I have a degree in Philosophy, and am a Graduate Student in Professional Creative Writing. I am a licensed Colorado teacher and teach 11th Grade English.
The Monkey King takes place in the near future through the eyes of Han Zucharino, a very special twelve year old boy who is not permitted to leave his New Jersey house. His mother agrees to hire a personal martial arts coach if they sign a confidentiality contract. Aeson Cadmus, a twenty-three year old MMA fighter with anger issues turns out to be the man for the job. The Monkey King is the first book in this original series. It's about facing fears, building relationships, and discovering one's own personal power. This exciting and suspenseful story will introduce you to the Ultimate Underground, VIP technology, the Zucharino family, Aeson The Fighter Cadmus, and most importantly Han.
A few reviews:
The Monkey King 2015, 203 pp. Nick Philliou ISBN 069253914X
Hanuman Zucharino, an adventurous twelve year old, is starting to bend-and finally break-the rules. When a new trainer, Aeson ‘the Fighter’ Cadmus, comes to teach Han martial arts, strange things begin to happen. When things begin to unfold, Han has one place to retreat to: the VIP world. It turns out that even virtual reality is no longer an escape, and Han begins to feel the fire of teenage rebellion. Leaving the house he hasn’t been outside of in years, enemies start to arise, his own father appearing to be among them. When he meets a programmer with nothing but his eyes, arms, and the top of his head, Han goes further from home and into danger, dragging Aeson with him. But things don’t go well when his mother finds out… The Monkey King is an original tale full of advanced technology, evil scientists, and the occasional assassin, along with some odd genetic happenings that will make you think ‘What if?’ and ‘Is this the future?’ and shudder in fear. Philliou made a story so lifelike, fraught with the real-life problems of a preteen, you will feel as if you are right beside Han, finding your way through the insecurities and upsets of twelve year olds. The Monkey King is exciting, futuristic, and funny. I would recommend this outstanding novel to any middle schooler who likes science fiction, gaming, and/or virtual reality, and is prepared to lose awareness of the world around them, but wonder what happens in the minds of those they don’t know.
It is a fantastic young adult book with many new twists on the classic coming of age tale. The plight of the teenager is captured perfectly, with the angst, the emotional rollercoasters, and the yearning to be treated like an adult. The supporting characters are just as relatable and many, are very endearing. The reader feels the warmth of sitting around the Zucharino dinner table.
Science-Fiction novels are often so detached from the present that they are tough for me to relate to. The Monkey King, however, does an amazing job describing this new world; set not too far in the future, the author makes these scientific advancements and cultural developments not only seem possible but probable.
I really enjoyed the book, and will most defiantly be pre-ordering the sequels.