Thursday, June 25, 2015

5 out of 5 Ninja Stars for Steve Perry's The Matador Series

    First off, if you got the wrong impression, this is NOT Steve Perry the 80's band guy, this is Steve Perry the very good science fiction writer.  I first heard of this series just a couple weeks ago through an interview with Steve Perry on Karate Café Podcast.  Steve is a martial artist.  He's studied a couple different arts in his past, though for a while now, he's been studying Pencak Silat Sera.
  The Matador series of books is a series of science fiction/space opera type books that starts with the book, The Man Who Never Missed, originally published in 1985.  The book has a feel that's a combination of Dune and Star Wars.  Or maybe a better description would be Dune, if it took place in Star Wars dive bars.  It deals with the hero of the story, Emile Khadaji, and his works to take down the corrupt, and oppressive ConFed government.  He partially does this by learning a fictional martial art called "Sumito" which, although made-up, is based on real martial arts.

   This book was obviously written by an individual who knows martial arts, and he can describe those type of action scenes beautifully.  But more importantly, he is able to describe the headspace of a martial artist.  I've never read any fiction book that describes what occurs in your head during martial arts as well as this book does.  He perfectly describes the way one action, by itself, is really used to set up a desired reaction in the opponent.  I was hooked.  I immediately went out and bought the other books in the series.  The next two books Matadora, and The Machiavelli Interface build on those same themes, but because they don't have to world-build like the first book, they jump right into the action.  In the two months since I heard of this series I've read 8 of the books, and am waiting on the last one. 
I really cannot recommend these books enough.  In fact, I'm rather upset that I didn't know about these books earlier.  The first trilogy especially, but the whole series gets 5 out of 5 Ninja Stars from me.  I love the feel of the books, I love the martial arts mentality of the books, and I love the little inside jokes of the names and place names in this universe.  I just gave the first three books to my friend, and I told him I would kick him in the shins if he didn't read them.  That's how good they are.  I may go buy a couple more copies of the book, just to give them away to martial artists I know.  In fact, I'm going to have a contest and give away a copy of the book just because I want to spread the word about this series.  Immediately after reading these, my thought was "why isn't this a movie, or at least a mini-series?"  With the level of sci-fi on TV today, including the new series Killjoys and Dark Matter on Sy-Fy (is that how they spell it now?), which I'll review at a later date, they could do this series very easily.  Until then, strap on your spetsdōds, walk the 97-Steps, and READ THESE BOOKS!


  1. I am so disappointed that Journey's Steve Perry did not write these books. :(

  2. I read very little fiction these days, but based on this I just bought 'The Man Who Never Missed.'