Katana (Katana Series #1)

Katana (Katana Series #1)

by Cole Gibsen


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Skater girl or supernatural samurai? Rileigh Martin wants to believe that adrenaline gave her the strength to fend off three muggers in the mall parking lot. But adrenaline doesn’t explain the voice in her head giving her battle tips and warnings. While worrying that she’s going crazy (always a reputation ruiner), Rileigh gets a visit from Kim, a handsome martial arts instructor, who tells Rileigh she’s harboring the spirit of a five-hundred-year-old samurai warrior. Relentlessly attacked by ninjas, Rileigh has no choice but to master the katana—a deadly Japanese sword that’s also the key to her past. As the spirit grows stronger and her feelings for Kim intensify, Rileigh is torn between continuing as the girl she’s always been and embracing the warrior inside her.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738730400
Publisher: North Star Editions
Publication date: 03/08/2012
Series: Katana Series , #1
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.19(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile: HL690L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Cole Gibsen has been profiled in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and on St. Louis's KSDK morning news, and was featured in The Telegraph for her debut novel, Katana. She graduated from Southwestern Illinois College with an associate's degree in liberal arts, and is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and the St. Louis Writers Guild. Gibsen lives with her husband and daughter outside St. Louis in Collinsville, Illinois.

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Katana 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
HKSavage1 More than 1 year ago
This was the second book by this author that I've read. She writes YA and I've been off that lately so even though I keep thinking of this book I've been slow to get it. Three things about this author: she has a super tight writing style and biting wit I love. Also, she writes YA that is neither sniveling and whiny or no juvenile I want to jump in the book and slap all of the characters for being such big babies. Gibsen rides the line of emotionally charged and fast action so well she makes it look easy. The plot? Well, as the name might imply this one has a heavy martial arts theme to it. The main character is a normal 17 year old girl who, while out with her best friend, Q, is attacked by punks. She thinks she faints but when she "comes to" she's still on her feet with three unconscious punks at her feet. She thinks she's going bonkers because she remembers hearing a voice guiding her through the fight. Then, as some other strange events unfold, she meets a young, hot, Asian man gives her his card and tells her to call. He knows what's happening. I don't want to share too much without risking spoilers, but trust me. This is a great book for action loving YA for mainstream and PNR fans alike. Love that transcends time and death, loyalty and duty; it's got it all. Check it out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story was amazing, i love martial arts and i love the way this story protrayed them. The plot line and rising climax lead to a fantastic suspenseful story that left you wanting to know more!!!!!
MicheleLeesBookLove More than 1 year ago
Billed as Kill Bill meets Buffy Katana is the story of an ordinary skater teen with a gay BFF who, after being attacked in a mall parking lot one night, discovers she's the reincarnation of a 500 year old samurai (yes, there are famous female samurai). The idea of a modern Japanese paranormal is enticing. The execution, however, was disappointing. There's a number of things to throw readers out of the book, things that are such glaring issues it's hard to maintain a suspension of disbelief. Ri having the knowledge of ancient martial arts is acceptable, but her untuned body being able perform them? Not to mention a hospital releasing her after a mysterious attack and unconsciousness into the care of another minor (ahem, lawsuit) and Ri choosing to confront a boy stalking her by driving alone, without telling anyone, across state lines to the dojo the boy owns? It's hard to get to the good bits when you find yourself so dismayed by things like this. The premise is interesting, and there are certainly sparks of good writing, but they're buried under events that have little logic and feel like author intrusion for the sake of drama. Hopefully we can find more to love in further books. Contains: violence
WhatsOntheBookshelf More than 1 year ago
I've got one word to describe this book. ORIGINAL. It was not anything I expected, and it was really freakin good. At first I wasn't sure I'd like it, but it didn't take long for me to get into the book. Once that happened I couldn't put it down. When I said this book was original I meant it. From the fact that it involves Japanese warriors to reincarnation ( in a way). And believable. The story behind each of the warriors will tug at your heart strings, and I can only hope that we will get future books with more chances to connect with all of them. Kim, oh Kim. Can we have more please? He was bold and direct, but knew how to be sweet and caring. There was some back and forth between Kim and Rileigh that I enjoyed reading. A lot of times when both MCs are wishy-washy I get frustrated, but not this time. Kim was the one that waited for Rileigh to accept who she was. Rileigh was an interesting character. She was very typical teen and I admit there were a couple of times I struggled liking her. But then again if faced with the same revelations she learned, there's a very good chance I'd react with the same confusion and denial that she did. In the end I did like her and I did connect with her character. Overall, yeah you need to read this book. It's different, it's intriguing, and it will capture your attention.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book I could not put down. I was drawn after the first chapter and the humor of this book was great. I would defiantly recommend this book to my friends and I hope they will enjoy the book as much as I did.
