Every Friday I scour the internet for a free or under $2.99 book that’s actually worth reading!
The Silver Ninja is a sci-fi novel about a woman who gains superpowers after enhancement by nanomachines. The dust jacket also suggests the main character may become a villain at some point, which is also enticing.
And I should mention it becomes very apparent after the first chapter the author is a Metal Gear fan–railguns, stealth camo, gecko grip gloves, nanomachines, DARPA, cyborg ninja–any of this sounding familiar? It seems some characters are borrowed as well.
WHY I PICKED IT UP
I read an ad which suggested this book did not follow the predictable format of the genre. That said, the cover art and jacket blurb sounded interesting. It is also available on Smashwords.
WHERE/WHY I STOPPED
I haven’t stopped just yet–a good sign–and I’m on page 36 of the sample. The sample includes the first 80 or so pages, so there’s plenty there to judge. Don’t get me wrong; this is book has serious flaws–which I will address in the next section–but I’m not bored yet. So why have I kept reading?
It’s kind of fun.
There’s a lot of positive things about this book, for instance the author does a good job of planting hooks. We get one in the dust jacket, promising an eventual cyborg ninja, and from there, a bunch of littler hooks to keep us going. Also, the pacing is good most of the time.
WHAT COULD BE BETTER, IF ANYTHING
As I mentioned earlier, this book has MANY issues and chief among them is overwriting. Luna uses metaphors and similes like a crackhead uses crack (yes, I’m aware I just wrote a simile) and the sheer quantity alone causes even the competent ones to become distracting. I counted 16 metaphors/similes in the intro and some of them are mixed together. And as my high school english prof. taught me (using a yardstick and copious amounts of force) mixing metaphors is a no-no; it confuses the readers.
Now the second major issue: There’s a few literary… conveniences, I’ll call them… which sap credulity from the reader. These aren’t dealbreaking plotholes for me, but don’t you think it’s a bit CONVENIENT that the R&D lab’s door lock has been broken forever and even though it’s top-secret government research there’s no budget to fix it? Little coincidences like this keep popping up and, though I didn’t find it off-putting, it did break the fourth wall for me.
As a general rule, readers don’t like coincidences; they need to see some causality to satisfy their brains. That’s why there’s so much irritation over deus ex machina endings.
This was a tough one to call for me but I found, despite its flaws, this book has a story worth reading. The writing makes it a little cheesy, but it has that b-movie quality I like in books.
I haven’t decided whether I’ll buy it, but the fact that I’m still reading means it’s at least worth checking out for yourself.
Give the sample a try and tell me what you think. Does the author’s style alienate you as a reader? Are you able to suspend your disbelief? Was there too much cheese? Leave a comment and let me know!