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Review: Samurai Game by Christine Feehan

9 Jul

Originally posted at Fiction Vixen as a guest review on July 5. Follow the link to read comments. I was given this book to review.

Samurai Game by Christine Feehan
Penguin/JOVE (July 3, 2012)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
ISBN: 9780515151541

Favorite Lines: “You’re so easy to want, Azami, so easy to love, but you still reject who and what you are. You are Thorn, that incredibly brave girl who has grown into a remarkable woman.” (p. 244)

Christine Feehan’s Ghostwalker series is one of my favorite paranormal romance series. I love it so much that I rarely review the books out of fear that I’ll over think them and ruin the experience. Samurai Game, book 10 in the series, is one that needs some type of warning for readers though, so here I am. You may want to read the previous books to get a grasp on the Ghostwalkers’ world before reading Samurai Game.

The blurb on the back of the book is misleading. It says:

In an underground club, a high-ranking public official spends his secret nights indulging in fantasies as exciting as they are depraved. For a seductive employee of the Dungeon, it’s her job to fulfill them. But she’s playing a far more dangerous game—one of blackmail, politics, and murder that reaches into the shadow world of the Ghostwalkers, and the creation of a spectacular, one-of-a-kind new weapon of defense.

But when a dictator makes his own catastrophic moves, the Ghostwalkers have no choice but to bring in two major players—a man and woman both driven by passion and revenge. Both expendable. Both with nothing left to lose.

The first paragraph refers to a secondary character who is killed by page four and the second paragraph is a vague reference to an event at the end of the book. For the most part the blurb is not a great overview of what you’re getting if you purchase the novel. In reality, as with each Ghostwalker book, we are given a genetically altered man and woman who fall in love amidst the chaos of war-like conditions.

The heroine is an Asian woman named Azami, aka Thorn, who was discarded by a monster as a child. She was taken in and raised by a loving father. She is not a member of a sex club, but a samurai warrior who works with her two adopted brothers to cut off  Dr. Whitney’s political support system. She is secretive, but finds solace in tradition and honor. She sees herself as expendable.

Sam “Knight” Johnson is not considered expendable by his friends or family. He is an intellectual man with several degrees to his name, as well as a good soldier who knows how to follow orders. He isn’t willing to ignore the diminutive, but stunning Azami though, no matter who tells him to. He is deadly to his enemies and loving when it comes to his family.

The villain may find one or both of them expendable, but neither Sam or Azami will let danger touch the other. Plus they have a huge extended family of genetically altered “brothers and sisters” to have their backs. Those siblings are the characters from previous books and include the Norton brothers, Gator and Ryland, along with their wives.

In some ways Samurai Game is exactly what I expect to read when I pick up a Ghostwakers’ book. The passion and sex I  associate with Feehan novels are present, as is the severely damaged heroine who realizes she is worthy of love. However, one thing that makes Samurai Game different from previous books is the time spent observing the enemy’s actions.  Series readers know that Dr. Whitney has eyes everywhere, but Samurai Game shows a glimpse at the expansiveness of his spy network. We see the way the network runs before watching a silent adversary take out those greedy spies as battle is waged the samurai way.

I liked Samurai Game, but it’s only fair to mention there are unnecessary repetitive passages which slowed the story. I was also bored a few times like when characters discussed nanotechnology and their weaponry. I was entertained by Samurai Game, but it isn’t my favorite book in the series. That is still a tie between Ruthless Game and Deadly Game.