BLACK BLADE by Eric Van Lustbader


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 Fans of Lustbader's whirligig exotic actioners (The Ninja, Angel Eyes) will find no lessening of his midair double-somersault reverse plotting here. Throughout Lustbader's 14 novels not a smile has been cracked by his grim heroes, while occult Japanese exotica hook the reader by the jawbone into Lustbader's world of weird powers. Now, it's Japan's secret Black Blade Society that's ready to take over the planet by way of economic aggression. The society, we find, has discovered a way of resisting age--its leader, in fact, is a very old woman who's still young, sexy, and has a familiar kind of Asian luster. This being Japan, however, she's fronted by a great industrialist, the society's nominal head. Rivals to the society include a young Japanese genius of bioscience and his mother-- who've devised an artificial intelligence called ORACLE that works on DNA, has now become superhuman, can suck humans into its intelligence, and no longer needs a power source to keep it going. The mother, though, plays a double or even triple game and appears ready to undermine both her son and the Black Blade Society. Meanwhile, in the States, Wolf Matheson, leader of an NYPD Special Homicide Task Force, is given the murder of billionaire Lawrence Moravia to solve. Moravia, it turns out, was a Black Blade member but also a double agent for a secret US agency now at covert war with Japan. Matheson, the son of a Shoshone and a Texas Ranger, has extrasensory powers, can read auras, and pick images from people's minds. But the villains--and the Japanese heroine--have not only the sight, a mind-reading ability, but also makura no hiruma and can beat you physically with their spiritual inner being--POW!--as they strive to win the powers of ORACLE. Can Wolf's occult muscle match ORACLE's smarts? With hokum this thick Lustbader can't afford a smile--but his comic-book readers will smile long into the night.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-449-90600-0
Page count: 544pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1992


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