Thursday, May 30, 2013

"Gothic Gladiator (Tales of the Gothic Warrior)" by Billy Wong

Gothic Gladiator
(Tales of the Gothic Warrior)
by Billy Wong

Light-hearted (but violent) fantasy action with one butt-kicking heroine.
After winning her spot from a seven foot kickboxer, goth singer and self styled Gothic warrior Freya enters an evil billionaire's underground fighting tournament. She finds herself right at home battling aristocrats, sumos, thugs, ninjas and psycho killers for the title of "greatest in the world." But what will she face if she makes it to the final round against the mysterious Grand Champion?
A novelette. Third chronologically in the Gothic Warrior series.

To anyone watching not in the know, it would have looked like Freya was being severely bullied by seven foot two motorcycle gang leader Chase Young.  Chase's resume had it all—ex-college basketball star, war hero, survival expert, professional kickboxer.  Right now, he had his hands around Freya's neck, choking her suspended in midair over the junkyard as a crowd of his crude biker buddies watched.  But in reality Freya Blackstar, lead singer of goth metal band Helbound and self-styled Gothic warrior, was loving every second of this.
His grip weakening from her kicks to his arms, Chase walked forward and slammed her down on the hood of a car with deafening force, creating a huge dent.  She cried out in pain, but recovered almost instantly and kicked him away.  "You dented my car!  Now I'm going to kick your ass!"  She peeled her mere five foot seven body off the hood and stood.  Already one of her infamous fingerless "battle gloves" was ripped off and blood covered half her face, but she bounced up and down lightly.  "Get ready big boy!"
She rushed forward, swinging for the fences.  Chase missed with a punch and absorbed several thunderous hooks to the body, each one cracking ribs and driving the breath from him.  Desperately he grabbed her by the hair and dazed her with a knee to the chin.  He stepped back and kicked her full force in the face, making her do a involuntary backflip.  Freya got her hands beneath her and tried to push up, drooling blood.  Her arms gave out.  She flopped face down in the dirt, one arm at her side, the other stretched out to her right.  The fingers of her left hand twitched a bit and were still; her eyes slowly closed, and blood began to pool around her mouth.
Chase backed off, hugging his middle.  "Oh, come on!  I know you're faking with that overdramatic collapse!  You think I haven't seen your stupid videos?  You want me to start beating on your 'corpse' so you can make your epic comeback."  She didn't move.  He stepped forward and nudged her right fist with his foot, but quickly pulled back.  "Fine then.  If you want to just keep lying there, we'll just say you lost."
Freya shook her head, got up and wiped her bloody lips.  "So you figured out my game, good for you.  But if you don't play it, that'll just make me mad."

It's a good read. The characters are engaging and the story is riveting. I could not wait to find out what happened. Some of the dialogue has some offensive language so beware if you are sensitive to swear words. The story is great though and the characters keep you engaged in what is going on and sitting on the edge of your seat.

About the Author
Billy Wong is an avid fan of heroic fantasy, with a special love for strong female warriors. He draws inspiration from the epic legends of old, and is on a quest to bring over the top deeds and larger than life heroes back to prominence in today's literary world.
Billy lives in Coney Island, Brooklyn. He has written numerous fantasy books, including the Iron Flower series and the Gothic Warrior series. The Gothic Warrior series consists of Gothic Warrior and the Dark Man, Seeds of Despair, Gothic Gladiator, and Best in the Elf-ing World.