Publication: April 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Thriller
Sophomore Callista Trent is used to being the anonymous new girl. But when her mother’s nomadic job finally keeps her family in one place long enough to force Callista to settle in, she wants none of it. She doesn’t expect it to last, anyway—it never does.
She also doesn’t expect to stumble across a group of shinobi, modern-day ninjas who also happen to be high school students. Or for them to claim destiny sent her to join them. Or for the hot, harmonica-playing loner from her chemistry class to be one of the instructors.
For once, she starts to think that maybe she could belong somewhere. But she quickly learns her new friends aren’t running some casual karate school. And when Callista’s assigned to a dangerous mission they say only she can complete, she begins to suspect it wasn’t destiny that brought her to the shinobi at all but a carefully laid plan. Oh, and the worst part? The boy she thought she could trust may have known the truth all along.
Is this going to be a series because I need the next one already!
When I first heard of the title, I kind of recoiled. Ninjas? Huh, I haven’t come across a YA novel about ninjas before. And I’m not particularly fond of them because of an array of reasons.
But I got to say, I really enjoyed the ninjas in this book. Other than lacking the all-black get ups and shurikens (correct me if I’m wrong), these ninjas are just your typical high school students passing through the masses in the hallway. I found it amusing that they never really change character whether they’re in headquarters or in Chemistry class.
Let’s talk about the characters.
Our main character, Callista Trent, is a new student in her high school and already she receives not the warmest welcomes from her peers. Her ethnicity is the subject of much mockery, but I like that she chooses to be silent instead of flipping them off. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t stand up to bullies; but make sure the situation is right and you have a kick of confidence before spewing any words out.
Anyway, I thought her character was pretty okay. I didn’t find anything special about her really other than her fierce determination. I’m hoping she develops more in the next book.
And then there’s Sol, the resident mean girl and also a ninja. I don’t like her, and it mostly has nothing to do with her icky personality. She confuses the heck out of me, like, should I trust her since she’s a part of the shinobi? But at the same time, she’s a bully at school. So what’s it gonna be — ally or foe? Who knows?
Last character I want to talk about is Nick, the unofficial leader of the shinobi. For the most part, I laughed at his antics and his constant banter with Callista. They really have great chemistry. But sometimes I feel wary about him. He usually evades the topic of his parents which is intriguing. Everything seems to point to the next book, does it?
Here are some of my problems. Well, they’re not really problems. Mostly observations and critical thoughts.
I wish there were more history about the shinobi explained. A couple of times, I keep forgetting that this is a ninja novel and not a spy novel. Maybe it’s because of the high-tech gadgets the ninjas are using?
There also seems to be a lack of action? I was looking for kickass ninja combat moves, but there weren’t that many shown here besides the scenes where the ninjas train.
Lastly, there’s the romance between Nick and Callista. I thought it was cute and charming, but it kind of kept getting in the way of the plot. It was a bit distracting.
Overall, I really liked this novel. But yeah, as I stated before, I NEED THE NEXT BOOK.