Well this is a bit of a turn-up for the books!
I’ve crossed paths with this delicious author a few times in my trek through the darker corners of storytelling. Racy pacey fighting books, realistic crime with a suspiciously transgressive sense of justice, some decidedly dodgy horror stories. So Ronin Cleans His Room Like a Ninja, hey? I was expecting to meet some relative of the cool kid sidekick from Her Name is Mercie, probably armed with a similarly oversized rifle-thingy and ready to ‘clean up’ his room the way Nicholas Angel cleans up Sandford in Hot Fuzz or Bart cleans up Rock Ridge in Blazing Saddles. There will be broken furniture, I thought, and broken glass…. There will be a explosions…. There will probably be blood….
But no, my friends. Mr Roy has moved into yet darker more dangerous territory this time: the world of small boys’ bedrooms where they leave their clothes on the floor, don’t do their homework, and give a bit too much cheek to their despairing parents.
To this scary landscape Mr Roy brings his usual fighting spirit, humor and energy. And also a coach, in the form of a comfortable looking uncle, not entirely unlike Eddie in the Razor Trilogy, (which this author or may not also have written). (OK, OK, not in the least bit like Eddie in the Razor Trilogy, but I’m scraping the barrel for some continuity here…)
Anyway, if you want continuity you will have to find it yourself, but rest assured that by the end of this little novel, the bedroom is tidy, the homework is done, the small Ninja has learnt a good few life lessons, and is well on the way to turning into just the same kind of self-directed, clean living, responsible MFER as his nice Uncle Razor. Oops, I mean his uncle Max.
This is a great book for boys of a certain age (four to forty-four maybe?) who don’t quite know what it is to grow up – to be their own person, to be strong, to be self reliant – and who might just imagine that it would be much more cool to turn into the local bad boy and trash their world, leaving someone else to clear up the mess. I must remember to give a copy of this book to my nephew. OK, so he already knows these lessons very well and got them the hard way, but I’m pretty sure he’d appreciate the uncle in this book.
Review by De Gevallene