Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Katana - A 2012 DAC Review

What hasn't been done?  Is there anything original?  These questions bombarded my brain for all of two minutes while I hugged this novel to my chest.  Why, you ask?  Because Cole Gibsen did a fantastic job incorporating a concept in her story that I'd started getting into for a story I was working on.  I suppose there really is nothing new under the sun, just a matter of putting your own spin on things.

See, I won Katana, by Cole Gibsen, from Short and Sweet Reviews.  I love this blog for all their wonderfully honest reviews.  Katana was up for a giveaway.  The blurb included samurais and swords.  That's all I needed to convince me to enter.  The book cover fit.  Though not a big stand-out cover, I kinda like it:
Amazon

About Katana from GoodreadsRileigh Martin would love to believe that adrenaline had given her the uncanny courage and strength to fend off three muggers. But it doesn't explain her dreams of 15th-century Japan, the incredible fighting skills she suddenly possesses, or the strange voice giving her battle tips and danger 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.
***

If you enjoy samurais, some serious butt-kicking, great displays of friendship and some eternal love thrown into the mix, then you would LOVE this novel.  I really enjoyed it.  As much as I found Rileigh to be a good character, I was totally enamored with her best friend Q.  He was the complete best friend: spunky, snarky, a shoulder to lean on, confidante and always looking out for the hot guy...well, preferably two, one for each of them.

Kim's secretive and mysterious nature lured me to him like perfect bait.  Every time Rileigh resisted, I wanted to shake her, but I understood she had good reason for not just throwing herself at him.

Other characters, including the antagonist, were well-written, too.  

So what would you do if you discovered you were the reincarnation of a five hundred year old samurai?   Run to the nearest institution for help?  Deny it?  Or...embrace it?

40 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good book. Thanks for sharing about it. I hadn't heard about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I probably wouldn't have known about it if it hadn't been on the 2012 DAC reading list. Winning it from Short and Sweet reviews was a plus.

      Delete
  2. I have enough trouble with my other reincarnations. LOL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL!!! So adding a samurai reincarnation would just mess up the tenuous balance :-)

      Delete
  3. This sounds really fun! And really different, too. And seriously, my dreams are so weird, I probably wouldn't blink twice if I dreamed about 15th century Japan - in fact, I probably have!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amazing the things our minds are sensitive too.

      Delete
  4. This sounds like a fun one~ I got to hold a katana at a writers conference (at a historical weaponry session) a couple of years ago, and those things are awesome~ so much history to them. I think I'd really enjoy this book :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow. Katanas are beautiful, artful pieces of weaponry.

      Delete
  5. I dream of the past all the time...probably not accurately, LOL...so doubt that alone would throw me. My sister 'inherited' a couple of Japanese swords from an ex-boyfriend years ago (he left them with her while he moved across country and never came back for them). They're not Katanas, at least I don't think so, but they're gorgeous.

    The book sounds fascinating, I'll definitely check it out :) Thanks for the review Angela.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, in case one of those dreams follow you forward, I would love to hear about it :-)

      Delete
  6. I'm interested in hearing more about your story. And I find the nothing new under the sun to be a fun topic to discuss. I come up with what I think are fairly original ideas, but I realize that there is always a good amount of content that will be similar to what has been written before. Even so, there are times when I read a book or watch a movie and am impressed with the originality of the story line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to agree, some things I read or watch on TV come off as quite original.

      My story has less kick-butt action and more romance but I hope it is okay with some readers.

      Delete
  7. Well, if I've got to be harboring a 500 year old, I'd rather have a warrior than some wuss. Story sounds great.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I know Cole, and I know this book! Now I just need to get around to reading it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Getting to these novels when our TBR lists swell and swell lol!!

      Delete
  9. I think if I found out I were the reincarnation of a samurai, the samurai would be disappointed, lol. But yeah, I think this would need to be proven to me before I believed it. Could be fun, except for the whole being attacked by ninjas thing...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, that attacking ninjas thing could really screw with going out with the girls on a Saturday night.

      Delete
  10. I would freakin jump for joy. I've always believed that a ninja lives in side of me and that I secretly posses the power to kick butt if the need arose.

    Sounds like a great book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although I hope the need to kick butt would not arise, I bet harboring a ninja spirit would help :-)

      Delete
  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  12. i hate it when that happens! thats why i want to get mine done! sounds exciting and action packed!

    and i hate spam, of which i believe the above comment is...but i could be wrong...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tried to understand the above comment's purpose but unfortunately, if it looks, smells, sounds and reads like spam...gotta go.

      And yeah, I'm sitting here with all these stories, stories that probably sound like other stories but I want to hurry up and get them OUT!! lol!!!

      Delete
  13. Do I get the sword as my super power to go along with channeling my 500-year-old-samurai self? Cuz if I got to go around with a sword, that'd be awesome:)

    I gave you a shout-out on my blog today about your super-duper goal setting skills:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think a sword may come with the deal...but you'd have to find it. And thank you so much for the shout out. :-)

      Delete
  14. Katana sounds awesome and so down my alley. I'm putting it on my TBR list of course and will download to my Kindle.

    To answer your question - heck, yes. I would totally embrace it! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Get ready for skater-girl-samurai fun :-)

      For you, it would be stiletto-rocking-samurai-fashionista-warrior-ess :-)

      Delete
  15. This sounds like a book I'd like. Swords and butt kicking. Reincarnation - um, I'll tell you if it ever happens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please do tell me. Well, you tell me. Not sure if your reincarnation will scare me into a faint lol!!

      Delete
  16. So what would you do if you discovered you were the reincarnation of a five hundred year old samurai? Learn Japanese

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is surely embracing your reincarnation :-)

      Delete
  17. Fascinating premise. I would hope when I found out, my coordination would improve. Otherwise, I'd better leave the sharp things be.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I would embrace it, especially if being the reincarnation of an old samurai brings some improvement to the life I lived before this realization. Now, if that doesn't happen...I'll go with option #1 (seeking help) because if the grass ain't greener, then I want a do-over...or is that a rewind? LOL.

    What you said about original stories is right on point. Plus, I'm sure you're familiar with the old saying of "There are many ways to skin a cat." It's all about making a story unique to your voice by bringing something new to the table. I also think that it's a matter of getting there (publishing a novel once it's written) first, that makes a difference in how you feel about your story in relation to those that are similar to it.

    On the other hand, having a story that is familiar to readers could also work in your favor :) Just look at "Snow White and the Huntsman" starring Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart. The writers took an old, feel-good fairy tale and made it into something dark that is far from what anyone would see on the Disney channel. So going in, audiences already know the story but people still went to see it recently, and it's very popular not only because it's an adult-like version but also because it's familiar to audiences.

    ~Nicole
    Blog: The Madlab Post
    @MadlabPost on Twitter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You make some excellent points, particularly about "skinning a cat." Cinder gained a great deal of popularity because of its fairy tale semblance to Cinderella though the MC was a machine.

      Delete
    2. I just want to point out that "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" was already dark. Disney remade it into a feel-good story. They've done that to quite a few tales.

      Delete
  19. Oh, I'd embrace it. I've always wanted to wield a sword.

    And I love Cole! She is so great. Glad you enjoyed KATANA!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it was definitely a great story to read.

      Delete
  20. I'd embrace it.

    I have a copy of KATANA. I hope to read it this year for the DAC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy it as well.

      Loving the embracers here!

      Delete

Talk to me :-)
Comments are welcome.