Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Weight: 420 g
Grade 8 Up—Taro wants to be a samurai, but as this story opens, ninjas attack his house and decapitate his father, and he is run through with a ninja sword. All is not lost—he is saved by a good ninja who had to bite him and turn him vampire. Yes, that's right; all the ninjas are vampires. This addition to the dead and undead outpouring is cleverly set in the 16th century at the height of the warring daimyos of the Tokugawa period in Japan. The author makes a good argument for the logic of ninjas being vampires—they only come out at night, they move with stealthlike speed, and they seem to be invincible. In this case, they are vital in determining who will be eventual Shogun as well. Taro and his friend Haro are taken on an adventure with the good ninja, Shusaku, where they learn of and must thwart a plot to have Taro killed because of his true identity. The female characters take a backseat to the nonstop action, and the gruesome details of all the killings and the cool weaponry will mark this as a great "guy book" to counter all the female frenzy around Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series (Little, Brown).
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