Customer Reviews for

The Kensei: A Lawson Vampire Novel

Average Rating 4.5
( 23 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted February 16, 2011

    FANTASTIC READ!!

    The Kensei is a fantastic read and is one of my favorites of Jon F. Merz. Mr. Merz writes in such a way that you feel as though you are right there with the characters.

    Mr. Merz not only writes what he knows about Japan, it's culture, and martial arts, he seems to have a great sense of humor that had me giggling though out the entire book!! (LOVE that)!

    Even though this is book five of a series, you do NOT have to have read the first four to know what is going on. Which is cool!

    Thank you Mr. Merz for yet again, a WONDERFUL book!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2011

    An exceptional read

    Jon F Merz has a writing style that immediately pulls the reader in.
    After only a few pages you find yourself in a world that feels real and almost familiar to you.
    It feels comfortable and because of this you find yourself immersed in the stories he tells.
    Not many people could make what is in effect a vampire ninja believable and seem like a whole person.
    Merz manages to pull this off in a way that makes you want to know and see more of his character.

    The story itself is full of plenty of twists and turns that keep the story moving along at an exceptional pace.
    This is the fifth in the Lawson series but don't let that put you off.
    Each of his Lawson books can be read as individuals or as a collection.

    I assure you once you read one of his books you WILL want to read the rest.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Espionage with martial arts & vampires -- Yes, that makes it a must-read

    Espionage novel meets new twist on vampire lore? Yes please!

    The Kensei is the fifth book in the Lawson Vampire series, but it acts as a grand stand-alone as a sort of revitalization of the series. Let me just say this, very loud and very clear, this book will bring this series back. There is a likable, yet cynical narrator in Lawson; a subdued, but important love story; organ-trafficking (which is not the run-of-the-mill crime of choice in the fiction I read); and vampire ninjas.

    Oh yes, you read that last bit correctly. Vampire ninjas.

    Maybe that sounds silly to you, and maybe you are laughing just a little bit right now, or maybe you're getting that rush of giddy excitement (I did!); but in fact, there is a deep respect throughout this book for the martial arts culture. That respect is personified through Lawson (one of many vampire ninjas) and contrasted against the bad guy, The Kensei (also a vampire ninja). I've got to say, also, it was fantastic to read hand-to-hand combat, as well as sword combat. The combat scenes are described in vivid detail, making them easy to visualize. While the occasional gun fight did erupt, the very close and personal nature of martial arts combat was new and a great pleasure to read.

    Andbutso, the plot...

    The Kensei is set in Japan, where Lawson goes for some much needed R&R after untangling a larger conspiracy thread in, I assume, at least the fourth book. But I wouldn't really know. This is the first Lawson book I've read, and as I said, it does stand alone very well. Merz throws in just enough detail about the happenings of the first four Lawson books to keep the reader well-informed and grounded in the action; my lack of intricate knowledge of Lawson's previous crime-fighting adventures was in no way inhibiting. It is just like any other great story: Lawson has a history. A history I now, thankfully, get to read while I wait for the sixth book.

    But just writing a book about Lawson's vacation in Japan would be boring, and The Kensei is anything but boring. Lawson's girlfriend, Talya, shows up in Japan asking for his help to stop organ-trafficking. So, as it would go, Lawson and Talya team up in Japan to stop organ-trafficking. The crime here is just terrible enough to hook the reader onto Lawson's side, which is necessary because we're being thrown smack into the middle of an already well-developed character arc. You had better believe I was rooting for Lawson and Talya from the get-go.

    If you're worried that the love duo becoming a crime duo will be nauseating, well don't. Talya is a seriously tough chick, and she while she undoubtedly loves Lawson, she is also very good at what she does. Which is kill people. Once again, the love story between Lawson and Talya was developed in previous novels, so the bond between them in The Kensei is refreshingly solid.

    The Take Away?

    The moment my "No Book Buying" mandate is lifted, I am ordering the first four Lawson books on my Nook and reading them. Nothing else will get me through the wait for the sixth Lawson book.

    And I should mention the vampires: the vampire myth Merz has created is something new. If for nothing else, this book would be a refreshing bit of vampire fiction. But it is so much more than that. The Kensei is a true espionage novel with martial arts and vampires as an added bonus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    Overflowing in non-stop, page-turning action: THE KENSEI! A MUST READ!

