Shining Stories

Y’all, I’m gonna be honest–I’m really stepping out of my comfort zone with JD Nyle‘s Neostriker: Shining.

(Here’s a link to my vlog too!)

This story follows young David Gallaback, a junior in high school who’s got quite the imagination. As a young child, he and his friends came up with a Pokemon-meets-Yu Gi Yo-meets-all-those-TV shows/card games-that-I-never-saw-as-a-kid elements.

Basically, with the help of a “neot,” each Neostriker Warrior has a spiritual guide/sensei who help them transform and fight against evil. Certain “neocards” and weapons can be used in powerful combos against combatants, and there are also “elite stones” which grant the user power over the elements.

I’m just going to say this now–I don’t think I was the intended audience for this book. I do enjoy action scenes (and there were many) however, since I never grew up with these types of shows/games, it didn’t hold my interest as much as some other action-books have.

That said, even though I didn’t fully understand the whole Neostriker-Warrior storyline (the fact that it was David’s dream and then in became reality kind of confused me), I did enjoy aspects of the book. I think the characters were fairly well developed and I honestly really enjoyed their development over the course of the book. It was cool to see them grow.

I also really liked the structure of the book–Nyle divided the book into “episodes” which were interesting. Then, after each episode, there were “episode notes,” which I thoroughly enjoyed. Since I didn’t have context into the inspiration of the book, the notes were helpful in providing both inspirational context as well as insight into Nyle’s goals for each episode. I’ve never seen that in a book before, but I’m a movie-special-feature-fiend, so I did eat those notes up!

Speaking of movies, I almost feel as though this story, like explained in my thoughts on Working-class Superheroes, I think this story would have possibly been better suited for some sort of visual medium. For instance, I think a graphic novel or television series would be excellent. The story was just so layered and nuanced that for me, it was a little tricky to keep track of the characters and the action. Moreover, I think that since Nyle is such a descriptive writer, it would be beneficial to actually see the legendary armor and fight scenes.

So, overall, I liked parts of the book–I liked the characters and the actual action scenes; I also loved the appendices Nyle provided. But it was a little tricky for me to get into the story of the Neostrikers itself. The meta-ness of Neostrikers being both David’s creation and suddenly his real life went a little over my head. However, I can honestly say that I am glad I read it and expanded my repertoire.

So, if you grew up with Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, or other similar games/TV Shows, I think you’ll really enjoy this book. Similarly, if you like action scenes, this book is definitely worth giving it a go.

That’s all I’ve got for now, be sure to look out for my next posts on my Twitter friend Lala Palacido‘s book Blank Slate!

Happy Reading!

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