Posted by: Andreas | March 3, 2009

Book Tuesday

Today’s book I’d like to promote is The Ninja by Eric V. Lustbader. Like the book before, this one is also fictional and only takes place in Japan but it does not have much more to do with Japan than that. Sure there are references to martial arts and post-War Japanese history, but those are only minor and the real treat in this book is the characters. The story takes place in both America, Japan and a few other East-asian nations and follows the half-Japanese, half-Western man Nicholas Linnear as he is plunged into a sinister plot that involves his past.

theninjaNicholas Linnear is the son of a British officer serving in the Far East during the rebuilding of post-War Japan. While growing up he spends a lot of time in Japan and familiarises himself with different martial arts. During his time there he also gets to know the woman of his dreams, Yukio, but also his future enemy, his cousin Saigo. Saigo is the son of the influential Itami family and practices in the same dojo as Nicholas during their childhood. Yukio is the girl that both want but who Saigo introduces to Nicholas.

It is only later in life, in New York that Nicholas realises what impact Yukio had on both his and Saigo’s lives as the two meet again. Nicholas, now living with a new girlfriend, Justine, and employed at her father’s company, is forced to think back on his past as a murder takes place. The act looks like the work of a ninja and Nicholas has to help the police to find the offender.

In the search for the murderer Nicholas finds that not all of his ties to Japan have been severed and that he too must also learn the way of the ninja to stop the murders from spreading. He realises that some paths in his life that began in Japan might come to a closure in America…

As far as the plot I think that Lustbader has depicted a very intricate story where all ends are explained in the last part of the book in a brilliant way. The basic story itself is quite simple and not a very unique composition. A boy meets a girl and his rival, they fight, the good guy beats the bad guy, the end. No, it’s the way Lustbader writes that makes the story come alive in a way that I haven’t read before. You get the feeling that behind the tragedy that befalls many of the people in the book, ranging from Nicholas to Saigo, from Yukio to Justine. The book also has a captivating way of protraying events as it is divided into five parts, each part depicting different time eras. I think these are the book’s strong points and the reason as to why one would read it again. It might be a book strong enough to keep in one’s bookshelf, though personally I would wait a few years in between reading it, so as to let the plot and other elements grow dim before picking this book up again.

Review:
Plot:                              7/10
Language:                     8/10
Re-readability:               5/10
Total:                            6/10

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Responses

  1. seriös blog med rescensioner!
    Ses snart i sthlm
    /Lars


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