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Katana (Katana Series #1)

Katana (Katana Series #1)

4.1 14
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


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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An action-packed page-turner." —Booklist

"Prepare yourself for a smart, sassy heroine, and seriously swoony romance ... with a little butt-kicking thrown in for good measure." —Antony John, author of 2011 Schneider Family Book Award-winning Five Flavors of Dumb

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Skater girl Rileigh and her friend Quentin are leaving the mall one afternoon when they witness an attack on an elderly couple. Rileigh closes her eyes in fear as the mugger runs toward her, but the next thing she knows the attacker is at her feet, looking up at her with fury. Somehow, without even being conscious of it, she has brought him down. Strange events continue. Rileigh hears a voice in her head, guiding her actions in some very scary situations. She dreams of medieval Japan—vivid dreams with details she shouldn't know. When Kim, a local dojo owner, tells her that she's a reincarnated samurai warrior named Senshi and that reincarnated bad guys are after her, she scoffs. As Senshi's voice gets stronger, and her attraction to Kim grows, Rileigh realizes that she must face the truth. Only by transcending, joining her past and current selves, can she hope to defeat her ancient enemies. But once she's transcended, will she still be herself? Or will Senshi take over her life? This action-packed novel has a unique and compelling plot. Rileigh is a believable heroine with understandable motivations and reactions. The supernatural elements of the story are relayed via her disbelief and Kim's certainty and explained in a way that seems plausible and credible. Details of 15th-century Japanese life and battle are seamlessly woven into the narrative, and a romantic triangle adds depth (as well as veracity to Kim's side of the argument). Fans of Carrie Asai's "Samurai Girl" series (S & S) will be particularly interested, but even readers who dislike supernatural story lines will enjoy this tale of modern samurais.—Heather Miller Cover, Homewood Public Library, AL
Kirkus Reviews
An ordinary St. Louis teen finds that she has a distinctly un-ordinary legacy when she's attacked in a shopping-mall parking lot. Until the assault that wakens a terrifying internal voice and preternatural martial-arts abilities, Rileigh has spent her time hanging with her gay BFF Quentin and mooning over hottie Whitley. Now she finds herself coping with the unwanted attention of the mysterious, sandalwood-scented hottie Kim, who insists that she take up training in his dojo. It seems he thinks that she is the reincarnation of his 15th-century lover; the two were samurai who died at the hands of an evil ninja. Now Kim wants to "awaken" her past self using the titular katana she wielded in her earlier life. She wants none of this, but does she have a choice? Is the reincarnation of the evil ninja behind the continuing attacks? Nothing about this debut surprises, from the stock characters to the turgid action scenes. Gibsen laces her narrative with holes: If Kim and Rileigh have been reincarnated multiple times and repeatedly drawn together by psychic destiny, why is there no hint of other past lives? And the writing is frequently downright amateurish, turning out ridiculous similes--"My heart spun in my chest, as if it were the wheel of a gerbil hopped up on Pixy Stix"--when it's not indulging in cliché--"With breakneck speed, I darted to the window and flattened myself against the wall." Pass. (Paranormal romance. 12-16)

Product Details

North Star Editions
Publication date:
Katana Series , #1
Product dimensions:
5.19(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.90(d)
HL690L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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Meet 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. 14 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.
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
Maybe l'm sick in my mind <br> Or maybe l'm wasting my time <br> I spend all my days in a box <br> A box in a room full of clocks <p> I obsess over minutes and seconds <br> One chime off? Might as well just forget it <br> I tick and l talk with the chiming <br> And in my head everything's rhyming <p> I sit in my box and l listen <br> The passing time mummers and glistens <br> N,o l am without a doubt sane <br> Well....maybe a little deranged <p> I've only been here for a day <br> Yet all l know's living this way <br> Surrounded by time counting down <br> I can hear my life ending all 'round <p> ~ <p> "He's in a deep coma...you know." <br> "He can't seem to let his time go." <br> "The clock by his bed counting down" <br> In his room full of clocks there he drowned <p> _/\______________________
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.