The Combat Codes

Orbit. (The Combat Codes, Bk. 1). Jun. 2023. 464p. ISBN 9780316493000. pap. $18.99. FANTASY
DEBUT As a Scout, Murray Pearson hunts for new talent to serve as Grievars—knights who determine the fate of nations with their fists. He grapples with disillusionment until he discovers Cego, a young boy off the streets with a hazy past. Their feudal society is morphing into a high-tech dystopian world that Murray no longer recognizes, but in Cego he finds a boy who still embodies the Combat Codes, the spirit and honor of their people. As Murray risks himself to investigate the conspiracies of the Citadel and Cego’s mysterious origins, Cego endures the ruthlessly captivating combat academy. As the underdog and the washed-up, Cego and Murray are remarkable characters who stay true to the codes despite others’ perversion of them, and it’s impossible not to root for the pair. This is a perfect blend of fantasy, cyberpunk, and mixed martial arts that is enhanced by flawless action sequences and ideals that are still worth fighting for.
VERDICT With surprising depth and touching relationships, this debut packs a punch and sets up a fascinating foundation for the rest of the series. Great for fans of Will Wight.
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