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Review: Hit the Ground Running by Mark Burley

Hit the Ground Running by Mark BurleyHit the Ground Running
Mark Burley
Blue Moon Publishing
Published April 25, 2017

Amazon | Goodreads

A terrifying video from his brother leads Eric to think something is terribly wrong. When he learns his parents are missing, and confirms his brother’s disappearance after the video seems to show him captured and possibly shot, Eric vows to help them. He can’t do much from his remote boarding school location, but with the help of the lovely and talented Tess, who agrees to play his girlfriend in an effort to throw off pursuers, and Tess’s friends who possess some pretty amazing online skills, Eric just might have a chance at cracking the mystery and bringing his family home safely.

What Eric finds as he reaches his parents’ lab in California changes the whole game. Secret artifacts point to a dangerous ritual, and deadly assassins close in on Eric’s trail. Eric must outwit those chasing him in time to locate his family and plan their rescue.

This book pretty much had me at parkour. Apparently I’m a total sucker for stories which feature characters with an unusual interest (see my review of Graffiti Moon or Everything, Everything, which happily features another parkour kid!) so this book had me really curious.

I feel like Blue Moon Publishers has been a little hit and miss with me in terms of books I like. Hit the Ground Running was a huge win. The sense of mystery and high stakes yanked me through page after page well past my bedtime. Eric’s concern for his family and his conflicting feelings about Tess won me over superfast. The story isn’t completely from Eric’s point-of-view. Several chapters are from Tess’s point-of-view, and we get a couple of other characters sneaking in from time to time to give us their input.

If you like action-packed stories with high stakes, you will want to have this one on your summer reading list.

Recommended for Ages 13 up.

Cultural Elements
Major characters appear to be white. One of Eric’s allies is wheelchair-bound. He and his twin sister still enjoy a lot of active sports like surfing.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
A brief kiss.

Spiritual Content
Eric tells his allies about a strange situation his parents looked into, in which a dead person resurrected to exact revenge. He calls this person a Revenant. He learns his parents may have found an artifact which can be used in a ritual to grant something like resurrection, but without the gory grossness that comes from being Revenant and needing revenge, still decomposing.

Tess’s necklace shows a Makara, a mythical creature from Hindu mythology. There’s a brief description of some Hindu beliefs associated with the Makara and creation and such.

Violent Content
Eric sees video which shows a dark image of his brother getting shot. He discovers the body of a man whose throat has been cut. Bad guys chase him, he tries to escape. Some depictions of kidnapping (bound captive tossed into a trunk).

Brief reference to torture.

Drug Content

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.