Review – Kyle M. Perkins’ Night Blade: Dawn of Discovery
What? You want a better reason? OK.
Teenager Niko Sakuna is a half cat demon, son of a demon and a human, and is due to take part in an important Taekwondo tournament. While he’s in the final against a known opponent and in front of the Grand Master, he transforms uncontrollably into his demon self and wins the fight, being presented with a dangerous and legendary katana sword as a prize. The reason for his transformation becomes apparent when a talking squirrel (stay with me here) advises him that someone needs his help.
Chisai Konami is falling asleep in class when something starts to happen to her. Ignored by the teacher as “attention seeking,” her friend Nakafumi tries to help her as dark marks start to appear on her face. It turns out that she is also transforming into a cat demon, although this is her first time and she is unaware of her powers.
Guided by the talking squirrel, Niko comes to her rescue, taking her out of school and getting her to the house of Master Tora, who explains that she is a synthetic demon and that they both need to start their training because he needs them to help him retrieve something that has been stolen from him – a powerful and magical medallion.
For the first time in many years I read a book that not only intrigued me and drew me in, it physically excited me. I am a huge fan of Manga and Anime and I got the same feeling from this book as I did the first time I watched Akira and Ghost in the Shell. This is Anime in a written format and I would love to see it as a cartoon or, at least, as a Manga graphic novel. As it is, you are dropped headlong into the action at the start with the martial arts competition then you’re dragged full pelt through the pages, encountering friends and monsters, until you’re deposited at the cliff hanger at the end of the book, completely breathless. This urgency and immediacy is helped along by the fact that, unusually, this book is written in the present tense which really gives you the feeling of being an active participant rather than a detached observer.
This is the best book I’ve read this year. I’m really pleased that it’s part of a series too, and the build up to the next book, at the end of this one really made me want to read more.
And it has Japanese Cat Demons! Buy it.
***** 5 Stars!