A few months ago I bought a book that is amazing for an aspiring crime/thriller writer like myself. Titled 100 Deadly Skills and penned by an ex-SEAL, Clint Emerson, it was like a tome of forbidden knowledge. Want your character to escape from handcuffs, cable ties, the boot of car after being handcuffed? 100 Deadly Skills had it all. And there was more. Who knew, for example, that one could build a makeshift TASER from a disposable camera?
So you can imagine my excitement when a sequel hit the virtual shelves of review site NetGalley. I immediately put in my request and received a review copy of 100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition. As its name suggests the second book focuses more on survival, survival in the wilderness, the desert, the mountains, etc. For sure there is much to recommend this tome, some great nuggets both for real life and, for the writers like myself, for fictional characters and the tales they find themselves in.
The problem is that by moving to a survival manual, Clint Emerson is shifting into an already very crowded field. There are many, many survival and field craft books out there. Shelves of them. I should know, I have quite a few of them. What made 100 Deadly Skills so unique was its originality. Not very many books teach you how to make a makeshift cosh for example. Another problem is that there is more generalised advice in this tome, whereas in the original there was much more specific examples. This is not to say that this latest offering isn't a good book, it is. Would I buy it? Would I recommend it to a friend? Probably. But I would recommend the original first.
3 out of 5 stars