Jet Black and the Ninja Wind

 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
826 0
Jet Black and the Ninja Wind
Author(s)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
12+
Release Date
December 24, 2014
ISBN
978-0804846998
Buy This Book
      
Seventeen-year-old Jet Black is a ninja. There's only one problem—she doesn't know it.

Jet has never lived a so-called normal life. Raised by her single Japanese mother on a Navajo reservation in the Southwest, Jet's life was a constant litany of mysterious physical and mental training. For as long as Jet can remember, every Saturday night she and her mother played "the game" on the local mountain. But this time, Jet is fighting for her life. And at the end of the night, her mother dies and Jet finds herself an orphan—and in mortal danger.

Fulfilling her mother's dying wish, Jet flies to Japan to live with her grandfather, where she discovers she is the only one who can protect a family treasure hidden in her ancestral land. She's terrified, but if Jet won't fight to protect her world, who will? Stalked by bounty hunters and desperately attracted with the man who's been sent to kill her, Jet must be strong enough to protect the treasure, preserve an ancient culture and save a sacred mountain from destruction.

In Jet Black and the Ninja Wind, multiple award-winning author, poet and translator team Leza Lowitz and Shogo Oketani make their first foray into young adult fiction with a compulsively readable tale whose teenage heroine must discover if she can put the blade above the heart—or die trying.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Ninjas
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Rika Kuroi (Jet) has led an unusual and isolated life. Half Japanese and half Caucasian-American, she’s grown up on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico under the care of her mother and her mother’s boyfriend, J-Bird. Her mother has been relentlessly training her all her life, in secret wilderness sessions, to be a Kunoichi—a female ninja. But she has never hinted as to why. When her mother dies, it is feared that those who chased her from her homeland will turn their attention to Jet. And so Jet journeys to Japan, to Kanabe and her mother’s people, in search of the answers she was never given.

The book is written in third person past-tense, largely from Jet’s point of view, but sometimes alternating to include her cousin Hiro, her grandfather, and later on the mercurial Takumi. It picks up more of an urban fantasy feel as it goes.

What I Liked:

I won’t lie—the cover of this book was what first snared my attention. (As tough chicks with swords tend to do.) The premise then pulled me in, with its promise of mystery, cross-cultural intrigue, and of course… ninjas. I read the free sample provided by Amazon, and the vivid writing and rapid pacing gave that final push that made me want to request the book.

The font layout was uniquely attractive. Each chapter has not only a number but a name—written in both English and Japanese kanji. (The same is true for the six distinct parts the book is divided into.) The glossary of terms at the back is a smart addition, offering a quick and thorough reference for relevant Japanese words, terms, and historical figures.

What Didn’t Work For Me:

Unfortunately, a significant pacing slowdown seems to occur once the setting switches to Japan. (Something I couldn’t discern from the sample I’d read, as it ended prior to the end of Part 1, 32 pages in.)

Connectivity to Jet became increasingly difficult as the story progressed, in large part because readers never truly get to know her. What had she wanted to be or do when she reached adulthood? Was she completely friendless in high school? Does she have any hobbies or interests outside of the ninja training her mother pounded into her? Why is she bothered by small enclosed spaces? What mysterious illness killed her mother--And is she at all concerned of the same fate might befall her?
So many things about Jet are simply not addressed or fleshed out. Nor is there an explanation for why Jet is initially so weepy, whiny, and passive when she first faces danger Japan (her attitude being a hugely off-putting issue for some time.)

It was continually difficult to suspend disbelief over the villain’s motivations—particularly considering no one actually knows what the treasure is until the very end. The possibilities provided are wildly varied, straying off in convoluted directions that include conspiracy alternate histories for Judaism and Christianity (p. 117-119)—as if vaguely inspired by The Davinci Code. But these possibilities don’t satisfactorily justify why an already incredibly rich man would pump massive amounts of money, time, lives, and criminality into locating a treasure of unknown origin and value.

Other Detractors:

-Insta-love (Involving a bad-boy mercenary with murky motivations and little-to-no moral compass. Despite his participation in attacks and murder involving Jet’s family, she becomes irritatingly preoccupied with trying to save him from his own ambitions/greed.) The chemistry between them ended up feeling forced—“ninja magic” aside.

-Editing issues (More errors than I usually see in a non-ARC outside of self-published works—2 on page 86 alone. An instance of sudden POV shift mid-scene with no warning or transition (page 37), and some yo-yoing in and out of POV. (Example: Masakichi rubbed his nose as if trying to get rid of the smell. (We are meant to be in Masakichi’s perspective—he should know if he is trying to get rid of the smell or not.)
There was also repeated buildup regarding the villain’s infamous pet panther, only to have it seemingly forgotten in the middle of a big fight scene.

