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Katana (A Katana Novel) Paperback – March 8, 2012
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Rileigh Martin is a skater girl, not a fighter, but when she is attacked by three men, a strange voice in her head tells her what to do, and she takes them all down. She begins to have dreams about Kim, a mysterious martial-arts expert, who explains that Rileigh is a samurai warrior—his soulmate, Senshi, reincarnated—and that she is awakening due to grave danger. Rileigh doesn’t believe any of this, but several more close calls lead to reluctant belief. Gibsen’s debut is plot driven with fairly well-developed secondary characters, although Rileigh’s best friend Quentin’s immediate acceptance of her awakening feels somewhat contrived. The novel flirts with the damsel in distress cliché, but Rileigh harnesses her power and becomes the hero of her own story. Torn between an eerily familiar past and an unknown future, her journey toward transcendence in contemporary St. Louis alternates with Senshi’s story in fifteenth-century Japan, making for an action-packed page-turner tempered with slow-burning romance. Grades 7-10. --Charli Osborne
"This action-packed novel has a unique and compelling plot...Fans of Carrie Asai's Samurai Girl series will be particularly interested, but even readers who dislike supernatural story lines will enjoy this tale of modern samurais." - School Library Journal
"An action packed page-turner tempered with slow-burning romance." - Booklist
"Starts with a bang and never lets up. Prepare yourself for a smart, sassy heroine, and seriously swoony romance...with a little butt-kicking thrown in for good measure. A cracking debut." - Antony John, author of the 2011 Schneider Family Book award-winning Five Flavors of Dumb
"An action-packed page-turner."--Booklist
"An action-packed page-turner." --Booklist
"Prepare yourself for a smart, sassy heroine, and seriously swoony romance ... with a little butt-kicking thrown in for good measure." --Antony John, author of 2011 Schneider Family Book Award-winning Five Flavors of Dumb
-An action-packed page-turner.- --Booklist
-Prepare yourself for a smart, sassy heroine, and seriously swoony romance ... with a little butt-kicking thrown in for good measure.- --Antony John, author of 2011 Schneider Family Book Award-winning Five Flavors of Dumb
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Top Customer Reviews
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 aw[...] I can't wait to get my hands on the next one.
My overall opinion is a negative one since this book could have been much more than it was. Here are some of the things that annoyed me:
1. The stereotypically flamboyant gay friend - Did he have to be made of cardboard? Would it have killed the author to give him even a little depth? It seemed that his only purpose in the book was to snark at the main character and make remarks about how fantastically gay he is. Nothin wrong with having a gay character, of course. Lots of great characters are gay (I'm looking at you, Dumbledore!) but, unlike this character, being gay is not their only discernible trait or why they're remarkable. The treatment of this character did nothing to enhance the story or give you insight into any character's hearts. Hell, even the other samurai heroes barely noticed him there.
2. The fighting - For a martial arts story there seemed to be very little care taken with the fights. The descriptions sounded as though the author watched an entire season of Buffy before writing this book. There was just nothing present that had shown me Gibsen knew the first thing about martial arts and combat.
3. The romance - I know they're teenagers but they're also, literally, 'old souls' too. So why is that they cant help but say things like, "I would rather die a thousand deaths than have you think for a second that I don't love you". Puke.
4. The history - I am no Asian history scholar but there are many instances that tell me that Gibsen knows even less than I do when it comes to Japanese history. Foremost that one cannot be granted samurai status; it is something you are born into.
5. The villain - He goes from Cedric Diggory to Tom Riddle with no transition, no triggering event, no nothing. He just simply comes back in the end all evil and the reader is supposed to just go with it. Sorry Gibsen but this didn't fly with me at all and came off like this was a last minute decision.
I bought this book hoping for another "Sensei" (read it, its good) but what I got was a 21st century coming of age story about a girl with skinny jeans and mommy-issues. I'll pass on the sequel.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I very nearly gave this book a 4 star review.Read more
This novel was pretty darn good. Being a HUGE fan of Japanese culture, I ate this book up like crazy!Read more