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05 November 2012

Russell Blake: JET II - Betrayal

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Jet flies higher and higher
Sit back and enjoy another unforgettable episode of over-the-top escapist romps featuring Jet, an unstoppable female cold-hearted killing machine. There have been a few fictional kick-ass female "heroes" before (notably Lizbeth Salander [Steg Larssen] and Vanessa Michael Munroe [Taylor Stevens]) but no-one as apparently cold-hearted, skilled and successful as Jet.

This time Jet adds Parkour (a combination of gymnastics and martial arts) to her  skill-set. With Parkour, Jet almost become a Spiderwoman, defying gravity and the laws of physics by climbing up unscaleable buildings and jumping from building to building in death defying acts of athletic skill.

Facing up to another challenge with the help of Parkour is easy for Jet: "Six men. Four buildings. One Jet. She liked the odds."

Despite being cold-hearted in action, at the beginning of the book Jet shows that she has normal emotions when she is allowed to live an everyday life, especially with her her 2 and a half year old daughter, Hannah. She also shows an ability to bond with her loved ones and forge relationships and friendships.

But for the first time Jet meets a situation that even she can't control - when Hannah goes berserk in the shops when she can't get her own way.

Once again Jet has to leave her daughter behind to cope with to some Russian nasties left over from Jet #1 and a potential terrorist threat that could spread panic and illness across the world. The express-paced action moves from Uruguay, to Argentina, to Russia, to Yemen and the US as Jet and an unexpected companion battle evil in all its forms. Some of the similarities in the Yemen episode to those in Nelson DeMille's recently released "The Panther" are uncanny.

In previous reviews I thought that the character of Jet was too over-blown, and not realistic enough. I now understand where Russell Blake is coming from in unapologetically and deliberately going overboard to create a series that would catch the imagination of his reader audience.  While I am still not a total convert, I was once again riding on his roller coaster with this book.

Blake's Jet production line in releasing 3 books in the Jet series in apparently less than 3 months and foreshadowing another 1 or 2 still to come is impressive.  With so much to think about I wonder how he sleeps at night and how he dreams up the twists and turns for such a complex series.

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