[READING REVIEW] “Velcro: The Ninja Kat” by Chris Widdop

As a reader, do you every wonder: “gee, why aren’t there any anthropomorphic ninja books to read?” Well I’ve got great news for you THERE’S A SERIES!

From author/filmmaker and friend Chris Widdop comes: “VELCRO: THE NINJA KAT“, a 5 book series {only 3 released as of this posting} about a cat named Velcro who is a ninja fighting against a corrupt military. Simple premise, but lots of things to explore.

The Good:

  • The world is very imaginative.

Mr. Widdop has said that these books come from games he use to play with his pets as a young child and you can tell in the level of imagination surrounding everything. There’s a youth’s non restrictive thinking to it most world building lacks these days. The environment of animal toys and equipment described and manifested into anthropomorphic tech will make you chuckle at the brilliance of it. Magical elements are introduced and explained in a way that’s easy to accept and make you excited for future stories.

  • The supporting cast is wonderful.

Aside from a few cats we meet, who I feel are just introduced for future stories, we spend most of the book with a group of escaped hamsters. These guy are wonderful and could have an entire book dedicated to their history. They’re also the major form of comic relief, which when you think about hamsters makes perfect sense.

  • The pacing is incredible!

Each chapter leaves you unable to not automatically start reading the next one, a feat most books rarely accomplish. And from a debut novel too! If the remainder of the series holds this pacing I’ll be very pleased.

  • The action scenes are clear and intense.

Being a book with “ninja” in the title you’re going to expect some action via fights. You won’t be disappointed here. When the abundant fights break out they’re presented clearly and effectively. The visceral nature of the fights also caught me off guard a bit which was nice.

The Bad:

  • Velcro loses every fight!

Now I’m sure this is for dramatic character growth over the series, but for a cool ninja character at least one battle should have gone their way. Getting too much help can cause problems.

  • The tone was a little confusing.

This isn’t a complaint about the prose. The prose was clear throughout. My issue here was age rage of the intended audience. In the early chapters once Velcro teams up with the hamsters the tone and writing comes off as a kids book. Like 8-10 aged kids. This wouldn’t be a problem normally, it’s a well written kids book in that regard. The problems with it appear later. The first of which is a lone appearance of the big “GD”.

Now I’m not here to go into the moral/social issues with the term, it’s Mr. Widdop’s book and he can write what he pleases. From what I remember of his Twitter feed when the book was coming out this moment received friction. I can understand why, it’s jarring when it occurs! You’re reading a fun kids book when BOOM! Then back to fun kids book.

It seemed intentionally out of place.

I say it was done intentionally because of the full tone shift happens in Chapter 16. From here we get a gritty, rather emotional backstory which from here the tone is a consistent adult fantasy book. I feel this was where Mr. Widdop always wanted the book to be and the future books will maintain this tone. Each half of the book is well done, they just clashed a bit for me.

Short-Story-Long:

I thoroughly loved this book and am excited to read the rest of the series! You should pick this up and give it a read too. You can buy it HERE.

~_M.H._~

Follow Me on Twitter: @MHSmith22

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