Review: Matt Archer: Blade’s Edge by Kendra C. Highley

matt archer blade's edgeMatt Archer: Blade’s Edge
written by Kendra C. Highley
published by Kendra C. Highley

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Why did I pick this book:  I was asked by the author to review her book. I happily accepted her request. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: I really enjoyed this book. I read it every free chance I had. I would have to say that I liked this book as much as the first book in the series, Matt Archer: Monster Hunter, and maybe even a little bit more. (See my review here.)

Matt is now fifteen and still working with the Green Berets to help rid the world of these monsters that seem to be becoming more intelligent with each incarnation. The knife is also becoming more demanding of Matt, who has a deeper connection to his knife and all of the knife spirits than his four knife-wielder counterparts. Matt has grown a lot in this book. He is becoming more of a man and not so much a boy anymore. And, like Toby and the rest of the guys, I am beginning to see him as a man and not a kid.

I love the action in this book. I was on the edge of my seat quite a bit. I believe I gasped out loud a few times and I really felt for Matt and the other men fighting to keep Matt safe as well as the world. There were also moments that made me chuckle (the knife spirit’s reaction to the girlfriend) and laugh out loud (the driver’s test) The best part, I was in the action. I was there with Matt and the rest of the soldiers. I was a part of this story, not just a spectator.

The additional characters were very well-written and well-developed. Matt’s brother Brent makes a few appearances, and in those few appearances, we get to know him a bit more. I feel kind of bad for him, that his little brother is chosen as a  knife-wielder and not him. Mamie is still there, still trying to help Matt as much as she can, and still putting fear into the minds of some top military officials. Matt’s girlfriend is a nice addition, but I’m curious as to where that is going. Will is still a part of some of the missions and he is a great help and comfort back home. I like Will. He is a great sidekick/best friend. The adults are also great characters. Of course, we have Uncle Mike, Aunt Julie, and the military officers…all great. Matt’s mom is in this book a bit more. The revelations that come out were surprising as was his mother’s reactions to the news and what is going on.

One thing that really struck me while reading Matt Archer: Blade’s Edge was how real the emotions were. Matt has to deal with some heavy stuff. Yes, this is a fantasy/action book for young adults/middle grade kids. But some of the situations that Matt found himself in were as real as real can be and do happen to those fighting in the military. And, no, it does not happen in the same way…with monsters and zombies…but it does happen. Matt’s reactions and emotions were very real. You could see how much he struggled. He is fifteen years old but he is mature beyond his years in most respects. How he transitioned back to civilian life between missions was also real to me. I cannot imagine how hard that would be. And I hate to keep saying it the same way, that it was real. But that is the best way to describe these parts of this wonderful book.

I want to talk about everything I loved about this book in so much more detail but that would give away too much! All I can say is this is a great read and a great second book in a series!

Would I recommend it: I would recommend it. This was a great read and a great continuation of a story. I hope there is more from Ms. Highley about Matt Archer.

Will I read it again: I will not…unless I read it with my kids when they are a bit older.


About the book: When Matt Archer was fourteen, he discovered monsters are real. As if that wasn’t enough to go on for a few decades, Matt also found out that he’d been chosen to hunt those monsters–with a sentient, supernatural knife. Now fifteen, Matt has spent the last year working with a clandestine military unit, trying to rid the world of monsters, demons and other vicious creatures, all while keeping it a secret from nearly everyone he knows back home in Billings.

Including his mom.

Add in a new girlfriend, family secrets, sibling drama and enough homework to sink an aircraft carrier, and Matt’s life has become more complicated than he ever imagined. Worse, the knife has developed some very definite opinions about Matt’s personal life and it interferes in his business whenever it wants. More and more, Matt’s coming to realize that sharing brain-space with a spirit kind of sucks.

When stories of decimated towns and hordes of zombies start pouring into the Pentagon from Afghanistan, Matt knows he’ll be called up soon. Between the new mission and the knife’s increasing control over his mind, Matt wonders if he’ll survive long enough to take his driver’s exam.

Kendra C. HeighleyAbout the author: Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to two self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most important job. She believes chocolate is a basic human right, running a 10k is harder than it sounds, and that everyone should learn to drive a stick-shift. She loves monsters, vacations, baking and listening to bad electronica.
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