    Overflowing in non-stop, page-turning action, Jon F. Merz again meets all expectations with his newly released paranormal, urban fantasy thriller, "THE KENSEI: A Lawson Vampire Novel" Merz re-introduces Lawson, a vampire secret agent also known as "The Fixer." Born and destined to make sure "the balance, the delicate, tenuous, and ultra secret coexistence between vampires and the humans remains unbroken. Undetected." When the balance is thrown out of kilter, it is Lawson's job to make it right. While Lawson visits Japan for some R & R, he unexpectedly finds himself in the midst of a series of events involving the Yakuza, a local, powerful, organized crime group and a former KGB operative turned lover by the name of Talya with an agenda of her own. Merz is once again at his best, dazzling readers with his humor and wit, and easy to understand storylines involving a balanced mixture of the Japanese culture and the martial arts, human organ trafficking, a bit of romance, and the paranormal world of vampires, and humans, and hybrids. Merz has always in previous books, had an amazing way with words. Scenes play out intensely in the reader's mind as vivid as movies seen on the big screen. THE KENSEI is no exception. A definite must read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2011

    Amazing book, amazing author

    The Kensei was the first book I purchased by Jon Merz so I was a bit nervous about being lost with the characters since I have not yet read the others in the series. However, from the second I started reading I was pulled into the book, I couldn't put the book down until I finished it, every page called to you to keep reading. Mr. Merz does a fantastic job of giving information on certain past events and characters so one does not feel lost while reading.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who reads, it does not fail to deliver entertainment and excitement. Jon Merz is a fantastic author and I look forward to buying his other books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2011

    Without a doubt a must read!

    Lawson is amazing! Another win for this fantastic series, from page one it's almost impossible to put down!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    an exciting urban fantasy thriller

    Needing rest from his last lethal balancing assignment (see The Syndicate), vampiric secret agent Lawson travels to Japan in to get away from it all. Part of his stay is to attend an ultra advanced martial arts training at the dojo he always visits when in country. He also anticipates a tryst with former KGB assassin Talya.

    However, he immediately alienates the Yakuza when he prevents a murder from happening on a train. He also assists Talya in her quest to eliminate an organ-trafficking ring. Kensei the albino vampire crime lord is outraged with the foreigner's interference with his plan for world dominance by creating a loyal army of super soldiers. He plans to dine on Lawson's blood while Lawson plans to tear Kensei's head off.

    Over the top of James Bond's Moonraker adventure, the Kensei is an exciting urban fantasy thriller starring two macho fangsters ready to rip the guts (and jugular) of one another. Tongue in cheek while teeth aggressively are showing, sub-genre fans will anticipate the High Noon over Tokyo confrontation between the Balance undercover enforcer and the wannabe world dominator.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2014

    Enjoyable read.

    Good Vampire story with lots of action.

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  • Posted April 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    outstanding book

    This is a great book, looking forward to reading more of this writer

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  • Posted March 11, 2011

    Val says

    This was the first of Jon F. Merz's books that I read. I absolutely enjoyed it and tore through it in two nights of reading. The dynamic of the story is very compelling, well written characters that are easy to feel for. I also love the idea of a special breed of vampire designed to protect the world from the really big nasties. That's very cool. I can't wait to go back and read the other Lawson books available.

    The Kensei starts us out in Japan with Lawson ready for a break and trying to psyche himself up for some special training. His plans get bungled when he encounters a Ninja aboard the train he his riding and thwarts an assassination. His interference brings him right into the middle of a diabolical plan being set in motion by one mean dude with fiendish plans to control everything. Follow along as Lawson meets up with various people with the same goals, to defeat evil where it stands. And just wait and see how he gets out of this one...

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  • Posted January 23, 2011

    OUTSTANDING!!! Must Read

    I do not own a Nook. I do however own a Kindle and have my copy on The Kensei on it. I also bought a paperback copy of The Kensei. I wrote a review for it on here (barnes and noble). I have included my review below:

    This book was fantastic. It made me remember why I fell in love with the Lawson Vampire Series to begin. You don't have to be familiar with the series to enjoy this book. I read this book in two days. It only took me that long because of family life.. you know kids wanting attention.. husband wanting attention. They were feeling jealous of Lawson ;) I truly loved this book. So much so I ran contests on my FB and Twitter pages. I gave away 10 copies of this novel! I would LOVE to see this book (and Jon F. Merz's other book PARALLAX) as a movie. They are both action packed. Filled with some sci-fi things. The Kensei deals with a lot of martial arts as well. Very cool stuff. While reading I totally forgot vampires weren't real LOL. The story had awesome twists and Jon's writing style is so phenomenal you have such an easy time imagining you are there part of the action.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 23, 2011

    Outstanding story. Hard to put down. Must read!

    This book was fantastic. It made me remember why I fell in love with the Lawson Vampire Series to begin. You don't have to be familiar with the series to enjoy this book. I read this book in two days. It only took me that long because of family life.. you know kids wanting attention.. husband wanting attention. They were feeling jealous of Lawson ;) I truly loved this book. So much so I ran contests on my FB and Twitter pages. I gave away 10 copies of this novel! I would LOVE to see this book (and Jon F. Merz's other book PARALLAX) as a movie. They are both action packed. Filled with some sci-fi things. The Kensei deals with a lot of martial arts as well. Very cool stuff. While reading I totally forgot vampires weren't real LOL. The story had awesome twists and Jon's writing style is so phenomenal you have such an easy time imagining you are there part of the action.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted October 6, 2012

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