frozen Fire, has already written the fourth in this urban thriller series and a fifth book is planned for 2010.
14-year-old Blade lives the harsh, often lonely street life of someone involved in youth gangs and street violence. In the opening pages, Blade thinks he is dead, having only just survived a knife attack. He survives but only just. With a knife in his hand, he is now alone and in hiding, moving from place to place and living by his wits with his enemies (and he is not even sure who these are) closing in on him.
The story is narrated to an invisible Big Eyes. Who is Big Eyes? His conscience perhaps, because although Blade has done some terrible things in the past, he is developing a sense of what is right and wrong. His first thought is for survival, but he is beginning to understand the harm he has done to others in the past.
It’s aimed, I think, at teenage boy readers, perhaps of the reluctant kind. It’s fast paced and gripping and although it is full of a contemporary, nasty kind of violence, it is not without conscience. This book is probably best read after the first two books in the series, rather than as a stand alone read. Readers will enjoy the fact that these are short books with more episodes to follow.