Beautifully written, extraordinarily powerful, a rare gem of a read!
Ciaran has lost his way. He’s forgotten the boy he was and the man he wanted to become. Worst of all, he's betrayed his only true friend, Isobel, leading her to a tragic accident.
His estranged brother, Patrick, forces him to carry out one last job for his crew: collecting a stolen gun and delivering it to the gangster Eliza Frost. In return, Patrick reveals a startling secret: somebody faked their father's death.
When the gun malfunctions, fastening itself to Ciaran’s hand, he’s framed for the murder of two policemen and forced to go on the run. He searches for a way to remove the weapon and find his father, but the police, Eliza Frost and a black ops team of frighteningly modified soldiers are all hunting him and Isobel may be the only person who can help.
Stylistically and thematically, Dead Weapons proves an interesting step change from Woodward’s Deathling’s Chronicles series and it’s an idea with endless possibilities. Military tech novels have become something of a subgenre, exploring weapons and warfare in the far-flung futures of our imaginations but here Woodward keeps it tantalisingly close to reality and the times in which we find ourselves. Benefiting from a clever plot and Woodward’s acerbic prose its execution is relatively straight forward with Ciaran unwittingly thrust into an ever broadening race against time. Few authors manage to successfully conceive realistic scenarios for an eager readership expecting chases, fights and thrills in abundance but Woodward achieves it with consummate ease whilst a vivid imagination brings us an incredible array of plausible tech enhancements. Few are more intriguing than air bullets but more importantly, Woodward remains cognizant of his target readership. Ciaran might be a little misguided but other than that he’s a normal teenager and Woodward never forgets this when he thrusts his young protagonist into the thick of it with some truly memorable edge-of-your- seat scenarios. Avoiding unnecessary drama he doesn't delve too deeply into the moral or thematic implications of Ciaran’s augmented weapon, he simply portrays the challenges that Ciaran encounters while it’s in his possession and on this level it’s a winning concept.
A riveting read and a reminder of the pleasure to be found in a truly engaging and above all original story, Dead Weapons is recommended without reservation.
YA Urban Fantasy Fiction From Award Winning Author Simon Paul Woodward
Ciaran Richards’ father was a soldier. A hero. But now he’s dead. Or is he?
About Simon Woodward
Simon Paul Woodward is an award-winning writer of young-adult dark fantasy and horror stories including All The Dead Things. He lives just south of London (London, England not one of the 10 Londons in the USA, the London in Kiribati or the asteroid 8837-London; it’s best to be precise about these things). Before he didn’t live on an asteroid, he was born in the Midlands and studied in the North. His accent is a mess.
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