Monday, June 30, 2014

Sequel of ninjas... well, maybe

So, where have I been? Why have a fallen off the radar (yet again)? I have been reading, landscaping, and recovering from landscaping by reading. Two of the books I am still writing up reviews for now, and I should have them posted later this week after my contest winner reveal.

The Guild of Assassins by Anna Kashina

Now we will be taking a look at part two in "The Majat Code." This next leg in the journey against the Kaddim brothers was not as impactful to me as the first. I was immensely impressed with the action and adventure of Blades. It could have possibly been a case where my excitement for the sequel was just so great that it was bound to fall a little flat. However, I really think (if I will admit my own honesty to myself) it was the addition of a love story that threw me off a bit. 

These are bad, ---kicking ninja warriors here. Trained from incredibly young ages to be stoic and death dealing weapons of mass destruction. They sleep on dirt for comfort. We are left instead with some serious teenage angst. I concede the argument that in the extremely intense training to become the baddest warrior in the world your adrenaline can heighten the sexual energy, and these feelings should be explored to understand the limitations of your distractions. Warriors need to know themselves in every situation to be fighting machines. Premise of sex and war being a knife's edge accepted. However, I felt the romance left the original beauty of Blades in the dust.

I understand that the more intense you are the more likely your romance will be intense with all the pent up sexual energy and angst on top of your bad--- warrior skills, but I'll pass on reading about it. Romance just isn't my genre, and it really didn't fit here with the first book being almost devoid of the very open, intense touchie-feelies. This second novel is certainly more for the adult reader with multiple semi-explicit scenes.

What I did love... I do appreciate the true science behind the attraction. Chemicals and pheromones leading to a scent that drives you wild and lusty. People are commonly attracted to their partner based on scent as much as on sight. We do have five senses after all. Making the point of smell being an attractant, now that is some real storytelling there. Give me some scientific fact in my fiction and I am a happy camper. This adds a depth of connection to the characters that give them life outside the pages. It also kept to the depth I know is possible with Blades.

There were still some amazing action scenes, and I was even tumbling around my deck trying to figure out how some of it all played out (much to the amusement of my neighbors I am sure). So I will give the book 3 and half stars. I will certainly be looking out for the conclusion to this trilogy with as much enthusiasm I did this novel. 

The Guild of Assassins releases next month and you can learn more from the publisher's website. Visit Amazon to pre-order your copy or hit up your local indie bookseller. 

You can read about Anna's research on chemical attraction more on her website

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