Review: Senshi by Cole Gibsen

Senshi (Katana, #2)

Is Rileigh’s only hope for salvation to team up with her sworn enemy?

Rileigh Martin just wants to do normal teenage things, like go on romantic dates with Kim, her boyfriend and past life soul mate. Although that seems impossible when she’s the reincarnation of Senshi, a fifteenth century samurai warrior. After a ninja ambush leaves her unable to control her ki powers, Rileigh vows to get them under control before her friends lose more than their eyebrows. But when Kim leaves her for his past life betrothed and the other samurai stop talking to her, Rileigh realizes she doesn’t have any friends left to worry about.

As the ninja attacks increase, Rileigh learns that the reincarnated kunoichi, a powerful female ninja, wants to kill her in order to reclaim her destructive powers. Alone and with increasingly unstable powers, Rileigh’s only offer of help comes from Whitley, her sworn past life enemy. Rileigh knows she doesn’t stand a chance against the kunoichi by herself, but Whitley’s sudden allegiance might be hiding a much deadlier agenda.

I had quite a few complaints when I read Katana last year and I ended up giving it a slightly lower rating than I'd wanted to (3.5 is still a good rating but it's kind of on the border between great and okay). When I picked up Senshi I hadn't had amazing hopes for it and it actually was a little better than Katana in my opinion, I really enjoyed it. 

It's no secret that I love books about samurai or with an East Asian/Oriental tone, so I really am enjoying this series simply for that, but on top of that I felt that this book seemed a little more realistic (well, as realistic as reincarnated samurai and ninja can get). I mean mainly in the characters, in Katana I found that Quentin was just a gay stereotype but in Senshi I started to really like him and respect the role that he plays in Rileigh's life. Kim was as fantastic and brooding as ever, though he's a bit of a numbskull in the decisions he makes but you understand why later. Sumi is the girl you love to hate and I really started to like Dr. Wendell towards the end.

As I'd left a year between reading Katana and this (and I don't reread books before the sequels unless I LOVED them) I felt like I could deal with the similarities between each books with the plot points and the wit, but someone reading them back to back may find that they are a little too similar to eachother, which is one fault that I found. On top of that, there was quite a few cheesy lines and there were a few places where the pacing dipped a little and my reading slowed a little. And that ending! COLE GIBSEN is killing me, I cannot wait to read the third book in this series (I hope there's a third book!)

Overall, despite still not being amazing, I can happily say that Senshi was a great book that I really enjoyed reading. The characters seemed a little more realistic but I did find that at places the pacing dipped and the dialogue seemed a little too cheesy to be believable. Nevertheless, I still would recommend this series for people looking for something a little original.

Book released 8th March 2013 by Flux
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (NetGalley)

Other books from this author:
Katana (#1)

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