Review: Nunchuck City by Brian Asman

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Buy it here: Brian Asman’s Website, Amazon

Synopsis:

You better nun-check yourself before you wreck yourself!

Disgraced ex-ninja Nunchuck “Nick” Nikolopoulis just wants to open a drive-thru fondue restaurant with his best friend Rondell. But when an old enemy kidnaps the mayor, and a former flame arrives in hot pursuit, Nick’s going to have to dust off his fighting skills and face his past. Plus an army of heavily-armed ninjas, a very well-dressed street gang, an Australian sumo wrestler with a gnarly skin condition, giant robots, municipal paperwork, and much, much more! From the rooftops to the sewers, Nick and his ex-girlfriend Kanna Kikuchi are in for the fight of their lives!

Also featuring the backup story “Curse of the Ninja” by Lucas Mangum! 

Review:

While preparing for this, the third and final book by Brian Asman that I am reviewing this week, I took an expedition to find the grand sensei book reviewer that lives as a recluse in a mountain temple surrounded by books, disciples, and a lot of opinions. I looked for this person for an entire afternoon before deciding to just watch the first half of the movie adaptation of Double Dragon instead. I still might be a little underprepared, but I know I will come out of this fight as a winner.

Nunchuck City is the newest novel by Brian Asman, the second on his own Mutated Media publishing imprint. I have listened to a few interviews about this book and the thing that he reiterates the most is that this is a love letter to the martial arts video games that many of us grew up playing, like Double Dragon, Bad Dudes, and Streets of Rage. I loved playing these side-scrolling, repetitive fighting games growing up, so this really does feel like one of the plots to one of those games. The hero of the story, Nunchuck “Nick” Nikolopoulis, is trying to get the paperwork to open up a drive thru fondue restaurant, and he needs his license signed by the mayor, who has just been kidnapped by an old enemy from his youth. Another ghost from the past, an ex-girlfriend who also has been pursuing this bad guy all over the world, only to circle back to the city where they all grew up to have a final showdown.

The plot and action of this book plays out like a video game or an action movie that you watch on those nights when you want to give your mind some brain candy, and this is what I love most about it. Through the three books that Brian Asman has published and after listening to some of his interviews, I feel like the best thing about his work is that his voice is unique, strong, and very recognizable. It seems like he has an attitude where he says he is going to tell a great story, have as many funny, action packed scenes as possible in it, and make the reader feel satisfied after they have read the last page. This style, where he takes the story telling seriously but makes sure that the story is not serious, is a style that many people try but very few succeed.

Brain Asman is one of those authors that has a game plan, has his next few books already planned, his next book Comic Sans is already an ad in the back of Nunchuck City. The book after this one is a haunted house story tentatively titled Man, Fuck this House, which is the best haunted house title I have ever heard. If you are smart, you should jump onto the Brian Asman train early so you can be “one of those people” who read everything  by him before he became a household name.

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