Gray Ronin by Matthew S. Cox 5?
First I want to say that I got this book for free, to review by the Author. It’s the first book of his that I have ever read. This is also the third book in the series, but can be read as a standalone book as I have done.
What would have happened if Japan’s feudal era never stopped?
Japan’s feudal era took place from 1185 to 1600 but was most prominent from 1400-1600 AD. It’s also called the warring states era. In this book the era never stopped, but became the future of Japan. Here the Shoguns are presidents of major corporations and have divided Japan into sections under their control. They use Samurais and Ninjas to defend and spy on each other and are constantly fighting, spying and stealing. In this book you follow Mamoru who is a samurai for the Tokyo Shogun. Things happen in his world of order, that makes him reconsider his view on life and his purpose in it. He is a new type of samurai, who fights with technology as much as with a sword. Like Neo in the Matrix he has to decide if he wants to go back to the life he knows or step into the unknown and fight.
The book start out at full speed with an elaborate virtual battle scene. You watch as a samurai assassin (Mamoru) fights in a match where the real and the virtual blend in a dance to the death. After he finishes the assassination, one of his supervisors shows up at his house and the following scene takes place:
Quote chapter three:
“The way she looked at him made him uncomfortable, as if he were a bit of sashimi she debated consuming. No one else in the service of Matsushita could equal him, inside or outside the GlobeNet. A serious frown curled his lip. This woman would have him as a personal guard, wiling away each day inside an office attending to her every need. He thought of Nami and Ayame, of the blinking red light, and adjusted the collar of his haori jacket.”
One of the things that has stood out to me are all the many details in dialogue and descriptions. It’s a book to read slowly over time, so you are able to take in all the details. It’s a clever marriage of Science fiction and suspense. It made me want to read the previous books in the series.
Anime lovers of Ghost in the shell and Psycho Pass will love this book, since the worlds are very similar.
Though the book has some mature content I would still recommend it for young adults who will love the action, world and movie like writing style.