Rosie’s#Bookreview Of Comic Book Hero Style #YoungAdult Fiction THE ASSOCIATE By J.S. Frankel

The AssociateThe Associate by J.S. Frankel

3 stars

The Associate is a young adult comic book hero type story. Seventeen-year-old Nate is rescued from a street assault by Ukiko, a woman from another dimension of Earth. She is chasing a criminal from her own world and it’s not long before Nate is further involved.

The criminal known as Astral is searching for an all-powerful weapon here on Earth, and he causes chaos and destruction in his ruthless hunt. After one incident with Astral, Nate and his girlfriend are picked up by the police for questioning after the media exposed them, but the CIA and FBI quickly take over. Later, after escaping with Ukiko’s help, they go on the run.

As well as the superhero theme, the author has also chosen to highlight disabilities and the problems and prejudices that affect those with them. There is also a minor straightforward teen romance element.

I liked the idea of using main characters with physical impediments and showing how they overcome them. I was less interested in the comic book hero side of the story; for me it never developed enough to be believable in an urban fantasy sense. I quite liked Nate, but at times the author gave him too much mundane narrative and on a few occasions he had detailed information about a current scene which would have been unlikely.

Not a bad book, but not one which got further than lukewarm for me.

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Book description

Courage counts for everything.

Nate Holliday is your average teen, living a fairly ordinary life in Portland, Oregon. Born without a right hand, he copes with his disability the best that he can, although he still feels like an outsider.

His fairly ordinary life changes when he meets Ukiko Monaghan, a woman from an alternate Earth. Ukiko, known as Dividing Woman for her ability to split her body into multiple copies of herself, is after a violent criminal named Astral, who can summon up demons from another dimension.

Astral is aided by Tony Lethal, a thug who enjoys stomping people. Together, they are in search of the Spark, an all-powerful weapon, and Ukiko enlists Nate’s help in finding it before they do.

Now, Nate, along with his girlfriend, Melanie Sarkosian, have to avoid spectral demons, the various branches of the law, and curiosity seekers, as they race to find the Spark before Astral does. It’s a hard journey, one fraught with danger, and Nate has to conquer his own demons before he can conquer those who seek to defeat him in his quest.

Sometimes, courage is all you need.

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