Icecream18 More than 1 year ago
The reader will be drawn in after the first chapter thanks to the main character's, Rileigh's, humor and wit. Rileigh is just the average teenager who is concerned about her social appeal and status as well as what her friends are doing and how does she look in those cute shoes. Well...she *was* a normal teenager. When Rileigh and her best friend are attacked in a mall parking lot, she discovers that while some people have inner strength, she has an...inner samurai??? Kim, a shockingly good-looking Asian teenager, tracks her down and tells her to come to him when she wants more information after that stunt in the parking lot. Kim, as the reader will discover, is a bit of a love interest...yet another plot point the reader can look forward to! The novel develops from there, with Rileigh discovering just how much her inner samurai can do and why she has one. Kim and Rileigh slowly begin to delve into a potential relationship even as Rileigh's own friendships begin to falter slightly as the secrets she finds herself keeping begin to pile on top of her. Rileigh's best friend, Quentin, is a bit of a stereotypical "gay friend," but he infuses the novel with plenty of humor and may rival Rileigh as the favorite character. Kim, with his stoicism and few words, will keep the reader intrigued and the other characters fit the novel perfectly. The plot itself is very fast-paced. Rileigh goes from shoe-shopping to skilled fighting in a manner of weeks. The samurai learn that there may be a traitor in their midst, but who? This book is highly recommended to young adult/teen readers.
iheartyabooks More than 1 year ago
Katana is a fantastic kick-butt novel with humor, drama, action and romance. Cole Gibsen is right when she says it’s a Kill Bill meets Buffy in a supernatural samurai tale. Gibsen is also a fantastic kick-butt writer. I enjoyed the way she delivered this fascinating storyline, and I'm so glad to know there will be a second book coming out in March 2013. Rileigh's just completed her junior year of high school, and she and her best friend Quentin are on their way to an end-of-school party when three muggers have different plans for Rileigh. When Rileigh beats up all three muggers, she knows something strange is happening, and she definitely knows something is not right when Kim, the good looking eighteen year old Asian guy, tells her she is his reincarnated love of his life and a samurai warrior, Senshi. Rileigh wants off this insane rollercoaster ride and to just go back to being the normal skater teenager before the three muggers and gorgeous Kim came along and sent her heart racing. There're also three more characters I really liked: Michelle, Braden, and Drew. All three are fun, but Michelle and Braden’s relationship was definitely a different kind of romance. They are samurai too, and trying to help Kim to show Rileigh the truth about who she is. Kim's love for Rileigh stole my heart. Kim is a guy of few words, but the words he does say are heart-melting. Kim is swoon-worthy. Katana is a Kick-butt novel about a kick-ass, tough, skater, samurai girl named Rileigh who awakens to a life she never thought she could have, with a love she thought was only in fairytales. I recommend Katana as a must read.
EKAnderson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
KATANA is a fun, exciting thrill ride, complete with swords, a plucky heroine, and a super hot boy. With a refreshing take on reincarnation and a cool mythology to back it up, Cole Gibsen's debut is definitely a book to pick up for readers craving action.When Rileigh and her friend, Q, are attacked by muggers in the mall parking lot, a crazy adrenaline rush helps her take them out, getting her and Q to safety. But the thing is, she's also starting to have weird dreams. And there are more attacks. It's not long before Rileigh ha to admit there's something different about her. And a visit from Kim, an easy-on-the-eyes martial arts instructor should explain a lot. He tells her that she's a reincarnated Samurai, that they've known each other in a past life. But this is more than Rileigh can handle. Rileigh didn't ask for this. She has no interest in mandatory training, would rather just hang out with Q. Soon, though, the attacks are frequent enough that this isn't an option. Her mom's life is threatened. There are people out there who know what Rileigh is, and even Rileigh can't deny the truth any longer: she is a Samurai.KATANA is a fun, fast-paced read. For me, the book throws back to Karate Kid more than Kill Bill, but the added element of the paranormal gives it a bit of spark that is sure to be enjoyed by fans of martial arts films.
