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The Devil's Breath by David Gilman
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The Devil's Breath

by David Gilman

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The Devil's Breath by David Gilman is an excellent book. The book starts off with an English school boy (Max Gordan) who is taking a relaxing stroll in the evening. Suddenly bullets are shot at him and when he ducks to take cover he can here another person trying to get him. Max barely escapes that problem and immediately when he reaches the school he finds out that his dad is missing. His dad has left nothing to him except one clue which Max cannot decipher. Max must face many enemies in this book from Shaka Chang to Mr.Slye or just the random people who come in to the story to shoot him. There is a bit too much violence like when the book describes in great detail as a man is devoured by a lion but all in all the book is not that bad. Each chapter ends in a great cliffhanger and I managed to read the entire book in one sitting. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good action story.
  TomasJefferson | Oct 19, 2013 |
This book is about Max Gordan. He's looking for his father somewhere in Africa. Right before Max left for Africa, an assasin comes after Max. Max runs into the shooting zone and somebody shoots the assasin unintentionally saving Max's life. Max finds his father with the help of a Bushmen boy called !Koga. Max also stops Shaka Chang from destroying the dam and flooding Max's friend, Kallie's village.
This book was interesting. Max was nearly killed so many times in this book. At one point of the book, I thought that Max was killed by a lioness but the lioness had went after a murderer. This book was a little confusing at times but was enjoyable. ( )
  sammynop | Jan 20, 2011 |
I have mixed thoughts about this book. Let me start off that I had to put it on hold for a bit because I didn't have time to continue reading it (Life has its moments). The beginning of the book was very interesting but at the same time a bit dull. Max Gordon is a fifteen-year old boy who attends an all boy school called Dartmoor High, which is located in England. The story begins with an assassin following Max as he is running through the remote part of the school grounds during his spare time.

The assassin is then killed in his attempt to kill Max. The school is near a Military training facility and the killer was caught in the middle of a shooting session. Max then learns that his father has gone missing in Namibia. He also starts to realize that someone wants him dead, but who? Max makes the decision to runaway and search for his Father in Africa in which a great and dangerous adventure lies before him.

I found the whole adventure in Africa to be thrilling. I think Max is a good protagonist, especially for boys. He's headstrong, smart, and can handle situations well under pressure. The descriptions of the Namibia really brought the story to life. My only problem was that in certain parts of the story, there was more telling then showing. This made the story lag a bit and made it a bit difficult to continue reading.

This was a good start in a series. I'm sure the other books will be as interesting as this one. If you're in the mood for an action packed read, then check this one out! ( )
  Euphoria13 | Sep 14, 2010 |
A great adventure/survival story with a little bit of fantasy worked into the plot. Max Gordon suddenly finds his life in danger and at almost the same time, Max's dad, Tom Gordon disappears in Namibia. When some mysterious clues come his way and no one else seems to be looking for his dad, Max sets out on his own to find him. ( )
  kthielen | Sep 8, 2010 |
This book is in the same general vein as the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz: a capable and resourceful teenage boy from England travels to some sort of exotic locale and faces a variety of dangers before saving the day. Lots of action and gadgets, and Gilman introduces a mystical element with the inclusion of African shamanism. If you are looking for high-stakes adventure and plenty of action it may be worth checking this book out, but you will also need to be able to overlook some aspects of the writing that I found distracting.

Gilman is rather obviously accustomed to writing scripts for television shows. I counted at least fourteen distinct viewpoint characters while reading, and the book is just under 400 pages in length (American hardcover release). That makes for a lot of jumping around, even within scenes, and whenever it happens the story turns rather clunky. A television show is better designed for quick changes in viewpoint, and it can accommodate more viewpoints in a single episode than a novel can. (It did not help matters for me that some of the jumps seemed solely for the purpose of explaining why the adults in the story were keeping vital information from the teenagers, even when giving the teenagers that information would have vastly simplified matters for everyone involved. In other words, it felt very artificial as I was reading it.)

It was also just as obvious to me that one of the goals of this story is to impart information in order to educate the readers about environmental and social issues. When information and issues are so obviously presented as such in a novel -- when the main purpose and goal is not to tell a good story -- I tend to resent it, since I was expecting a story and not a lecture or lesson. Including morals and information and serious discussion in a story isn't bad -- it's actually quite important -- but they don't have to be blatant, and it is probably better if they aren't. For one thing, slowing (or stopping) the story in order to explain something can contribute to clunky writing, and in an action/adventure/thriller type story you really don't want to put a high-speed chase on hold in order to describe the countryside. It tends to throw the reader out of the story. ( )
  shadrach_anki | Jan 14, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 038573560X, Hardcover)

WHEN AN ASSASSIN bursts from the shadows to try to kill him on the dark, windswept grounds of his boarding school in England, Max Gordon realizes his life is about to change forever.

After learning that his explorer father is missing, Max is determined to find him, no matter what dangers may lay in his path. A secret clue his father left behind leads Max to the inhospitable wilderness of Namibia, where he soon discovers a potentially massive ecological disaster masterminded by Shaka Chang, a very powerful and completely ruthless man—a man Max fears may have put his father in mortal danger. Max needs all the help he can get. Because whoever is behind his father’s disappearance is determined to get rid of Max, too. For good.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:44 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

When fifteen-year-old Max Gordon's environmentalist-adventurer father goes missing while working in Namibia and Max becomes the target of a would-be assassin at his school in England, he decides he must follow his father to Africa and find him before they both are killed.… (more)

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