Kirikon: Kurse of the Tigris Orb by Konrad Sneed

Back Jacket:

Scrappy fifteen-year-old Dallas Marge and his older brother, Logan, strive to live a normal life, in the infamous city of kaspers, Starfall City. However, an unspoken truth between the two siblings leads Dallas to find a mysterious orb imprisoning a malevolent entity called Oryga, the tiger god, that curses him with an unimaginable power.

Training under the supervision of the formerly villainous dragon kasper, Singuard, Dallas adapts to his newfound strength. Anxious to test himself, he disregards Singuard’s warnings about the dangerously ominous and superpowered criminal underworld and the kasper hunting militia, GAUNTLET, challenging them both as Starfall’s first-ever vigilante, Kirikon.

However, the novice mask, alongside his friends, struggle to save Starfall from a sinister duo of otherworldly creatures when they target him for reasons unknown.

Discover the truth behind the tigris orb as Kirikon blasts his way into action in this adventurous and gripping chapter of a brand new series, The Fire Eye Kronicles.


Evaluation

Kirikon came off the press ready to rumble! I honestly anticipated a traditional comic book novel with this story, but Sneed said, “Nope, we’re gonna do it this way, and you’re gonna like it”, and I’ll be damned that I did! I loved this story, I loved that it had classic superhero moments but majority was all Sneed’s original ideas and style. But what I love most is that this is only the spawning of a universe of superheroes and supervillains. Sneed wrote so many characters, villains and plotlines in this story that he’s set up for a lifetime of storytelling. And I plan to be there for every battle.

Characters

There were a variety of unique characters in this story, but I’m going to highlight the ones I connected with most:

Dallas, our superhero Kirikon, is a regular teenage boy who wasn’t born with the power of the Tigris Orb but instead discovers it. A couple times he reminded me of Miles Morales, but Dallas had his own vibe and motive for being superhero. I loved him from the moment I met him fighting Mike Ripley in school. Dallas is a true good-doer with “human problems” (ordinary issues everyday people deal with), like being afraid to talk to girls and a thrill-seeking desire to test his limits, and that duality of human and superhuman sustained the reality I love so very much in heroes.

Copyright 2020 Konrad Sneed

“I don’t know what kind of power is inside of me, whether it’s evil or good, but it doesn’t matter. All that matters is it’s mine, and I choose how I use it.” – Dallas (page 194)

Zokion was an awesome villain. A real monster alien with a variety of unpredictable powers. I loved his battle with Kirikon. The hopelessness Kirikon felt fighting a monster of this magnitude set us up for a fulfilling triumph in the end, though I wouldn’t really say Kirikon “defeated” Zokion.

What I loved about Rhys (pronounced REECE) was that even as Dallas’ guardian, Rhys never forced the kid into the “superhero mold”. You know with all the speeches about the responsibility of power and forcing him to be Rhys’ wingman. Rather, Rhys accepted that Dallas as Kirikon had his own method of crime-fighting, and Rhys encouraged Dallas’ journey for justice. That, I feel, is the best way to handle having a superhero apprentice. Let them follow their heart, be there every step of the way, and help them up when they fall, and Rhys did just that. His ending battle was also so cool! I can’t wait to see what else Sneed has in store for this character.

Rodney was our comic relief, and for once he wasn’t a secondary character because of his weight or ethnicity. Rodney was barely even a secondary character in this book. In another story with a plot based on Rodney, he could have successfully and comically sustained an entire book like this all to himself. Especially since he had a kickass power, which I won’t spoil for you. I also loved that Rodney’s humor wasn’t forced or vulgar; his banter with Dallas was that teasing brotherly banter, and it suited his character nicely.

Downfalls

Please note that these are merely cosmetic imperfections and relate not at all to the enjoyment of the book so much as the ease-to-read the book.

