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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Review - Retribution: Silent Death by Denyse Bridger

Title: Retribution: Silent Death

Author: Denyse Bridger

Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing

Buy Retribution: Silent Death Here!

Rating: You Could Read

Reviewed By: Janelle

Adam Walker is one of the Company’s best field agents, a highly trained, well-honed killing machine when that’s what’s needed. But, he’s also a man of many secrets, and one of them is that he’s a ninja, one of Japan’s mythical death warriors. When another of Adam’s secrets, his best friend and the woman many believe to be his lover, is killed, he turns to the one person he trusts, fellow agent Shainna Barton. While Shainna covers for him on a mission, Adam metes out his revenge, and discovers that his friendship with Shainna has a much deeper meaning that either of them ever realized.

This story promised to be my favorite kind of literary junk food: a skeleton plot drenched in blood. But sadly, it did not deliver. The majority of the 37 pages are taken up by the interactions of Adam and Shainna, including two rather lengthy sex scenes. Adam’s revenge, however, is relegated to only a few pages, with three of the five fights taking less then a paragraph each.

But the sticking point for me in this, is the glaring lack of research. Walker is shown using a sai, weighted chain, shuriken, and a katana; and using them all wrong. A sai is not meant to be thrown, nor would doing so cause it to go through a man’s chest and into his heart. Weighted chains are not accurate enough to smash heads at a distance. Shuriken do not have the mass, unless thrown with superhuman strength, to penetrate a skull. And the long katana was a weapon of the samurai, ninja favored a short, straight sword, that was easy to hide and much handier in assassinations. All this, leaving aside that a ninja, who’s greatest asset is stealth, is unlikely to bring such a wide assortment of weapons which would clang together and make a great deal of noise.

Another sticking point for me is the rule of “show, don’t tell” was not followed. The fights are glazed over, only bothering to tell the reader how Adam won, rather then giving the blow by blow.

Overall, I’m disappointed. The story was not what it was billed to be, lacks research, and is in need of polish.


  1. Hi, I can see where you miss understood the book but, if you had looked at the Author a bit more closely you would realise she is more an erotic writer then she is an action writer.

    In regards to her not doing her research I can assure you that Denyse always does her research and puts a lot of time yet effort into her books so I can't see why you are nit picking over those points.

    I know Noble Romance Publishing's repuation well and can tell you that they never put out a book that isn't well polished nor do they bill it wrong.

    Am sorry you were disappointed but, it really just sounds like the book wasn't your thing. I hope you can find a book more suited to you in the future.

    Another writer.

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  3. Ah-so, Deska...! A romantic story punctuated with a dash of blood that disappointed a reviewer; I've got to read this one just to see if this reviewer, like so many in the past, is completely missing the point. i.e. A bit of romance to entertain and make the reader sigh.

    Over the years I've found many glowing reviews of books and movies that belied a rather boring story. And I've seen poor reviews that completely missed the excitement, the entertainment and even the plot.

    If the reviewer was disappointed, will the reader be as well? In this case, I sincerely doubt it.

  4. Only that ninjas are also real (not mythical).

    In this case the research sounds utterly wrong and is the kind of mistake that would drive me nuts as a reviewer. Piling on the reviewer making unsupported claims about research that is clearly missing - unless the reviewer has misstated the book - and getting a couple friends in?

    Not cool.

    If even the writer isn't taking this seriously ("Oh, it's just romance") - how is the reader supposed to take it seriously? Romance already has a terrible reputation, and this attitude towards research is not helping.

  5. 'skeleton plot drenched in blood'
    I can't comment on the correct usage of ninja weapons, but it seems to me that the reviewer expected something way different than an erotic romance.

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  7. Dear Denyse,

    I have no interest to continue this damaging conversation with you in public. The fact stands that your research is completely beyond the pale, and no amount of blame-shifting will fix that.

    Everything else, I've taken it to private email since you contacted me privately.

    Have a great day.

    Aleksandr Voinov

  8. Hello Alek,

    As a fellow writer I have to back up Denyse because to be honest no one unless you do publish and do write has any idea of the research, the time and the effort that goes into the books that we produce.

    Am sorry that the reviewer didn't like it but, Noble Romance doesn't publish a book that is less than a 100% perfection. I can say with the knowledge of both the book or of the company that the book was tagged as a Erotic Romance with a sub plot of action.

    I do think the reviewer might have made a mistake but, that is just what happens. Their isn't any changing of blame. She is using a Fanstay stance and that is why she wrote larger then life as Denyse has all ready said.

    Am glad that you are talking to Denyse in private but, I think your just stepping in for your freind and I think if you feel that we were jumping on her then am sorry.

    I was the first to comment because, I felt the reveiw was unfair and wrong. That was because I know Denyse's work and she isn't one to make those type of mistakes. She never asked any of us to jump. I did because, of my own feelings on the matter.

    So this isn't a damaging conversation. The romance doesn't have a hugely bad repuation at the moment it has a very good one with a large number of books doing very well with a lot of new up anc coming writers keeping that going.

    As I said before I'm sorry the review didn't like the book and you didn't understand why we weren't happy with the review. I hope that both of you will find books you love in the future but, I think you both have very much misunderstood this whole thing.

    Another writer.

  9. There are so many different kinds of writing. Some are highly descriptive and literary, almost poetic. Others are high paced and exciting. Some writers may sacrifice the details and even push the facts for effect (I'm not saying that's the case here though as I haven't read the book - yet). If the effect is entertaining, if it gets my pulse racing, well, it's money well spent. We all have different writing styles and I'm glad. I've seen Sai Kata done in the dojo, it's passionate and beautiful to watch. But imagining a Sai fly through the air and impale through someone's chest - I like that too. By the way, my third dan black belt husband says a Sai could certainly pierce someone's heart, they may be blunt, but they're also heavy. He says it depends who throws it. If you've been in a dojo you can see how even a small person might have almost super human abilities!

  10. I agree with Erika. