03 February 2011

Review: The Kensei by Jon F. Merz

Title: The Kensei
Author: Jon F. Merz
Series: Lawson the Fixer #5
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Release Date: January 18, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Edition: Trade Paperback
Source: Author

Meet Lawson. A cynical, wise-cracking vampire charged with protecting the Balance between vampires and humans, he is part cop, part spy, and part commando — James Bond with fangs. Lawson mixes shrewd cunning with unmatched lethality to get his job done. He tries his best to dismantle conspiracies, dispatch bad guys, and live long enough to get home. In The Kensei, a battle-weary Lawson heads to Japan for a little rest and some advanced ninja training. But he no sooner steps off the plane than lands in the midst of a Yakuza turf war orchestrated by a shadowy figure known as the Kensei. With the help of Talya, a former KGB-assassin, Lawson must put a stop to the Kensei’s organ trafficking networks, prevent the creation of an army of vampire-human hybrids, and save his own skin in the process.

This is the first book I've read by the author, and I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to follow everything seeing as how this was the fifth book in the series, but the truth is that I had no problem whatsoever. Martial arts heavely influence the story and it was interesting reading about it. The book has non stop action from the start until the end, there are also plenty of easily followed fights that include swords, guns, bombs ...

The best thing about the book was the main character, Lawson. He's funny, sarcastic and overall very entertaining. I liked the complicated relationship he has with Talya, an assassin; plus he meets a lot of interesting characters along the way like Yuki, a wise vampire, and Moko, a very intriguing police detective. The vampires in this series are unusual and there isn't much information about them and their society, also in a lot of parts of the book I even forgot they were vampires.

All in all, this was an entertaining read with plenty of action, a creepy bad guy and a interesting main character.

Previous Books:
1. The Fixer
2. The Invoker
3. The Destructor
4. The Syndicate

Next Book:
6. The Ripper (Spring 2012)