Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Blood Ninja: Lord Oda's Revenge by Nick Lake

11th August 2011, Atlantic Books
424 pages, Paperback
Review copy

Young Adult, Historical, Paranormal

Themes: vampire ninjas, deceit, revenge, blood lust, insanity, monks, bonds of friendship, tragedy, loss, despair, love, hope, lots of thrills, heaps of gore, might make readers feel queasy, lots of fighting, mild romance, tissues definitely needed. 

Summary from Atlantic Books 
Taro was just a fisherman’s son... but then his father was murdered and he was forced to become a Blood Ninja, fated to live by night, doomed to live on the blood of others. But he has had his revenge. He has killed Lord Oda, the warlord who had his father assassinated.

But Lord Oda is not quiet in his grave. He has found a way to reach beyond death and Taro and his friends soon find themselves facing samurai armies, a deadly enemy from the past and strange ghostly creatures who suck life from the living.

Dangerously weakened, Taro, must recover the one object that Lord Oda was desperate to find before he died: the Buddha Ball, the source of limitless power. But if Taro is to complete his perilous quest – to save himself, his friends, his mother, and the girl he loves – he must go to hell and back and face his arch enemy once again. For Lord Oda has returned – as a Blood Ninja.

Nayuleska's reasons for loving Taro....he has grown mentally and physically since the first book, and perseveres even when all is lost. However, he was a right nincompoop on several occasions which had me smiling, shaking my head and thinking 'idiot!' 

Is there another character who deserves a mention? Hana (agan) for she is selfless and truly wishes to help others, no matter what the cost. She has the best storyline. 

How evil/nasty is the enemy? A vampire on the rampage isn't a pretty sight, not someone who will offer an enemy tea, biscuits or mercy. Traditional Japanese mythical creatures are pretty terrifying too - beware the kappa! 

Are there plenty of plot twists and surprises? No and yes. No because the path Hana and Yukiko took were obvious, although the precise way was a mystery and Hana had a beautiful plot twist which had me smiling. And yes because it felt like I was caught up in an epic anime adventure, one which I'll definitely go back to more than once. 

One of my favourite parts was...Hana's plot twist, because Taro had a few idiotic moments during it. She's one tough cookie. 

I for one am wondering what delights book 3 will hold. This definitely gets 10/10, even with the gore which had me a bit green. 

Suggested read
Be sure to read book one, Blood Ninja (link to follow) 

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