Fence: Striking Distance by Sarah Rees Brennan, Johanna the Mad, C S Pacat
Release Date: September 29, 2020
Page Count: 328 pages
The boys of Kings Row bout with drama, rivalry, and romance in this original YA novel by The New York Times bestselling author Sarah Rees Brennan–inspired by the award-nominated comic series by C.S. Pacat and Johanna The Mad.
Sixteen-year-old Nicholas Cox is the illegitimate son of a retired fencing champion who dreams of getting the proper training he could never afford. After earning a place on the elite Kings Row fencing team, Nicholas must prove himself to his rival, Seiji Katayma, and navigate the clashes, friendships, and relationships between his teammates on the road to state championships–where Nicholas might finally have the chance to spar with his golden-boy half-brother.
Coach Williams decides to take advantage of the boys’ morale after a recent victory and assigns them a course of team building exercises to further deepen their bonds. It takes a shoplifting scandal, a couple of moonlit forest strolls, several hilariously bad dates, and a whole lot of introspection for the team to realize they are stronger together than they could ever be apart.
The first installment of this enticing original YA novel series by Sarah Rees Brennan, rich with casual diversity and queer self-discovery, explores never-before-seen drama inspired by C.S. Pacat’s critically acclaimed Fence comic series and boasts original cover and interior art by Johanna The Mad.
This book might be one of my absolute favourites this year!! Striking distance is surprisingly hilarious and also heartbreakingly sad. There were times when I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry.
I’m hurting and I’d give anything to read the 2nd book right now!!!!!!! And this one isn’t even out yet!!😭😭
I would highly recommend reading the comics before this one. It is so much better if you know the backstory. Unlike the comics, the amount of fencing in this book is really minimal. It focuses a lot more on team building and the individual relationships.
This book is written in multiple POV(Aiden, Harvard, Seiji and Nicholas) and I love that each character has a distinct voice. I knew Aiden and Harvard were going to break my heart. I hurt every time I read Aiden’s POV. The trope idiots-in-love? Aiden and Harvard are the reason this trope EXISTS!! Why?????Aiden is putting up a façade and pretending he isn’t hurting and Harvard is probably the sweetest person I’ve ever come across. How could you end it this way?? I’m so frustrated with these two!
Their story is only the beginning and I can already see this series is going to a huge slow burn. Seiji and Nicholas are progressing at a snail’s pace but I love them so much!! Seiji’s deadpan delivery is one of my favourite things ever. Seiji is adorable. I’m super glad we are getting more graphic novels too in addition to these. Give me the next book ASAP!!
*ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review
About the Author
SARAH REES BRENNAN is the #1 New York Times bestselling YA author of over a dozen books, both solo and co-written with
authors including Kelly Link and Maureen Johnson. She was long-listed for the Carnegie for her first novel. She was born in Ireland
by the sea and lives there now in the shadow of a cathedral, where she’s working on—among other things—her series of tie-in
novels with the hit Netflix show The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Her most recent standalone novel, In Other Lands, is a tale of
love, friendship and wings starring the crankiest boy to ever stumble into a magic land and was a Lodestar Award and Mythopoeic
JOHANNA THE MAD is a Mexican digital artist and illustrator currently working on the sports comic series Fence (nominated for
a GLAAD award under the “Outstanding Comic Book” category).