“From the Annals of Awesome” — a Review of Tigerman

Blog Post #62

I just finished reading Tigerman by Nick Harkaway, a few hours ago. Whew! It’s quite a ride — my heart is still racing from the hair-raising, nail-biting end. I posted this review on my Goodreads page, but I thought I would share it here as well. (You all know my penchant for the two-for-one!)

Tigerman is the second novel by Harkaway that I have read. I loved everything about his first novel, Gone-Away World — his writing style, the characters, the story. It had all that I want In a story: tense, suspenseful action, brave and complicated characters, funny bits, clever writing, and a plot that is never predictable but is wholly satisfying.

Tigerman by Nick HarkawayTigerman is all those things and just as action-packed as Gone-Away World. It’s a “leet” story with a modern tone and a spectacular comic book flavour complete with superheroes, secret identities, crime fighting duos, big government baddies, impending world destruction, romance and, of course, a “david vs goliath” theme.

The novel takes place on the island of Mancreu, “an unbothered ethnic jumble of Arab and African and Asian, with the inevitable mixture of Europeans”. The island is slated to be obliterated because of the catastrophic “Discharge Clouds” that erupt with a noxious gas and strange new microorganisms that cause grisly birth defects and horrifying illnesses that threaten to spread beyond Mancreu’s waters.

Lester Ferris, a sergeant in the British army, is assigned to this small island, to serve as the British Counsul. Mancreu, formerly under British rule, but now in the hands of NATO, is preparing to relocate its remaining residents before its final destruction. Lester’s main job is to smooth the transition and be a support for the people still awaiting their relocation. And more importantly, stay out of the limelight.

The sergeant befriends a mysterious local boy who appears to be alone in the world. The boy is clever, enigmatic and obsessed with comic books and superheroes. Lester becomes very attached to this boy and imagines adopting him and saving him from disappearing into the “system” after the relocation.

Lester is suddenly thrown into a wild and dangerous scenario when a group of thugs burst into a local bar, murder their friend, Shola and narrowly miss killing the boy as they sit drinking tea. The sergeant agrees to the boy’s plea to find out who masterminded the fatal crime.

This begins the wild, crazy, and perilous quest of the superhero, Tigerman. The fast action, daring acts of heroism and bravado carry us through a tale that is thick with subterfuge, complications, danger — richocheting bullets, massive explosions, wild car chases, sinister characters, an awkward budding romance, as well as a plot twist that you won’t see coming.

Nick Harkaway tells a story that is witty, well-crafted filled with dark undercurrents, comedic moments, a breath of sentimentality all wrapped up in a heart-stopping, full scale adventure.

Tigerman is definitely a novel “full of win.”

Rated: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


Brynne’s Daily Drawing #62

Brynne's Daily Drawing #62


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