by J Oliver Madison
No one at Mitchelstown High has any idea of the double life Carmella Anderson leads. Sure, on the surface, she’s a charismatic and geeky student with a crush on a popular skateboarder. But beneath that, she has a decade of experience as a ninja in training.
After shattering generations of tradition in her family’s way of the mercenary, Carmella’s grandfather began a new tradition – standing up for the few good citizens in her hometown of Blyton. When night falls, she must take on the persona of Karma and bring balance to a corrupt city.
However, her martial arts and arsenal of advanced weaponry may not be enough to track down a beast-like rogue ninja involved in a recent string of murders. Karma will need help from friends, family, and her genetic gift – special abilities unique to her clan – to uncover the mystery behind the killer and bring him to justice.
Oh boy, teens, mutants, ninjas... no turtles here. This book Rocked! Carmella Anderson is just an average teen girl by day, struggling to keep up her grades and make a connection with her crush. By night, however, she's Karma, a savvy ninja dressed in high-tech black and violet, with more gadgets than Batman and as many fighting skills as Teen Robin from Teen Titans.
Karma has some serious issues with overconfidence, pride, and listening to instructions, but she has a good heart in there. Keeping her secret identity, well, secret, is one of the hardest things she has to do in this action-packed novel. Between flitting over rooftops, beating up thugs, taking down evil supervillains and keeping her friends from becoming shark bait, she doesn't have a lot of time for keeping her grades up.
PG-13 - There is quite a bit of violence in this book, but it usually doesn't get too graphic. There are a few corpses mentioned that have bites taken out of them, and many get stabbed, ribs broken, choked, etc. Karma makes it a point to not kill anyone, but this isn't a rule her enemies follow, nor some of her ninja friends. In one place a couple helpless policemen are slaughtered.
PG - The F-bomb is never dropped, but the D-word shows up a few times, as well as the B-word.
There's a little purple marble the ninja clan uses to go berserk. It's not described as a drug, but the effects put them out of control, like a berserker rage would. Other than that, I don't recall alcohol or even cigarettes showing up.
PG-13 - One of the people Karma keeps rescuing has a job as a stripper, and is in danger of rape several times. For the most part that's the only sexual content in the book.
The ninja clans run by a relatively strict moral code. Depending on the family, that can be good or bad. For Karma's family, it was bad for a few generations, and she and her grandfather are trying to undo that with a new code to fight to defend the defenseless. There's a strong message about the importance of family and a support team, and friendship. Karma has to make some tough decisions to do the right thing even when it might cost her. Her independence, pride, and lack of trust cause her to go into battle alone, and without help from her friends she would not have come out alive.
I looked forward to reading this one, and I was not disappointed. A great 'superhero' ninja adventure story with plenty of action, enough plot twists to keep you guessing, and battle sequences that leave you breathless. Fierce family loyalty combined with ninjutsu skills make for a great fantasy novel, and I'm itching to read the next one. Five Stars!
About the Author:
Oliver 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