3 out of 4 stars
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In The Sting of Death by M.A.N, the Killer Bee Gang (KBG) was bent on controlling the city. They carried out their mission vigorously and took over schools, banks, and other gangs with cruelty and gore. However, their plan was interrupted by the Gang Called Death (GCD), another gang with a similar mission. As the leaders of the gangs, Crane of KBG and Villain of GCD, go toe to toe, lives were violently lost. The gangs never envisaged the appearance of another formidable and deadlier opponent, the man in the rice farmer hat. The fate of the gangs would be determined by their ability to lay their enmity aside.
The story was narrated in simple language. The author's descriptions of characters were not extravagant but primarily generic. If storytelling could ever be described as clean, this book would be a good example. One of the beautiful things about it was the ease of reading. Readers would have an easy time going through the book from start to finish.
I loved the book's characterization. Readers would for sure find the character of Priest exciting. This character reminded me of Aramis from The Three Musketeers. The character naming was another thing that got to me. Readers would see names like Ghost (for his ghost-like speed) and Crane (for his intelligence). The book brought on a lot of action scenes; its target audience would be thrilled by it. There were references to exciting fighting techniques, like the famous 'uppercut.'
I loved how the author used Crane to showcase the power of the mind. He showed that intelligence was superior to raw strength. I applauded this message because of the class of audience to whom this book would probably appeal. An audience of young people would benefit immensely from such a message. The author also incorporated humor with the characters' dialogue, which served the book's plot well.
One of the negative things I observed was that the author's timelines were confusing. There were no clear delimitations between the already running storyline and a flashback-like interlude used by the author to show how some characters came into the story. They were all mixed up in a way that many readers would only realize at the end of the interlude that a paragraph went way back in the story's timeline.
There was also no strong sense of setting in the book. Yes, there were hints in the book that showed the story played out in the United States, and the players were blacks. But I did not get the 'feel' of the city that would have justified the activities of gangs in the area. Despite the hints, it almost felt like the story took place in the air or some mythical city.
This book had a good story and would make a good read. I'd recommend this book to young adults with a flair for crime-action stories. The editing was good; I only saw a few errors. But due to the concerns mentioned above, I'd rate it three out of four stars.
The Sting of Death
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