Speaking as Aikidoka -- a student of Aikido -- this book brought tears to my eyes. Happy tears, tears of remembrance of my own times on the mat. From the first utterance of "Onaigashimasu..." to the folding of the hakama, this was a complete, exact, and poignantly real depiction of what it is like to study Aikido. As Aikidoka say, this book has Ai-ki, harmonious energy. The philosophy of the martial art is woven delicately yet unswervingly through the plot, and everything balances at the end. A "TV show ending?" I think not. It simply did not bash the bad guys over the head like most stories. Instead, the characters followed the true principles of Aikido, the good guys using the energy of the bad guys to defeat them.
Well done, Mr. Gould, if you read this...and I would be honored to practice with you, should you ever come into the dojo where I practice.