Punctuation Error: I never comment on a misspelling here or forgotten punctuation there. We’re all human, and if the error didn’t affect your reading experience, it’s definitely knit-picking if you mention it. However, the misuse of quotations in this book was a confusing cosmetic flaw and most times required a re-read. A paragraph of dialogue would conclude with ending quotations even when the character wasn’t done speaking:

Logan saying: “…but you keep letting your little attitude get the best of you.

Next paragraph, but still Logan speaking: “I need you to think about the things you’re going to do…”

The ending quotations shouldn’t have been used until the end of the second paragraph. Now, only a few of these errors and I wouldn’t have said anything; but this happened on almost every other page. Did I stop reading because of this? Absolutely not, but it did become frustrating by chapter 3.

No detail: Having no detail beyond the physical appearance of the characters made the story feel rushed and detached. Instead of dedicating an entire chapter to a scene and thoroughly explaining setting, superpowers, emotion, thoughts, etc. there was really no substance to anything. The book felt like it was being told like this: This happened…and then this happened…and then this happened…It was just a little impersonal and non-engaging.

Rough Transitions: Shifting setting or character point of view would occur in the same chapter in this book without a smooth transition. So one minute you’re with Dallas in his apartment and the next paragraph you’re Kirikon fighting a good-vs-evil battle. The first time it happened in the prologue, I was WAY thrown off and confused as to what year or even planet they were referring to. This stylistic beat definitely reinforced the sense of detachment because I, as a reader, never felt locked onto one location.

Unforgettable Moments

“The beast appeared more like a spirit, not having a physical body and resembled a fearsome tiger.” (page 6-7). This was the first line that made me stop and think, “Okay, this is so cool already”. Incorporating the cover, establishing a villain in a comic book theme. I loved the grandeur of this fiery tiger fulfilling its reputation as big baddie. What an awesome introduction to the antagonist!


The paradox in Chapter 5 between the righteous and the wicked pulled some serious emotional strings. From our main character, Dallas’ perspective we resented the Commander, but at the same time our logic sided with Commander Floyd for pursuing justice. Logan was a thief who pulled a gun on police when being arrested for his crime. We loved Logan because we love Dallas, but we morally understood and agreed with Floyd. What a well-written mix-up of emotion for the reader!


On page 107 when the goons are discussing the hero, Kirikon’s, strength and Kirikon snuck up on them, his line was so unexpected I got those damn-that’s-awesome chills:

“Twenty men?” one of the goons questioned, with a look. “Nah, that don’t sound right. Who could be that strong?”

“Guess we’ll find out soon enough.”

“You know, sometimes it feels like twenty, but then sometimes I think it’s more,” Kirikon then commented.

Copyright 2020 Konrad Sneed.

When Zokion vomited acid on himself as a defense mechanism while fighting Kirikon, that was an incredibly intelligent way to change up a seemingly classic villain power.

The ultimate climactic battle between a too-powerful monster and a hero who needed just the right motivation to ignite a hidden power that conquered the enemy. Sounds like a typical comic book end battle, but it was far from predictable. The revelations other characters made, the fact that Kirikon didn’t “fight” so much as reason with Zokion, the WAY the battle ended surprised me, all of the elements exclusive to Sneed’s imagination were refreshing.

Favorite Lines

  • “But if someone can convince the world it needs heroes, and I’m not saying it is, but it could be you.” (page 11)
  • After Dallas hits Mike Ripley upside the head with a math book: “It’s called math, bitch! It’s supposed to be a headache.” (page 26)
  • “This is a warning, and we only give one of them.” (page 29)
  • “There’s nothing like some fear to make a paper man crumble up.” (page 116)

I’m honestly 50/50 with this book. I’m 50% impacted by neglected cosmetics, and 50% thrilled by the story, characters and plot. Ultimately after reading, I’m 110% invested in reading the next story. Kirikon: Kurse of the Tigris Orb is the beginning of a superhero storm you never saw coming!

Follow and Find Konrad Sneed

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