5 out of 5 stars
What a tense novel! There's big business intrigue, intense fighting scenes and a dash of Japanese mythology thrown in to give it just the right touch.
Although this is marked for the young adult audience, the plot is complex enough to grasp adult readers as well. Junya has just been marked as heir to a billion dollar company, but with it, he's getting more than he bargained for. The company has enemies who plan on bringing it down - strong ones. But this isn't his main concern. A mysterious Japanese girl who keeps popping up (and can fight better than any normal ninja) is already keeping Junya's hands full...not to mention the strange things that are happening to him. Suddenly, he can sense things and a power is growing inside of him.
The characters are very well done - serious and driven, but they let a little bit of the light side of life sneak in every now and then. The problems thrown at Junya are sometimes more than he can handle, despite his own growing strength. Even his oncoming powers aren't something he really embraces at first, and the reader gets to discover and questions things along with him. This made him sympathetic and easy to cheer for.
The plot is fast paced and well weaved. I really enjoyed the more mature feel of the business world in this; the author never talks down to the reader. The little spice of Japanese culture really adds a nice touch, and it's clear that the author knows what he's talking about. It weaves in so naturally.
Summed up, this is a great read for intrigue and fantasy fans. Once they dive into Junya's world, they won't want to leave.
The adventurous tale of one boy discovering his true destiny.
On his 16th birthday, James Edward Thompson, aka Junya, is literally knocked off his feet after spying a beautiful, mysterious Japanese girl sitting in the park across from his grandfather’s mansion. Soon after, he is once again thrown for a loop when his billionaire grandfather announces that James will be the heir to the family business—a company his grandfather built from scratch and whose success is held as a deep, dark secret. Raised in a Japanese culture in the heart of San Francisco, James is used to his mother’s little quirks, from her ninjalike skills in the dojo to her uncanny ability to always know what he’s thinking. But when company insiders threaten his life, James realizes that his grandfather isn’t the only one with something to hide. As the truth begins to unravel, James isn’t sure whom to trust, and with the help of the mysterious girl in the park, he learns about strange worlds he never knew existed and power he never knew he had. Fladmark’s freshman offering starts off strong and progresses at just the right tempo. Adept worldbuilding further enhances the storyline, while skillful character development—aside from an occasional hiccup in terms of voice and personality—creates intriguing, relatable characters with a variety of ages, abilities, and social stations. Additionally, the clear, accessible prose ably depicts not only the various cultures of contemporary San Francisco, but also the magical hidden lands of Japan and the dangerous Mojave Desert.
Filled with magic, mayhem, and intrigue, Fladmark’s series is off to a solid start.