Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Review: Katana

Title - Katana
Author - Cole Gibsen
Series - Katana #1
Genre - Young Adult Fantasy
Publication - March 8th 2012
Format - Paperback 
(Goodreads) & (Amazon)


Skater girl or supernatural samurai? Rileigh Martin wants to believe that adrenaline gave her the strength to fend off three muggers in the mall parking lot. But adrenaline doesn't explain the voice in her head giving her battle tips and warnings.

While worrying that she's going crazy (always a reputation ruiner), Rileigh gets a visit from Kim, a handsome martial arts instructor, who tells Rileigh she's harboring the spirit of a five-hundred-year-old samurai warrior.

Relentlessly attacked by ninjas, Rileigh has no choice but to master the katana--a deadly Japanese sword that's also the key to her past. As the spirit grows stronger and her feelings for Kim intensify, Rileigh is torn between continuing as the girl she's always been and embracing the warrior inside her.

  The first attacker lunged for me, screaming, with his blade held high over his head. As he got close, the cold silk from the attack outside the parking lot returned. It unraveled from within, stretching to my fingers and toes. It pushed open my lungs, allowed me to breathe, and froze my fear into a solid lump that fell and shattered against the hard pit of my stomach. As it had in the mall parking lot, a calm focus flooded through me and pushed the confusion from my mind.
       This one is inexperienced with a blade, the voice whispered. It won’t take much to bring him down.
       I felt the unfamiliar smile return to my lips—this was going to be fun. I dodged the outstretched blade inches before my skin was to be torn apart by sharpened metal. Spinning behind the first attacker, I ducked low to the ground, kicked my leg, and swept his feet out from under him. He landed on his back and groaned.
        The next attacker circled me, his eyes darting nervously back and forth between me and his fallen comrade. His body was rigid as he waited for an opportunity to move in.
        This one is looking for a hole in our defense. We mustn't give him one.
        “Sounds good to me,” I whispered.
         The attacker hesitated.
         I straightened my stance. “Yeah that’s right, I’m talking to myself! What of it?”

Rileigh heads to the mall with her best friend Q when the pair leaves they witness a attempted mugging. The mugger flee's with but before he can run past Rileigh she trips him ending up with the purse and he runs off. It isn't till Rileigh and Q get to her car that they are confronted by the mugger and his two friends. They attempt to rough them up but Rileigh surprises them as well as herself by using ancient samurai skills. When she's caught on the security camera's beating up the bad guys, suddenly the guy she's been dying to date in high school is showing up at her home. She's also visited by a stranger who claims to know who she is and why she's suddenly hearing a voice and has some new fighting skills.

At his urging Rileigh agree's to meet the stranger at his dojo in hopes of learning what's going on. She's attacked by three strangers who attempt to kill her but with her skills she easily fights them off. She learns that Kim was testing her to prove that she is indeed the one he's been searching for the fifth of their group well as his long lost love. Rileigh struggles with learning the truth, unable to believe they are telling her all the truth she decides to go out with the guy from school at the urging of her best friends. It's on the date she's attacked, and when her home is broken into and the katana stolen she heads back to Kim for advice.

I've been dying to read Katana forever since long before it came out and after procrastinating on purchasing it due to the ever growing review pile I caved. However it hit the shelf where it's been teasing me for months. I was tickled when I found the chance to read while my kindles had dead batteries. I love the cover cherry blossoms are one of my favorite flowers to start with plus one of my favorite movies is Kill Bill so I had high hopes. I was drawn in right from the first chapter I couldn't wait to see what would happen next in Rileighs adventure. Katana is a fast story that is easy to lose all track of time, with a flowing story-line it a story that teens as well as adults will enjoy. I will admit it is a little stereotypical but I don't think it detracts from the story. I like the concept for Katana it's my first martial art's related story but the concept of soul mates and past lives is one of my favorite romantic stories. I've always wanted a stereotypical gay best friend so I'm a little jealous that Rileigh has one and he even accepts her for the samurai she is. I found all the characters are great they way that their past lives mix with the current lives just creates a better story. I can honestly say I really loved Katana; it's a awesome story that left me going awwww. I can't wait to get my hands on the next one.
5 out of 5 Stars

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