Sunday, January 2, 2011

Review: The Kensei by Jon F. Merz

The Kensei
a Lawson Vampire novel
by: Jon F. Merz
$14.99 trade paperback
St. Martin's Griffin
Paranormal Fantasy
Released: January 2011

Lawson is a Fixer, a vampire charged with upholding and maintaining the balance between humans and vampires by any means necessary.  After countless years of being surrounded by nothing but death, Lawson figures it's way past time for a vacation, so it's off to Japan for a little R&R and some advanced ninja training.

But it seems like his bad luck has caught up to him, for as soon as he steps foot into the country he's unwittingly caught up in a Yakuza gang war.  To make matters worse, Tayla, his on-again off-again girlfriend and ex KGB assassin, shows up and tell him she needs his help to stop an organ trafficking ring in the area.  And because that's not enough, the two must find and take down the Kensei, a shadowy figure intent on creating a human-vampire army.

Just another day in the life of a Fixer.

This book was just what I needed to pull me out of the reading slump I've been in lately.  I'd label this book a modern day thriller, with a bit of a paranormal twist to it, since Lawson's a vampire.  In Lawson's world, vampires can walk around in full daylight, and are just like you and me except they do need blood to survive, and are also faster and heal quicker.  Lawson is a Fixer, a vampire who does what it takes to keep people from knowing that vampires exist. 

Following the characters through Japan gave me a wonderful insight into the country, something I wouldn't be able to find from a travel guide or a video.  The authentic feel really helped to suck me into the story, as did Lawson's quirky attitude.  The fight scenes rocked, and I was really able to tell the author knew his stuff with them.

I'll definitely look out for anything else this author writes because come on, who would pass up a story with vampire ninjas in it. 

Carla gives this book a


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