04 October, 2012

#BookReview :: The Revenge of Praying Mantis (Hattori Hachi #1) by Jane Prowse

Hattie Jackson is an ordinary fiteen-year-old until her mother disappears and Hattie's life is turned upside down. With the help of her friend, Mad Dog, Hattie discovers the truth about her mother's 'other life' and the role she must now take on to defeat a terrifying army of evil ninjutsu warriors, led by Praying Mantis - the deadliest assassin ever known...

Hattie has a mixed heritage as she is born to a British father and a Japanese mother. Her mother had been training her from the time she was a child. At the age of fifteen, when her mother disappears, Hattie realizes that she plays a key role in a legacy. She has to train harder to master the art if she wants to find her mother in time. Also, she has help – but who does she trust? Is Hattie really prepared for what her fate has in store for her? Will she be able to fulfill her destiny? 

My experience in martial arts begins and ends at watching ‘Enter the Dragon’ a few years back after which I was so sure that it is not my cup of tea. Then couple of months back I read ‘The Weeping Empress’ by Sadie S. Forsythe and  realized that it may after all hold my interest. Still my experience was very limited. When I came across Jane Prowse’s website and got a free pdf copy of this book, I thought that it was a perfect chance for me to venture further and learn a bit more. Boy, am I glad that I came across this book. It has completely changed my mind about martial arts! 

It is pretty evident that the author has put in a lot of effort into researching Martial Arts. Even a person like me, to whom martial arts mean three words & two names – Karate, Nunchaku, Katana, Bruce Lee and Jet Li – this book a learning step. At no point did I feel lost or overwhelmed. I learned what I needed to know from the book itself. That was quite an experience.

The characters were amazing. I loved Hattie. She is young and such a kick-ass sort of girl. Though it may sound too larger than life for a fifteen year old girl to face the destiny that Hattie has, the author made it impossible to not believe in Hattie. Hattie did not become a ninjutsu expert overnight. Her progress was somewhat faster than normal, but then most people learn/develop faster under dire situations. Mad Dog is a chivalrous character, whom I enjoyed knowing through Hattie’s story. Yazuko should get a special mention as an awesome character too.

The plot is unique, well for me at least as I haven’t read much about martial arts. The storyline and martial arts have been weaved together so well that each would seem incomplete without the other. It is larger than life – yet completely believable and for that I have to give credit to the author’s style of writing. She had me right from the first chapter.

Who would I recommend this book to? Well, everyone! If this book can make me want to research and know more about martial arts then I think it can appeal to a lot of people.

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