Hattori Hachi: The Revenge of Praying Mantis revie...
The Revenge of Praying Mantis
by Jane Prowse
Age Range - 12 and up
Genre - Fiction

Student Review

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Age at time of review - 15
Reviewer's Location - Leopold, Mo, United States
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Hattori Hachi: The Revenge of the Praying Mantis Recently, I've read the action-packed novel, Hattori Hachi: The Revenge of the Praying Mantis, the first installment of the Hattori Hachi trilogy and first novel of its author, Jane Prowse. Hattie Jackson (also known as Hattori Hachi) is just a normal fifteen year old adolescent with a slightly jumpy, cautious mother who spends her spare time training Hattie to defend herself against others. The training? A secret signal, mock sparring, and submerging herself under their apartment complex's lake, for instance. Hattie, having grown up with this odd ritual that always unexplainably is kept hidden from her dad, believes this practice to just be of her mother's insecurities from her troubled childhood-- until her mother mysteriously disappears. Traces of blood and signs of struggle are found in the area where her mother was reported to have been last seen. Grieving and troubled, Hattie is determined to get to the bottom of her mother's disappearance. That is, until her apartment's old washerwoman (who turns out not to be so old after all) reveals to Hattie her mother's true story; her role as the last surviving descendant of the most powerful Ninjustu family of all Japan that has dated back for thousands of years. Quite enough for a fifteen years old's mind to consume, right? Not yet. There's more. The quiet laundress, Yazuchi, also informs Hattie that she is the Golden Child, the heir to all the Hattori Ninjustu pride, and that the Kataki, (an evil band of Ninjustu warriors who also abducted her mother) are determined to kill her. You must. You are last in line. You are Hattori Hachi: Golden Child.With this dreadful responsibility now keeping her grounded, Hattie and her friend, the notorious juvenile delinquent, Mad Dog, start training excessively with their mentor, the washerwoman Yuzuchi. Learning how to control their emotions, empty their mind, build their strength, and break through their invisible barriers are constantly demanding their attention while time is slowly ticking away to the time to test their true Ninjustu instincts&&&..the time where they have to face the Praying Mantis, the most deadly assassin in the world&.. You think you can fight the Praying Mantis and win?  He laughed. It was chilling.


Jane Prowse has completely nailed this novel. I loved the descriptions, the action, the heart-stopping moments where deceit lurks just around the corner. The story plot is fabulous, smoothly transitioning from one thing to another, while almost a hidden profoundness is scattered in every chapter, from the age-old ways of the ninja, to the tiny little clues Hattie's mother leaves to aid Hattie on her mission to save the common good of all people. A ninja's sprit is as sharp as the edge of a blade. Considering this is Jane Prowse's first book, I believe the fruits of her efforts definitely turned into something phenomenal. I could honestly barely tear myself away from the novel, from beginning to end! The only thing I disliked about this book was the sometimes the sentences were slightly awkward, kind of distorted. I would recommend this book for ages eight and up, for some of the violence mentioned in this novel. Will Hattie Jackson have the courage and the spirit to become the true Ninjustu princess she was born to be? Read this intriguing novel to find out! Note: If you are interested, there is a sequel to this book, which is Hattori Hachi: Stalking the Enemy, and there is also the last installment in this trilogy coming up,entitled Hattori Hachi: The Curse of the Diamond Dagger.
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