BookAddictDiary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What's not to like about Katana? A gorgeous, Japanese-inspired covered with a kick-ass chick dual-wielding katanas, an intriguing and action-packed blurb evoking the classic cult series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Kill Bill films. I was pretty much in love from the start.While the story turned out to be much more Kill Bill than Buffy, there was still plenty to enjoy. Young Rileigh Martin hasn't had a normal life lately. She's been having strange dreams about feudal Japan, and finds herself with the sudden strength and courage to fight off three muggers -who are much bigger than her. While reeling from her experience, Rileigh meets Kim, a sexy martial arts master who tells Rileigh that she happens to have the spirit of a samurai warrior inside her. It's not long, of course, until word gets out.Katana introduces readers to a fun new character with plenty of spunk and excitement suddenly thrown into a world that she doesn't understand. Not only that, but she's constantly being attacked by ninjas and others who claim to be settling a score -or following a lost love -from Rileigh's past life. Laced with plenty of fast-paced action, Katana is a different kind of action story with a new kind of hero.And definitely my kind of hero..
CelineNyx on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
You know, I think the Japanese are cool. They have ninjas and samurai and awesome weapons that look more like pieces of art, but that can behead a person with a single swoop. I know they like tea, and that they wear funny white socks in flip flops. They are completely awesome with technology, and are very polite. With that knowledge of Japanese culture I started Katana. A girl that discovers she was a samurai in a previous life? Hell yes!I have seen some reviewers complaining that the Japanese part of the book wasn't well researched, and didn't give a correct view of how everything worked over there five hundred years ago. I can't be the judge of the historical accuracy of the things happening in Katana. Maybe they're right, maybe they're not. But I think you shouldn't look at Katana as a groundbreaking novel about Japanese culture, but more of a fun young-adult book that features kick-ass fights with sword-wearing bad guys.That's probably the best way to describe Katana: fun. It's really a cute novel, in my opinion. Yes, it does fall back into some clichés. There is an overly theatrical gay best friend. The main character Rileigh gets warned by a mysterious hot guy that "She is in great danger!". I didn't have a problem with any of those, actually. I laughed at the gay friends jokes. I wondered who the mysterious hot guy was. I was engaged by the story from the first chapter, and I didn't mind the slight clichés at all.Even though I had a lot of fun reading Katana, there are some things that bothered me. My main problem was with said mysterious hot guy. For some reason he turned from "hot asian guy" into "elderly kung-fu master" in my mind. He even had the braided moustache and the ponytail. I'm not sure what went wrong; the way he talked said more "ancient" than "teenager" for me. Because of that, the whole story got a little bit of an ick-factor that was slightly disturbing.I liked that Rileigh didn't turn into the most important girl in the world. Even though she gets some pretty bad-ass fighting skills, there are still people bigger and stronger than her. The fighting scenes were the strongest points in the book in my opinion. I wished that there were more of them.If you're looking for a fun young-adult novel from a female point of view with some Japanese themes, I would certainly recommend Katana. It's a pretty light novel that keeps you entertained. I'm keeping this one for a rainy day. There's nothing like katana to cheer you up.
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I got a copy of this book through NetGalley(dot)com for review. It was an interesting idea but I was hoping for more action. It would have been nice to have more Buffy-like butt kicking from the main character and less whining.Rileigh Martin is a relatively normal girl that is until she is attacked in a parking lot by some thugs. She totally schools all three of the big thugs and then goes unconscious. She can barely remembered what happened, the doctors tell her it was adrenaline...but Rileigh remembers a voice in the back of her head and a feeling of silk up her spine as something else took over her actions. Rileigh finds out she might be harboring a 500 year old samurai spirit and now that she's been outed she may be in a huge amount of danger.This book is described as Kill Bill meets Buffy; I love both Kill Bill and Buffy and as a result was excited to read this book. There is enough drama in here to warrant the Buffy comment (although not nearly as much humor), but the Kill Bill comparison...hmmm...not really. There are some good fight scenes in this book but not a ton.The idea is an interesting, if not totally, original one. Rileigh is being taken over by a Samurai spirit. The main question in her mind is...is this spirit part of her? Or is it trying to take over her? It is an interesting problem and an interesting idea. The way Rileigh suddenly knows how to fight awesomely is something I wish I could do and is a fun fantasy to explore. It kind of reminds of the line in the Matrix "I know Kung Fu!"My main problem with this book is Rileigh. A good portion of the book is spent dealing with her in denial of what's happening. Rileigh whines a lot and complains about loosing herself. Another good portion of the book is spent with Riley angsting about being attracted to the hot Asian guy who harbors the