Plot or Premise
A Chinese-American woman trained as a ninja and now protects abused women in L.A.
What I Liked
The story works on three levels for me. First, there is a mystery to solve involving multiple bad guys, politics, and a new subway being constructed (the motive is obvious, the details are not). Second, she helps women get away from their abusers, and feels a bit in places like the Jane Whitefield novels by Thomas Perry. Third, she is choosing romantically between a nice guy and a danger guy, similar to the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich. I had a small sense of deja vu that I knew this storyline as it progressed.
What I Didn’t Like
As the first story in a series, there is a lot of exposition going on. Explaining Lily’s background, her mixed Norwegian / Chinese heritage, and even some of her relationship with her parents. Her angst with her mother is brought up about six or seven places in the novel, while 1-2 would have been fine. Equally, her father’s colloquialisms show up way too often, “doncha know”. Plus, she explains kunoichi about three times, as if we didn’t see it the first two times. The repetition was a bit heavy-handed.