Author: Cole Gibsen
To be Published: 8 March 2012 by Flux
Length: 384 pages
Warnings: fantasy violence, mild realistic violence 13+
Summary : 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.
Review: Rileigh Martin is your average seventeen year old skater girl. Who manages to fight off three muggers when they attack her one night. She doens't know where she got the strength from, or who the voice in her head that was guiding her through the fight was, or why she's so good with a sword, o why she gets strange dreams of Japan. But then she meets Kim, who explains that he, she, and a few others, are reincarnated samurai. Kim and Rileigh (aka Yoshido and Senshi) were killed the first time after being betrayed, and now their enemy is also in his new form, ready to come after them.
Being interested in Japan, this was defiinitely one that U wanted to read. History and modenr times clashing is always fun and something I'm upo for reading. the coer is well designed, with a woman in modern clothes holding a rather sharp looking blade, and being surrounded by traditional cherry blossom falling.
We first meet Rileigh with her best friend Quentin outside a shopping centre, and being totally normal. Strange things happen wuite quickly, and we soon learn of Rileigh's true nature.
I love the flashbacks to 15th century Japan. It's the only way to get Senshi's story, and while it may have been interesting to see it done another way, I can't actually imagine it being useful, approrpriate or done as well in another format. Contradictory. From said falshbacks, we get a good idea of period-Japan, as well as moving on the story, due to the flashbacks and the content being relavent to the modern-day events.
Character development-if you can't call finding out you're a reincarnated samurai and then having to deal with everything that comes with the soul awakening carachter development, then I;m not sue what you can.
Rilieigh takes this all in belivable way, without being overly annoying, as you could have got wit this kind of hting.
I would have preferred to have a little more focus on Rileigh/Senshi's awakening, without the romance between Rileigh and Kim. But I suppose, if Senshi and Yoshida were together, then it amkes sense to include it. But it's fallen into the "Girl meets boy. Girl hates boy. Girl ends up with boy happily" trap, which I don't ever like.
I would like to know more about Michelle. Braden, Drew and their past lives too. I know they're not the focus, but I love knowing more about minor characters.
The other part of the main story (Zeami, Senshi's old enemy following her into her new life and wanting her dead here as well) was very good, and we get a big showdown with closure on all levels, and affirmation of Rileigh's powers.
Overall: Strength 4 tea to a book that drew me in from the start and kept me there.