soul-mate spirit to her ancient spirit instead of wanting the other hot guy from her high school. I am not a fan of teenage angst and drama; especially when the heroine spends more time worrying about which hottie to go after than she does the fact that she is being controlled by an ancient samurai spirit.I did enjoy Kim as the main male lead; he had a lot more depth than Rileigh and was an awesome fighter. His devotion to Rileigh was admirable if a bit creepy and stalker-like at times.The plot was completely predictable and transparent. The author tries to mislead the reader into thinking one person is the bad guy but then surprise another person is; the big problem was this diversion is that the outcome is totally predictable. The writing style of the book was decent and the writing was easy to read. The book was fairly engaging as well.Overall this book had some good and bad points. The idea behind the story was interesting and the book was well-written and easy to read. I found that there wasn't as much awesome action as I had been hoping for. Rileigh was too whiny and Kim a bit too stalker-like for me. The plot was way to predictable. This was an okay read but not what I was hoping for. Young adult readers who enjoy a lot of teenage drama with some supernatural possession and fighting mixed in might find this enjoyable. I am trying to think what to recommend in place of this book...if you like kick-butt young adult urban fantasy I would recommend Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver or Nightshade by Andrea Cremer.
alaiel.kreuz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When three buglers try to hurt her and her best friend, Quentin, something amazing and scary happened: Rileigh turned into someone completely different... Someone with a strength capable of breaking necks and so fast that she could easily out run you in a blink of an eye.The most amazing part? She suddenly is able to fight like a powerful warrior.The scary part? There's a voice in her head. And it talks to her.So there goes a normal life. Thank you very much.And after these three guys tried to hurt her she wakes up in a hospital where a cute doctor is very curious of what really happened while all she says is that the adrenaline helped her.But there is also this weird Asian guy called Kim that says he has answers, that she only needs to look for him when she realizes that the danger coming her way is real.Now not only this voice is scaring the heck out of her but also she is having these weird dreams where she is Senshi, a woman samurai, fighting to protect her lord Toyotomi and her love Yoshido in a battle that, somehow, she knows she is going to lose.Back in the present time her only support is Quentin, a funny guy that likes boys and is not afraid to say it. A guy that is like family for her and that even takes care of her when her mother is too busy to notice something is wrong with her.Now to make things even more complicated the hot guy in her school, Whitley, is making a move on her after watching in the news how cool and strong she is. And this Asian guy, Kim, wants her to embrace the warrior inside her to be complete but... if she does, wouldn't that mean the end of the Rileigh she is right now? The end of her life as a normal teenager?Personal opinion:A story involving samurais, fights, reincarnation and love? Count me in! I LOVE this kind of plots first because I'm a hugh fan of everything Japanese and second because I love samurais stories.And this one involving a woman samurai? That is just plain awesome.I liked the background story of their samurais lives and how everything connected in the present time and the development of the plot felt very real.Characters like Quentin will make you smile and laugh out loud with his snarky and clever comments while characters like Kim will make you heart melt and cry a little bit.Kim's story is one of the saddest in this book and I found myself cheering for him from the very beginning which, I assure you, wasn't very difficult.The only thing that bothered me a little? Rileigh's constant fear of losing control of herself was sometimes really annoying. I mean, yes, I understand her worries but... come on, isn't it easier just to ask and get answers?!Anyway, besides this the plot was really good and the ending great. As soon as it's out I'm going to buy it for sure! And I'm sure I'm going to enjoy a lot Cole Gibsen's books in the future too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't understand how you do it. Whenever I try to write a poem, I can't think of any two words that rhyme.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You're an amazing poet, <br> By far one of the best I met. <br> You manage to keep rhymimg, <br> Going fast and also slow. <p> I'd live to know you better, <br> And maybe write a letter, <br> On how nice your poems are, <br> You are a creative star.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. When I first started reading it I thought I had an idea of what it might be like, but I was totally off. Even when I was finished reading it I couldn't stop thinking about the book! I knew that after it was over that I would be dying to read the second book! Katana is the type of book that you may think you know the solution to the plot, but thats never the answer to the problem. If you like suspense, drama, romance, and teen fiction; my suggestion is that you read this book. And if you like it, read the second book as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is in res 2
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My only complaint is this book leaves you hanging at the end. I wish it had a sequal
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Waited patiently.