Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review: Shinobi 7: Trials of a Warrior by L. Benitez


Rating: 4


Enter the feudal world of Shaaku Den...

A world that used to be peaceful until the uprising of the evil geisha Black Rose and the ruthless warrior Rengoku. Together the two are the Blackthorn Clan and they have turned Shaaku Den into their battlefield, conquering and killing the innocent for their own gain. Blackthorn has instigated destruction and the only ones left to fight back is the surviving Kitsune Clan.

Follow the adventures of six young individuals who are now soldiers in the legendary Kitsune Clan. Do they have what it takes to be a warrior and fight against Blackthorn? Can they save their world from Black Rose's evil thorns? This is a time of war in Shaaku Den— seen through the eyes of six unlikely youths. Will they overcome the trials of warfare?

My Review:

I feel like there is a fine line between well-written stories and roll-your-eyes-over-the-cliche when it comes to the martial arts. When I first started Shinobi 7, I was worried the novel might be more of the latter. However, it did not take longer than reading a couple of pages for me to realize that Benitez was able to do justice to ninja stories by crafting an awesome novel.

Shinobi 7 has everything that you could possibly want within a novel. It actively engages the reader throughout the story, for one thing. While reading, I have been at the edge of my seat, apprehensive to what would come next. I have been surprised by events, excited by the action. I have been nearly brought to tears as well as having to swallow down large bursts of laughter. I have been begging a certain character to 'just kiss her, already!' It is not hard to become emotionally attached to the story, and in that case, I was a goner from the start.

I am also surprised at how much I liked all of the characters in the novel. Normally, there is always at least one character who annoys me. I'm sure any reader can relate. The one person whose every decision just makes you want to slap them across the face? But in Shinobi 7, none of the characters made me feel that way. The one who had the type of personality that might lead to annoying me was one of the characters that I related to the most. I am not sure if this is a normal point to bring up, but I feel that it is important to have characters that the readers can connect to.

The plot of Shinobi 7 is action-packed, unique, and entertaining. I did not find one part of the story that dragged on, although I did have to prevent myself from skimming certain portions (because I could not wait to see what would happen next.) I cannot remember if this is going to be a series, but I really hope it is, because there is so much more that can be made from these characters and plot lines. And if there is more, I will fight to get to the front of the line to read it.

If you are a fan of the martial arts, then you should immediately read Shinobi 7. If you are not a fan of the martial arts, you should read it anyway. There is a lot more to the novel than just the fighting and who knows? By reading it, you probably will become a fan of the martial arts.

If I have any complaints, it was that the inner romantic in me was left hanging a bit, and I would like to see more of the elemental abilities. However, both of these just leave me wanting more, so...mission accomplished, I guess.

In all honestly, I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed Shinobi 7, and I am extremely glad I read the novel. I suggest you do the same, as you will not be disappointed.

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