Remember when martial arts, samurai and ninjas used to be so cool? If you were born before the 90's then you know what I'm talking about.
|This is not of me as a little kid but oh well, it's still fun to dress up like a ninja sometimes.|
I can think back to my elementary school Halloween party where most of the boys that showed up were wearing a ninja outfit with flimsy plastic flying stars and nun-chucks. Some of the girls even came as a beautiful geisha in a homemade yukata.
Flash forward to 2017...
Although fixation on Asian cultures or martial arts aren't as popular as it was back then I still love reading or watching movies that center around that setting. I've always had and I think I always will have a fascination with the depth of culture surrounding Asia.
After all I did move to Indonesia and have been living here for the past 6 years. Time flies! Now onto the review for this week.
The Kaisho by Eric Lusbaster
Released in 1993
Nicholas Linnear is a business owner with extraordinary phychic and martial arts abilities working as CEO of Tomkin Industries and Sato International, an American and Japanese merger located in Tokyo Japan in the mid 1990's which has come under the American government's thumb being suspect of foul business play undermining the US economy with sour business deal with the Japanese. Suddenly out of nowhere he gets a call from Mikio Okami to immediately meet him for a meeting. He must drop everything that he's doing and go.
Mikio Okami is the kaisho of all yakuza which means he has the power to make all the decisions for his 'organization' of nasty murderous members to do whatever he pleases. Yet he is in danger of being undermined by his own oyabun (leaders of different yakuza clans) and being hunted down by a ruthless assassin.
But don't be fooled, Mikio Okami is not a dumb person. In fact he is not as bad as you might think him to be being the leader of the yakuza. Years ago Mikio Okami befriended Nicholas' father and became so close of friends that they made a pact that if for whatever reason Okami needed aid of any kind, that Nicholas would come to serve him in whatever the deed may be.
Taking up the debt owed to him, Okami summoned Nicholas to protect him at all costs from the assassin that was assigned to kill him.
Do Duc Fujiru is a half breed Japanese Vietnamese born in the rough servitude of a Frenchman living in Vietnam. Turned evil by phychic powers even greater than Nicholas Linnear's, he sets out as the ruthless assassin on a rampage to go after the only man that Nicholas Linnear was sworn to protect, Mikio Okami, the ruler of all yakuza.
Margarite DeCamillo Goldoni is the sister of Dominic Goldoni, the ex-boss of the mafia in the US now protected by WITSEC but was recently murdered in a grotesque way. Do Duc takes Margarite hostage for some mysterious reasons.
Lew Croaker, one of Nicholas' best friends and ex-detective for the NYPD gets hired by Will Lillehammer, a government official sent to find someone outside of the government to investigate the murder of Dominic Goldoni.
There's an impossible amount of characters in this book and the five that you see above are the ones I managed to narrow down as being the main players. Seriously there are probably another seven or eight characters that Lustbader, in my personal opinion, spent way too much time on when they had very little effect on the outcome of the story.
I suppose that Lustbader wanted to be thorough in all aspects of the story including the descriptions he used in his writing. Actually his writing style is decent and I appreciate the time and effort he took in creating an interesting story with characters that actually seemed real enough.
Reason for the 2.5 star rating.
Originally I was going to give this a 2 star rating by the time I got to 500 out of 622 pages thinking that there was no way this story could tie up all the loose ends of the messed up ball of string. But yes, it's true that not all loose ends in any story ever get completely tied up and that goes for this one too. Lustbader, however did end up surprising me and tied the most important ends up and left a few small ones undone.
Then as I mentioned earlier, there were too many characters that didn't have much of a point and Lustbader created a background for those unimportant characters which ended up making the book 622 pages long. I might have given The Kaisho a 4 star rating if Lustbader would have decreased the amount of characters while still writing with descriptive fluency he did throughout the book.
I'm pleased that I stuck with this book all the way through just to see what had happened at the very end. The climax of the story was perfect and it is something that I didn't expect. So if you've got time on your hands and nothing else to read I recommend The Kaisho (not highly).
If you want to reminisce about the time when martial arts was still extremely popular the The Kaisho is for you.