Gorpp the Grappler by D.R. Feiler

Gorpp the Grappler by D.R. Feiler
Publisher: Sounds & Voices Media
Genre: Young Adult (14 – 18 y.o.), Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

An alien invader mistakes the world championship of wrestling for the world championship of Earth. Whoops. Could have happened to anybody, right?

Despite being an alien, Gorpp is something of an everyman among a highly advanced species. Bored with the monotony of transporting supplies here on Earth in preparation for an impending invasion, Gorpp becomes enamored with the spectacle of professional wrestling. One night, in 1975, he tunes into a broadcast announcing the world champion will be defending his title in Tampa, Florida.

Gorpp is determined to show he is good for a lot more than running supplies. He is going to challenge Earth’s champion and either return a conquering hero, or die trying.

There’s more than one way to conquer Earth.

Gorpp was an intriguing main character. He looked fairly similar to humans and had a roughly equal level of intelligence, so it took me a little while to pick up on the striking differences between his species and our own. The way he thought about relationships and what it meant to be the world champion was unique. I smiled as he and the humans he met on his adventures slowly realized that their first impressions of each other might not be correct, especially when it came to what wrestling meant to each of them. Gorpp kept me interested from the first sentence to the last one!

I would have liked to see more character development in general, especially when it came to the secondary characters. Many of the wrestlers, promoters, and managers that Gorpp developed relationships with weren’t given much of an opportunity to grow. While I wouldn’t expect everyone he crossed paths with to be given equal attention, it would have been helpful to get to know at least a few of them better so I could understand what made them tick and why wrestling was so important to them.

This book has a marvelous sense of humour. Some jokes were written for kids, while others seemed geared towards adult readers in the sense that they poked fun at some current events and required a little more investment before revealing the punchline. I always appreciate it when authors appeal to multiple audiences, especially when they pull it off as well as Mr. Feiler did here. He kept me chuckling from the first page to the last one.

Gorpp the Grappler showed me an entirely new side of professional wrestling.

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