The Combat Codes — Alexander Darwin

The Combat Codes — Alexander Darwin

THE COMBAT CODES takes place in a world without war, where conflicts between nations are instead determined in one-to-one combat. As such, it is a great honor to be a fighter and to live by a humble, honorable code.

But as with everything good, once corporate and government interests take over, we can no longer have nice things. Governments stoop low to enhance their fighters, investing in morally questionable tech, and old-school fighters—like our protagonist Murray—become… well, old and outdated.

Overall, THE COMBAT CODES is packed with action, martial arts expertise wrapped in engaging prose. You learn more about the world as you go, which I love, and the fight scenes are rich and intense, which—as someone who practices Muay Thai—I greatly appreciated. It’s not scenes of people getting absolutely demolished but still standing and preening like heroes, like in the movies. This book captures how frail people are, where even one tiny misstep can take down a seasoned fighter. That you can train for hours a day and still suffer through a round of burpees, lol

I see you. And I feel you.

I enjoyed how the clash with corporate and government interests was portrayed, producing kind of a Disneyland effect in the fighting world. Why suffer and age when you can use tech to enhance your fighters? Bigger, stronger, faster! And we see it all the time, in real life. Anyone who puts in years and years of practice, only to be overshadowed by whelps taking shortcuts, will understand.

One thing I did have a little trouble with was the change in pace, and it felt a little like three books in one. The second third was different than the first, almost like a different subgenre, and the last third as well. As such, I didn’t quite know which conflict to focus on, but was glad all the same when they were resolved at the end. Well, as much as the author wanted us to think they were resolved.

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