Wednesday, 7 May 2008

In the Service of Samurai

The Official Blurb

The choice: Serve the undead or become one of them.

Toshi never expected the strange visitor who one evening stepped foot inside his master's shop. A samurai smelling of the sea, dripping on the ground, algae strung from his armor. For the first time in his life, he discovers that monsters do roam the earth. And this one has been specifically looking
for him.

Dragged from his home and all he has ever known, Toshi must now use his acquired skills in foreign maps to help the creatures who have taken him. Yet at every turn there are problems. There are even those seeking to terminate his very life, not wanting his new master to succeed in his assigned task. And when they do find it, Toshi discovers his new master's enemies have prepared for their eventual arrival, leaving him the only one capable of recovering what has been lost. Can he do what even the undead cannot? Or will he fail and be forced to wander the world as one of them?

My Review

The word Samurai leapt at me when I first saw this podiobook. I'm a bit of a fan of the old Samurai movies and love the conflicts caused by honour and service.

I was not disapointed in this novel. Samurai, undead Samurai, ceaselessly traveling even in death to complete their duty and restore their honour. All the stuff I like.

The story follows the boy Toshi as he gets dragged into the middle of the events he couldn't even imagine. He's lost, alone, friendless and scared. The story follows him as he rises from beaten boy to manhood.

I absolutely loved this story. In a couple of places the story seems to slow down a little too much for my preference but then I shouldn't expect every writer to be a Matthew Reilly. There was however enough action and adventure to keep me listening.

I also felt that the mystical aspects were played out without the explanations that I would have liked to hear. I expect they are perfectly straight forward if you have the background in the Japanese culture but alas I do not.

It felt like a young adult novel and the fact that the main character appears to be in his teens would seem to go along with that. The content seemed appropriate.

In summary, I really enjoyed listening to this, and it throughly enveloped my mind during long cycle rides.

Reading 1/3
Production 2/3
Story 2/3

Total Score 5/9

Available from Podiobooks