Rileigh 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.
So maybe the idea of reincarnation is becoming more and more popular in YA fiction, but the idea of 15th century samurais being reincarnated in 21st century America is completely original and I absolutely loved the concept. Maybe the book didn't completely live up to the amazing concept but it was still very enjoyable.
The main issue I had with this book was that it was very stereotypical in some of it's characters. Kim was a character I couldn't get my head around. He's the only character reincarnated as an Asian, fair enough, but he's reincarnated as a Korean when samurais are Japanese, I don't really understand the logic there. Quentin was too much of a stereotype, as a gay best friend and I found that this made it difficult to like him because he wasn't believeable. The biker chicks were stereotypical as well, beating Rileigh up.
The other characters were pretty good though. Despite not being able to get my head around Kim's name and origin, I did love him as a character, though I was mildly annoyed because to start with he was like "We can just be friends, even though I've always loved you" and then he suddenly was all like "You have to be with me!", but as a character he was swoonworthy and brooding and I loved him! Rileigh was so kick ass that i struggled to find fault with her and even though the bad guy didn't have much development, where we did see him i loved him.
The writing in this book was very unique, despite a few immature, cliche sentences most of it was very enjoyable and relatable. The narration was believable and for once we have a heroine who doesn't just believe anything, Rileigh is confused and doesn't trust straight away and I absolutely loved her!
Overall, a pretty enjoyable read despite a few issues with characterisation. An original story with a great heroine. I'd read the sequel!
Overall Rating: B-
Released by Flux on 8th March 2012
Book received as an eGalley from the publisher. (NetGalley)
Other books from this author:
Senshi (Katana #2)