Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Review: Sapphire Moon by J Oliver Madison

Sapphire Moon
by J Oliver Madison

29978604Between the Sapphire Moon Clan’s assassination attempts, and an evil organization bent on destruction, Karma certainly has her work cut out for her...

Now in her junior year of high school, Carmella must decide how best to handle her secret double-life of a trained ninja. Cheer practice and an internship will have to wait while fending off the deadly shinobi and man-made demons out to kill her and her new boyfriend.

Things take a turn for the worse when the heartthrob ninja from her past returns to Blyton City. With the help of his twin sister, Karma and Akane set out to shine light on the mysterious organization—Arma Deus—before her beloved hometown turns to ashes.

With the villainous intent of Chimera still lingering, it’s up to Karma and company to unravel the truth behind their ultimate weapon. And stop them.

Friends, training, and ninjutsu may not be enough this time.

My Take:
The second in the Karma Chronicles series delivered in a big way with new characters, new ninjutsu, and new enemies. Carmella's confused as her boyfriend overseas, Hanzo, stops contacting her. Is he dead? After a month of no responses to her many texts, her pal Vivian sets her up with a new guy, Raj, who seems to be a perfect companion. At the same time, a trio of ninja assassins from the Sapphire Moon clan show up and notify her that Han is promised to one of them, to join the Sapphire Moon Clan with the Crimson Blade, stopping a deadly feud between the two clans.

Karma is challenged to a fight to the death with Han's intended, and she dare not refuse, or everybody dies. As if this wasn't high enough on the stakes list, There's an evil organization called Arma Deus, that is bent on her destruction and the demolition of Blyton City.

She must pair up with Han's vicious sister Akane to investigate this organization and bring them to justice, if she can just stay alive long enough.

R - This book pushes the boundaries of YA, and I hate to drop the rating at R, but some scenes fell across the line. One scene involves the devouring of a human while still alive. It doesn't dwell on it, but it's a bit graphic. In several scenes characters are being burned alive or bleeding out. Some teens are harvested for science. In one scene a character is beaten nearly to death. Not in a battle, either. Just to make a point.

PG - As in the previous book, the F-bomb is never dropped, but the D-word shows up a few times, as well as the B-word.

Drug Content:
There's more in this one than the last. For instance, there's an underage drinking party where many people get rather drastically trashed, not including any of the main characters. It's not shed in a positive light.

Adult Content:
PG-13 - There's a scene where two people get rather physical in a bedroom, and it crosses the line toward attempted rape. There are a few innuendos, and a sparring match that appeared headed toward angry sex.

Christian content:
As in the previous book, racism is a key factor. In a couple scenes, a character prays to God for help before going into battle. The main villain organization, Arma Deus, is obviously so named based on the belief that something is a god, probably weaponry. There are themes of dependence on friends and family, and the hollowness of hero worship. As before, there's a bigotry concerning genetics and it is almost laughable considering the amount of gene splicing and tweaking going on.

Final analysis:
Sapphire Moon had its share of plot twists, action, and ninjutsu to keep this reader interested. The quality of writing, if anything, was better than the first one, something that isn't too common, and is refreshing. The envelope was pushed a bit farther toward the high end of YA, to me, but it wasn't enough to drop it down from the Five Star rating it deserves.

About the Author:
J. Oliver MadisonOliver has always loved writing and devouring books by James Patterson and J.K. Rowling. If a story has drama, adventure, and a twist, you can count him in. He’s got a little bit of a dark side too, so you can expect to see that from time to time in his writing and sense of humor. He loves experimenting with characters from all backgrounds with all kinds of quirks. There are so many types of people in this world and only a handful get touched on in mainstream media. That’s what Oliver would like to change.

Check out his author's website, replete with fan art, at http://www.olivermadison.com

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