Thursday, October 16, 2014

Kirin Rise: The Cast of Shadows by Ed Cruz Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

"Nineteen-year-old Kirin Rise doesn't look like a hero. Short and scrawny, she's not the type to strike fear into anyone, much less the brutes that make up the United Federation of Mixed Fighting. Despite her size, she spent her youth secretly training with her Sifu in the art of Wing Chun Gung Fu. What's more, Kirin has something that many people in 2032 seem to have lost--a conscience. Enraged by government corruption and corporate greed, Kirin sets out to do something about it in the most unlikely place: the weekly bloodbath known as Chum Night. With the guidance of her Sifu and the help of those who love her, she just might survive.

Kirin Rise: The Cast of Shadows is the story of a young woman struggling against the apathy of a nation in her drive to make the world a better place."

Kirin Rise: The Cast of Shadows has a pretty long title, though it isn't the worst I had seen. I'm going to simply call it "Kirin Rise." It is definitely easier that way.

Kirin Rise is definitely a long book. It took me two days to read it, and it didn't really help that I had a very crazy test along with four papers to write. It is about four hundred, five hundred, pages, but the plot is really good. I never felt it slow down or speed it. Some parts were a bit inconsistent, but it didn't bother me very much. 

The logic and structure of the book is a bit strange. Instead of parts (like the usual Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) in most books, we have chapters. In those chapters, it is split into three parts. Well, usually three parts. One is the present day (which is the future for us), a flashback into the main character's past, and the main character's teacher's POV (his name is Sifu, by the way). Because it was fairly logical, the book is easy to follow along.

It is crazy. The book, I mean. There are so many things going on. There is Kirin's training to Gung Fu (not Kung Fu, which is perhaps an inside joke throughout the entire book). Then we have Sifu talking and talking about balance (sort of like Daoism, I guess). Then we have present time. Now imagine all of those plots being mixed together. Yes, it is fairly easy to get lost, but the author kept it easy to remember what happened. 

(But I really don't like flashbacks. And this three-system made it even worse. Very annoying, because Sifu's POV wasn't exactly needed). 

Kirin Rise is a bit of defiant character, but she isn't defiant enough. She made the spark, but she isn't going to be the face of the revolution. She is like Joan D'Arc without the armor, the fighting, and the complete takeover of the world. But in a strange way, she is Joan D'Arc of the book. With the armor, the fighting, and the takeover of the world. Out of all the characters in the book, she is not exactly the worse, but she is a bit unbelievable. Unrealistic. (Sorry, but it had to be said). 

In summary, Kirin Rise (the book) is a good story and a fun book to read, but it isn't exactly realistic. Hilarious at some points, but also very entertaining. However, some aspects of the book falls down while others rise. It doesn't grip you tight and make you question the world as intended (oh, I'm sure some parts of the book were made to make the readers as questions; didn't work). It didn't went for the kill.

Rating: Three out of Five (Higher Threes, Near Four)

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