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Bb Book Review: Livia Lone
By: Harvard Foxman
Reprinted by permission of:

Review: Livia Lone by Barry Eisler

I have been reading Barry Eisler for years. I mostly enjoyed his half-Japanese John Rain character. He is a trained killer that makes his victims look like they died of natural causes. When I saw he created a female assassin and devoted a whole book to her, I needed to get it quick. He has had female killers as minor characters, but this is the first one with a whole book devoted to her.

I opened the book and was taken through Livias childhood in the hill tribes of northern Thailand. Then human sex traffickers bought her and her sister from her parents. The rest of her life is devoted to training and revenge.

I always wondered how a female killer could subdue victims physically without some hardware like a gun. This book posits the idea that even a slight girl well trained in judo and jiu jitsu can do the job. I will be careful now what I say around small women.

Having trained karate for many years, I have noticed that some women can hold their own. But I also noticed, that big men tend to win most battles unless the training histories are widely different. In the book Livia does seem to train with the intensity and devotion that can make her a master, but I still am unconvinced she can subdue large men with the choke hold.

The story does have a nice arc to it and her bonding with other sex victims is very admirable. If the message of this book is to be aware that trafficking is happening right now in the US, I think it is very timely and needed. If the message is that a girl can be to be a jiu jitsu killer, I may have some reservations.

Of course, I just enjoy the way Mr. Eisler describes the fights. He himself is trained in various martial arts and understands the movements well. I had to laugh when I saw all of his notes and links at the back of the book. Even some of the jiu jitsu holds are linked to you tube videos. Now the fighters in the videos I can see choking people at will. Makes me appreciate that I can breathe freely.

All in all, the book is a nice ride for Eisler fans and fans of the empowered woman. Let there be more books with women of attitude. Lets not just reserve such entertainment for men alone.

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