Friday, March 8, 2013

Senshi by Cole Gibsen [ARC REVIEW]

TITLE: Senshi (Katana #2)
AUTHOR: Cole Gibsen
PUBLISHER: Flux Books
PUB DATE: Mar 8 2013
Summary from Goodreads:

"Is Rileigh’s only hope for salvation to team up with her sworn enemy?

>Rileigh Martin just wants to do normal teenage things, like go on romantic dates with Kim, her boyfriend and past life soul mate. Although that seems impossible when she’s the reincarnation of Senshi, a fifteenth century samurai warrior. After a ninja ambush leaves her unable to control her ki powers, Rileigh vows to get them under control before her friends lose more than their eyebrows. But when Kim leaves her for his past life betrothed and the other samurai stop talking to her, Rileigh realizes she doesn’t have any friends left to worry about.

As the ninja attacks increase, Rileigh learns that the reincarnated kunoichi, a powerful female ninja, wants to kill her in order to reclaim her destructive powers. Alone and with increasingly unstable powers, Rileigh’s only offer of help comes from Whitley, her sworn past life enemy. Rileigh knows she doesn’t stand a chance against the kunoichi by herself, but Whitley’s sudden allegiance might be hiding a much deadlier agenda."

Rating:

Being introduced to Rileigh Martin in Katana [book one of this series] didn’t exactly leave a memorable impression on me. I enjoyed reading the book but I voiced out a lot qualms about it in my review of Katana. The thought of having fun reading it was enough to make me give Senshi [book two] a try.

I expected nothing special from Senshi. In fact, the first parts were rather annoying to me that I was beginning to feel like I didn’t want to continue reading anymore. I question a lot of Rileigh’s decisions. Like, this is probably petty but I couldn’t get it off my head, when she broke the car interior light so that it wouldn’t turn on once she opens the door [so it wouldn’t give away her location to the ninja]. Uh, hello?! From what I know all cars nowadays have that off switch for that? No need to break the little thing. Sheesh! Then again, she wrecked the entire car using her ki anyway so, never mind.

Another thing I noticed was the simile she used to describe her pain, this probably another petty thing but I couldn’t help myself. She said, “Pain blossomed under my skin like an angry flower...” – which flower are we referring to and how exactly does it get angry? LOL. I’m sorry, I’m being sarcastic. Okay I’m going to stop there on the insignificant complains. Let’s move on to something else...

In my review of Katana, I noticed that the skater side of Rileigh wasn’t exactly given proof that she truly was a skater. I don’t recall having seen her have a skate scene, and I just had as much of a fit over her complaining that she’s not about to sacrifice skating over serving the Network. Dude, nobody saw you skate at all! And speaking of the Network, I really didn’t understand her angst over it. She barely knows anything about it to begin with so it’s hard to find justice towards how she feels.

I’m not exactly a fan of the sweet scenes between Rileigh and Kim. It was just too cheesy. It was hard to buy the idea. It feels forced and unrealistic. That is until Sumi’s character came into picture. Well now, I didn’t see that one coming. And goodness, how I loved that! I only came to appreciate Rileigh and Kim’s relationship then, and also during the flashbacks on how Senshi and Yoshido met in Japan. I also loved the story on how Senshi came upon becoming a samurai.

So this is where my feelings about Senshi changed. Ah, finally! I see all the fuss about these two lovebirds. And I finally get to see the other characters get the recognition they deserve; Quentin most of all. At least now, every single one of the members of the group had a very significant role to play, even the villains. By the way, the revelation of who the kuniochi really was... that was a good one! That just caught my breath there.

And guess what? I finally got to see her skate! It was one quick scene, but better than nothing, right?

The ending wasn’t exactly a happy one. But boy am I excited to see how that would turn out in book three. That’s one true test of love right there! I appreciated that more than the cheesy parts from the beginning, very touching.

Senshi is an impressive follow up to Katana, and I guess this series is one of those that get better as it progresses. I will definitely be watching out for book three’s release.

*Thank you, Flux and NetGalley for the copy of Senshi.

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