Flow Like Water by Mark Burley

Book Two of the Hit the Ground Running Trilogy, Blue Moon Publishers, September 2018.

Eric Bakker, his brother, and his friends continue their quest to find Eric and Michael’s parents. As their quest takes them across the North American continent the stakes get higher, with more scientists missing. In possession of an ancient book and increasingly desperate to find their parents, Eric and Michael pursue leads that take the entire group across the Atlantic. At the same time, they’re fleeing the Vidi, a group of immortals bent of wiping out anyone with the knowledge of the book and its contents.

In Europe, they must use the group’s considerable skills of navigation, research, languages, technology, and parkour to penetrate secrets kept for hundreds of years, or risk losing their parents forever.

Flow Like Water is even more adventure-packed than Hit the Ground Running (though it does contain less parkour). The cracking adventure continues with an appealing and very human cast of young people. The reader’s understanding of the mythology is deepened, and the story is enhanced by two separate legs of foreign travel—great for armchair travelers like me. Even as some mysteries are resolved, still others are deepened. I can’t wait to see how the series will conclude in the final book.

Hit the Ground Running by Mark Burley

Hit the Ground RunningBlue Moon Publishers, 2017.

Eric hasn’t talked much with his family since his parents suddenly moved from San Francisco to British Columbia—he was just too mad about the changes they forced him to make. He hasn’t bothered to get to know the other students at his boarding school, either. That would seem too much like acquiescing, so he spends his free time outdoors avoiding the other students and practicing the parkour he loves. But when Eric gets a video message from his brother, he learns that their parents have been taken and his brother’s on the run, so Eric’s forced to come out of his isolation to find them.

Before long, Eric has cobbled-together an action team and they’re off to solve the kidnappings of Eric’s family, but before he’s even had a chance to become the hunter, Eric finds that he’s actually the hunted. He’ll need his extensive knowledge and contacts from traveling the world with his anthropologist parents, his skill at parkour, and a handful of talented friends to survive this little adventure.

I chose this book because I was intrigued by the idea of a YA parkour thriller, and it didn’t disappoint. Eric is a sympathetic and engaging character. As the title suggests, Hit the Ground Running is fast-paced, but unlike some thrillers, the plot is easy to follow. The characters may be moving constantly, but the story allows readers to get to know them, their flaws, and their motivations. There’s parkour, science, cool tech, and even a paranormal element. Two more books are in the works to complete the series, and I’m looking forward to reading them.

Happy Book Birthday to Hit the Ground Running!