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Review: One Kick by Chelsea Cain

Reviewed by Krista McKeeth

Kick (Beth at the time) is a celebrity. After being kidnapped she falls victim to a huge child porn ring and her “videos” became the most known in those darker circles. Once she’s rescued, her mother latches onto the high profile life of being a spokesperson for kidnapped children groups. Her relationship with Kit aka Kick is nothing more than being a source of money. Kick finds solace in practising her battle techniques with her dog Monster and her “brother” James.

James and Kick keep an eye out on new reports of missing children and try to help the police. When a mystery man calling himself Bishop appears in Kick’s home and offers her an actual role in helping him find a missing child named Adam, she joins the search and finds herself having to face her past and everything she’s been fighting to control within herself.

Kick’s character is an interesting one. She is very vulnerable because of her past, yet she has to be strong every day. The author did a great job in portraying how it is an every day battle to keep pushing forward. When Bishop comes into her life, she has to confront a lot of emotions head on. This leads to some very interesting dynamics between Bishop, who is all business, and Kick who is all emotion. No matter how much Kick tries to look at something from an outsiders point of view, she mentally gets pulled right back to her days of the abduction. Another interesting aspect to the story is the emotional ties that Kick has for her “dad”, the man that took care of her and taught her almost everything she knows.

I listened to the audiobook and at times the narrator makes Kick sound a little more introverted than I would have translated if I had read the book. The tone of voice is very soft and at times timid when I would have imagined her more powerful and in-your-face. I did enjoy listening to the audio, but I wonder if I would have gotten a different energy from Kick if I had read the book.  Bishop is an curious character and at several times throughout the story I wondered why he was really there. The mystery of who he is, and what exactly his job is, really pushes the story forward and leads into the ongoing plot of the series.

There is some violence, at times graphic, and also animal related.  What I enjoyed most about the story was the way the author was able to show me the internal struggle Kick was having with herself. The author kept putting her in situations where she wanted help, but struggled to work through it alone, sometimes failing at that challenge. I found that I enjoyed the book after having time to process it, and think about everything the author set up. It looks like it will be a really great series, and definitely one I plan on continuing.