February 14, 2008

Valentine's Already? (and a book review)

Ugh. Okay. Happy Valentine's Day. There I said it.

I ain't got a sweetheart, so I ain't getting booty. But my brother bought me chocolate yesterday. Whee!

Onto more important things...

Queries sent: 46
Rejections: 19
Partials requested: 4
Partials rejected: 3

I'm not stopping. Thank you all for your wonderful comments and suggestions. I figure, maybe when I hit 40-50 rejections I'll try something new.


The Kouga Ninja Scolls by Yamada Fūtaro (or Fūtaro Yamada if you'd prefer)

First, I want to point out this book was written in 1959. Second, it has become an anime: Basilisk and a movie: Shinobi.

I watched the movie and really liked it. I wanted to read something that was truly Japanese, sans the hard kanji reading, so I ordered the book and started reading....

Iga and Kouga are ninja clans who have hated each other for four hundred years. Their master, much to his dismay, allows ten ninja from the two clans to fight to the death so they may chose the next ruler of Japan.

Oboro is the granddaughter of Ogen the Iga leader. Gennosuke is the grandson of Danjou leader of the Kouga. They are Romeo and Juliet in the greatest sense of the word. Oh, they do love each other and plan to marry to unite the clan.

Only problem, the rest of the ninja want to fight. They love spilling blood and will do anything and everything to destroy and kill their enemy.

I rather enjoyed this novel, but I will say, as a "western" reader, it was much different from the type of novels I am used to. Reading the book was like watching an anime. Honest. If you're a fan of anime, then you know about long internal monologues, endless recaps of information after events, and repeated information just because. Well this book has it all! Toward the end of the book I didn't think the recaps and repeat information were needed, but there were many characters in the book and it was easier to remember who was who the way he wrote the book. He did tell a bit more than show, but I always thought that rule was stupid if it was TOLD in a great way.

One thing really loved was the way he explained the ninja powers. He didn't use supernatural explanation , no he used nature! I won't say more in case you happen to read the book, but everything made perfect sense!

Something surprised me though. He mentioned stem cells when describing someone's ability. Now I don't know if it was the translator who did this, because I didn't think people actually KNEW about stem cells in 1959. According to the great Wiki in the net, they weren't discovered until the 1960's. So, maybe the author described something else and the translator used current information to plug in? Weird...

Anyway. I enjoyed the book more than the movie, of course. The movie changed things around a lot and made for a much happier ending than the book. I also suggest the movie if you liked Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Promise, or House of a Thousand Flowers.

The Kouga Ninja Scrolls or as I now like to call it Romeo and Juliette: Ninja Style gets a big thumbs up from me.

Next on the list: Invisible Prey by one of my favorite authors, John Sandford.

I'm excited for LOST tonight!

Have an Happy <3 Day!

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