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Venture Unleashed (The Venture Books) by R.…
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Venture Unleashed (The Venture Books)

by R. H. Russell

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Venture has earned the right to continue training to become the best fighter and then hopefully use his winnings and prestige to win Jade, the love of his life. The obstacles facing him are mounting yet he struggles against the odds to become the champion fighter. For one, he’s a bonded servant and not supposed to be in the fight games. Those of his class are normally limited to servitude and are considered incapable of training as a fighter. Even Venture’s own brother is against his desire to fight and without his consent, all pugilistic hopes may end abruptly. In the training schools, Venture struggles against prejudice and the abuse of other fighters. It’s his determination not to be kept down that keeps him in many fights and wins the admiration of those who train him. In this second book in the series, Venture has moved on toward his goal by qualifying to be trained with the very best, but the school is brutal and Venture is a target for additional hostility. To make matters worse, he is estranged from Jade, the girl he loves, and whenever they do meet, their exchanges are filled with hurtful words and condemnation. His low social class demands they can never be together since she is born of the upper class. Venture can’t seem to catch a break until one highly respected fighter takes him under his wing. As in book one, the plot is filled with fighting and blood. It hurts to read of the beatings heaped upon Venture and even those he inflicts. Lying at the heart of the story is the courage and dauntless attempts of a boy who dreams of winning the girl he’s loved forever. This is the story of the underdog hero who is kind and gentle, despite his calling. Venture shows his softer side when he takes pity on a poor orphan boy and when he plays the sweet uncle to his brother’s little children. He is supremely courageous, fighting despite his injuries and pain. Russell’s hero is a male version of Saba from Blood Red Road or Celaena from Throne of Glass. The world is harsh and cruel and the hero must use his wits, his determination and his strength to win the ultimate prize. Many of the common people are rooting for this underdog hero but there are many, especially the Cresteds (the upper class) who are plotting Venture’s demise. The story moves at a rapid pace, with unrelenting action and continual threats. Some scenes are more detailed while others seem abbreviated, making the plot a bit uneven. One particular intense threat seems to put him in imminent danger only to have it fade into the background. Still, the story should have universal appeal; the fighting adventure will lure the boys while the girls will be intrigued with the romantic longing. ( )
  love_of_books | Jan 16, 2014 |
While picking up where Venture Untamed" left off, "Venture Unleashed" is a great sequel that continues with Venture's struggles. This time, Venture not only struggles with becoming the best fighter, he is struggling with his growing love for Jade and fighting to stay alive despite several attempts on his life.

Russell has captured the essence of fighting amongst romance, good versus evil, and true friendship in the characters of this book. Venture's desire to please shows through his tough exterior as does his compassion for the young boy Chance.

An enjoyable book even if it isn't within my usual genre of reading. ( )
  thumpercml | Apr 22, 2012 |
I was very happy when R. H. Russell asked me to review Venture Unleashed. I reviewed the first book in the series, Venture Untamed, and really enjoyed it. For those of you who didn’t read my review of Venture Untamed, Russell has had many years of martial arts training, and this makes the fight sequences especially realistic. The book picks up right where Venture Untamed left us, as Venture Delving arrives at the Champions Center to begin training for a place in the ultimate fighting competition and secure the title of Champion of All Richland.

At the Champions Center Venture meets two legends in the fighting world: Dasher Starson and Will Fisher, both past champions. He soon finds out that his path to victory will be rocky. In an attempt to put the new kid in his place, Venture is beaten unconscious by Dasher, but earns his respect by not backing down. After Starson decides to leave the Champions Center and strike out on his own, he takes Venture with him.

Along the way they meet a precocious runaway named Chance who latches onto Venture and becomes his constant companion, and after some time on the road, training and working with Dash, they return to Twin Rivers for some time off. There Venture inevitably runs into Jade, his life-long friend and the girl he loves but can never have, and their reunion is fraught with tension, since Venture swore to her father that he wouldn’t pursue a relationship with her. He tries to be proper and respectful around Jade, but it is clear he is struggling and only wants to declare his love.

Dealing with his feelings for Jade is only one of many obstacles that Venture must face before the story ends. When he finally gets his chance to compete for the ultimate title, enemies resurface and threaten not only his chances of winning, but his very life as well. Venture must overcome injuries, jealousies, and hatred before things get better.

Russell’s writing is smooth and flowing, which I especially appreciated. Although the subject matter, hand-to-hand combat, is not something I usually seek out to read, I found myself cheering for Venture along with all his friends. Russell has given Venture the admirable qualities of duty and honor, but he also struggles with his temper, which makes him a very human character. He also displays an important trait of many successful athletes, which is the ability to push through the pain and continue to compete. The constant threat that the crested, or elite, are trying to get rid of the Championship is a driving force throughout the story, and it makes for some great tension.

The character of Venture is a testament to anyone who has been put down and ostracized for being different, and had the strength to overcome those obstacles. Russell has created a hero in Venture that shines a light on the tenacity of the human spirit.

Many thanks to the author for providing a review copy of the book.
  booksbonesbuffy | Apr 18, 2012 |
I received this book as a member giveaway. It is the sequel to "Venture Untamed" and takes off where it left off. Venture has just got into a fighting school and immediately finds himself in trouble.

He manages to get out of trouble and ends up training with Dasher (a former fighting champion) along with trainer Ernest (from previous book). Venture's low status often creates many problems for him. And to complicate matter further Venture is still in love with Jade, although realizes their love is impossible.

The characters are well developed and I am looking forward to read further about Venture. ( )
  Shoosty | Apr 11, 2012 |
This book is the sequel to Venture Untamed and picks up where Venture and his friends are headed to Champions's. Venture finally has his chance to show the world his skills, but once again there are so many forces working against him. Venture meets Dasher, a champion fighter who takes him under his wing and teaches him how to be a champion. This book has it all, action, romance, suspense! I can't wait to read more about Venture! ( )
  Athenajewel | Mar 31, 2012 |
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