Hello, Don’tRead Faithful!
You know, I’ve noticed I’m reviewing fewer books lately, but that’s because I’m actually finishing some that are on my ever-increasing list.
So when I was contacted by Wilmar Luna, author of The Silver Ninja, about my review of his book. Wilmar gave me a free copy of his book and I’m not gonna lie, free stuff is cool. For those of you remember my initial review, you’ll note that Silver Ninja had a few problems, but was on the whole enjoyable and I recommended it (back when I was doing pass/fail reviews). Anyway, that’s proof I didn’t give it the thumbs up just because he gave me free stuff!
So I picked it up again and got hooked again and now I’m here to tell you how it was! I have a lot of notes, both positive and negative, but I’ll try to boil it all down without spoiling too much.
Things I Like
There’s a lot of good stuff going on here, which is what kept me reading.
Tension – Wilmar builds tension and exploits it well. He promises readers that an event WILL happen, lets the characters do the boring-but-necessary stuff while fretting about the event, then releases the tension in the event and hooks us again by promising something new. That’s how you do it and it kept me hooked until the end!
Editing – You don’t usually get bonus points for this from me, but because it’s a Smashwords book, I’m saying it: The book is very clean. I only saw one typo which may or may not have been intentional. Other problems aside, Wilmar has clearly put some effort into editing his book and it shows.
Fight Scenes – I’ve mentioned this elsewhere, but fight scenes in literature are largely boring. They release the tension you’ve been building and, unlike movies, they take a lot of time and effort to read and translate in your head.
Wilmar is very good at describing the physical movements of his characters during their fights and he doesn’t let the fights go on too long. Plus he manages to insert some new tension after every fight, keeping the reader hooked.
Tone – This one made the book very enjoyable for me. Silver Ninja, despite its flaws, never takes itself too seriously. The main characters joke and have fun, some characters are a little silly, and it shows self-awareness with small homages to the works which inspired it. The result? It all comes together with a kind of unity and we’re ready to read more when the action goes over the top. The Silver Ninja knows its not perfect and that made me as the reader more willing to overlook its flaws.
Could Be Better
Excess of Figurative Language – This was my biggest issue with Silver Ninja early on. Mixed metaphors, rapid fire metaphors, etc. Things like the “sadness gushing from his eyes” in place of tears. It happens a lot early on, but I think I got used to it because I noticed it didn’t bother me by the time I finished the book.
Late-Novel Pacing – The pacing, for the most part, is spot on. Nothing seems too rushed or too slow. UNTIL…I won’t spoil what happens here, but there are two chapters which are essentially exposition / movie montage. They could have easily been related from one character to another instead of from the narrator to the reader. The other would require a bit more plot-rearranging, but I feel it would be worth it to keep the story moving smoothly.
Contrivances in Plot – Another thing I mentioned in my early review. Some of the things that happen are just a little too convenient.
MINOR SPOILERS TO FOLLOW
Okay, in the ending there are two “boss fights” in which our MC, who is clearly stated earlier to have a functional rail gun, does not use it and instead gets her ass kicked when the fight could have been either ended or curtailed had she just shot the bastard. Also, I had issues with the fact that the MC gets knifed to the point she is bleeding out on the sidewalk, but goes back to work the next day. Then, after she’s got a super suit which has regenerative capability, and she’s got to re-learn how to walk and do martial arts in an info-dump mentioned above.
My brain came up with SOME explanations for these, like armor plating, etc, but it would have been nice if this was addressed in the narrative.
One final note–the main character does some pretty questionable things without thinking about them first. The reason for this is revealed later on, and makes sense, but I would have liked one or two more little early clues as to why.
Despite its flaws Silver Ninja is fun. Just plain fun. You need a big, thick fourth-wall up to read it, but if you’re a fan of sci-fi or videogames in general, you’ve got one of those up all the time, anyway. Fans of pulp novels and b-movies will feel right at home.
So if you like gaming, sci-fi, or FUN, pick up Silver Ninja and give it a read!
Thanks for reminding me about you, Wilmar!
And if you’ve read Silver Ninja, tell me about it in the comments!