Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Book Review: Katana


by Cole Gibsen
Release date: 8th March, 2012
Publisher: Flux
Pages: 384 (eARC thanks to NetGalley)

Summary from Goodreads:

Rileigh Martin would love to believe that adrenaline gave her the uncanny courage and strength to fend off three muggers. But it doesn't explain her dreams of fifteenth-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.

Review By Alaiel Kreuz:

When three buglers try to hurt her and her best friend, Quentin, something amazing and scary happened: Rileigh turned into someone completely different... Someone with a strength capable of breaking necks and so fast that she could easily out run you in a blink of an eye.
The most amazing part? She suddenly is able to fight like a powerful warrior.
The scary part? There's a voice in her head. And it talks to her.

So there goes a normal life. Thank you very much.

And after these three guys tried to hurt her she wakes up in a hospital where a cute doctor is very curious of what really happened while all she says is that the adrenaline helped her.
But there is also this weird Asian guy called Kim that says he has answers, that she only needs to look for him when she realizes that the danger coming her way is real.

Now not only this voice is scaring the heck out of her but also she is having these weird dreams where she is Senshi, a woman samurai, fighting to protect her lord Toyotomi and her love Yoshido in a battle that, somehow, she knows she is going to lose.

Back in the present time her only support is Quentin, a funny guy that likes boys and is not afraid to say it. A guy that is like family for her and that even takes care of her when her mother is too busy to notice something is wrong with her.
Now to make things even more complicated the hot guy in her school, Whitley, is making a move on her after watching in the news how cool and strong she is. And this Asian guy, Kim, wants her to embrace the warrior inside her to be complete but... if she does, wouldn't that mean the end of the Rileigh she is right now? The end of her life as a normal teenager?

Personal opinion:
A story involving samurais, fights, reincarnation and love? Count me in! I LOVE this kind of plots first because I'm a hugh fan of everything Japanese and second because I love samurais stories.
And this one involving a woman samurai? That is just plain awesome.

I liked the background story of their samurais lives and how everything connected in the present time and the development of the plot felt very real.

Characters like Quentin will make you smile and laugh out loud with his snarky and clever comments while characters like Kim will make you heart melt and cry a little bit.
Kim's story is one of the saddest in this book and I found myself cheering for him from the very beginning which, I assure you, wasn't very difficult.

The only thing that bothered me a little? Rileigh's constant fear of losing control of herself was sometimes really annoying. I mean, yes, I understand her worries but... come on, isn't it easier just to ask and get answers?!

Anyway, besides this the plot was really good and the ending great. As soon as it's out I'm going to buy it for sure! And I'm sure I'm going to enjoy a lot Cole Gibsen's books in the future too.

Alaiel's Rating:

If you really liked it, you can pre-order it here:


  1. This actually sounds pretty good I love snarky characters! hhaah. I wasn't sure about the Samurai part though but I,m really curious! Great review!

    Xpresso Reads

  2. I'm obsessed with anything japanese and I guess that was the main reason why I wanted this book - and because of the samurai's. Unfortunately I was disappointed in this book . . . but nonetheless great review. Kim's story was pretty sad!

  3. @Erin: I just read your review and, I get your point.
    Thanks for the comment, glad you at least liked my review^^U
    Hugs :]

  4. I am not sure that the Samurai thing is for me, but I am curious and might have to give it a try. Thanks for the detailed review.
    I love the decor of your blog.
    -FABR Steph@FiveAlarmBookReviews

  5. I have not seen this book yet, but the cover caught my eye. I have not read a story about samurais, but like to watch movies about them. And I totally agree with you that female ones seem pretty awesome! I'm sure that I will love Quentin as snark and humor are a huge love of mine. :)
    After your review, I will be adding this one to my TBR pile. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


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