KATANA by Cole Gibsen


From the "Katana" series, volume 1
Age Range: 12 - 16
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An ordinary St. Louis teen finds that she has a distinctly un-ordinary legacy when she's attacked in a shopping-mall parking lot.

Until the assault that wakens a terrifying internal voice and preternatural martial-arts abilities, Rileigh has spent her time hanging with her gay BFF Quentin and mooning over hottie Whitley. Now she finds herself coping with the unwanted attention of the mysterious, sandalwood-scented hottie Kim, who insists that she take up training in his dojo. It seems he thinks that she is the reincarnation of his 15th-century lover; the two were samurai who died at the hands of an evil ninja. Now Kim wants to "awaken" her past self using the titular katana she wielded in her earlier life. She wants none of this, but does she have a choice? Is the reincarnation of the evil ninja behind the continuing attacks? Nothing about this debut surprises, from the stock characters to the turgid action scenes. Gibsen laces her narrative with holes: If Kim and Rileigh have been reincarnated multiple times and repeatedly drawn together by psychic destiny, why is there no hint of other past lives? And the writing is frequently downright amateurish, turning out ridiculous similes—"My heart spun in my chest, as if it were the wheel of a gerbil hopped up on Pixy Stix"—when it's not indulging in cliché—"With breakneck speed, I darted to the window and flattened myself against the wall."

Pass. (Paranormal romance. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 8th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7387-3040-0
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Flux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2012


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