I am not sure how many of you follow American Football or more specifically the NFL. But for those that do know there is a regular season, post season, super bowl, mini camps drafts, combines etc. Imagine those receivers/catchers running a 3.1 40 yard dash, lineman that were not just fodder put up to take punishment, but key cogs in a team, that can bench press 1,200 lbs. Throwers that can throw nearly the length of the field, and blitzers that can roll into a ball to spring up into coverage. Now imagine that this galaxy had multiple races fitting onto the same team, playing a game that could almost be described as a combination of the NFL and blood bowl, with a promotion relegation system similar to the English football league system and you would have the GFL or galactic football league. The weekly report not only lists the standing and the players of the week, but also the death's on the field. Gory and glory, promotion and relegation, life and death and don't even get me started on the combine! Every game has an impact on the local economy, trade agreements, politics you name it. The league's owners are tied to the mob and shady things happen behind the scenes all the time.
These are all featured in "The Rookie" by Scott Siegler, who combines all of these elements in a futuristic yet still recognizably semi-modern way. From the opening chapters I was hooked, The Rookie follows a tier 3 human quarterback named "Quintin Barnes". Follows him through a brutal, fast paced season in which his contract being bought by a tier 2 team, which is one step from the big leagues. Every opposing team wants to beat him and his team, and wouldn't mind killing him, on the pitch either! If that wasn't enough, his problems aren't on all the field, as he has to figure out how to deal with alien races he has been told and indoctrinated to hate from birth to be a kin to devils and demons. Blood spilled pitch, NFL style action with the fear of being relegated and the hope of being promoted to the big leagues, sounds like it might interest a few blood bowlers? Well I have enjoyed it and figured I would share, currently "The Rookie" has been sold out of the original hard covers, but is still available in electronic copies readable on kindles and the similar e-readers.
If you like "The Rookie" there are currently two sequels (The Stater and the All Pro) out so you can continue the experience.