Final Thought:

A promising premise with lots of action, but the entirety didn’t quite cohere for me.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Monster Hypothesis
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome to Bohring-home to 453 people, 2,053 alligators, and one...
Where the World Ends
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Winner of the 2018 Carnegie Medal! New from Michael L....
Carnevil (Monsterstreet #3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
“Fast, funny, frightening—and filled with shocks and surprises. These books...
Prophecy Untold (Shadow Realms book 3)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Finding out my mother was taken by the demons...
Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this charming debut about first love and second...
Six Goodbyes We Never Said
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Two teens meet after tragedy and learn about love,...
Golden Crown
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
No longer only a warrior. Not just a queen....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first vampire. The last Nephilim. The end...
The Galactic Adventures of Hazel - Gurecoa
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
What is it like to live in 4519 AD...
Batman: Nightwalker (The Graphic Novel)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
This action-packed graphic novel based on the New York...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventeen-year-old Rose Hemmersbach aspires to break out of small town...
Stuffed
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome, little one. You have been chosen to join us,...
Merged
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seven of our country’s most gifted teens will become Nobels,...
Bury Me
 
0.0
 
4.7 (1)
No one ever leaves Copper Hollow. It's a town with...
Estranged #2: The Changeling King
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Enter a world of faerie magic and epic adventure in...
The Edge of the Word (Mightier than the Sword, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The exciting follow-up to Mightier Than the Sword, the humorous...

Latest Member Reviews

Refraction
 
4.3
"Marty is a flawed character in any number of ways, not least of which is his propensity to do what's..."
Frankly in Love
 
4.7
"I love this book so much. I read it pretty much in one sitting because I couldn't put it down!..."
Where the World Ends
 
3.0
"WHERE THE WORLD ENDS is an intriguing historical fiction, based on a true story. The boys of Hirta are sent..."
Bury Me
 
4.7
"In horror books and movies, we often see dolls as the main source of scares( such as Annabelle or Child's..."
Juliet Takes a Breath
 
4.7
"Juliet Takes a Breath is a coming of age story about a Latina lesbian from the Bronx who travels to..."
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
5.0
"Fireborne is a fantasy novel set nine years after a bloody uprising against a brutal regime in which the poor..."
Jason & Kyra
 
N/A
"i am from Italy hello. Can you help me translate? /rardor"
The Galactic Adventures of Hazel - Gurecoa
 
3.0
"THE GALACTIC ADVENTURES OF HAZEL - GURECOA takes place in the far future, where our planet is only vaguely recognizable...."
Batman: Nightwalker (The Graphic Novel)
 
4.3
"BATMAN: NIGHTWALKER (THE GRAPHIC NOVEL) converts the YA novel by Marie Lu into graphic novel format. The plot remains the..."
Adorkable
 
5.0
"ADORKABLE is a book you can easily predict, but the journey is unbelievably delightful. Sally Spitz is a senior in..."
Six Goodbyes We Never Said
 
3.3
"SIX GOODBYES WE NEVER SAID is quite a heavy YA contemporary. We follow Naima and Dew in alternating sections. Naima..."
Wilder Girls
 
4.7
" THIS WAS INCREDIBLE. This book reads like BUTTER...… Moldy, rotten, disgusting butter,..."
The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1)
 
4.0
"After killing a man in Paris, Celine is forced to flee to a different country and finds herself in New..."
The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, #1)
 
5.0
"Guinevere has one role to play when she arrives in Camelot. She has to protect King Arthur with her life...."
Unstoppable Moses: A Novel
 
3.3
"UNSTOPPABLE MOSES is quite an interesting YA contemporary. With dark humor, grief/healing, and guilt/blame, this book takes on some big..."
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
 
4.0
"The most amazing thing about classic horror stories is how they still influence many writers today. To read 'the..."
Patron Saints of Nothing
 
4.3
"After learning that his cousin Jun (his best friend and penpal) has died, Jay Reguero heads back to visit his..."
Now Entering Addamsville
 
3.7
"Zora Novak has been accused of a crime she didn't commit. It doesn't help that her family are known as..."
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
5.0
"Fireborne is a fantasy novel set nine years after a bloody uprising against a brutal regime in which the poor..."
Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy, #2)
 
5.0
"RUTHLESS GODS is dark, atmospheric, and completely enchanting. It was everything I hoped a sequel to WICKED SAINTS would be..."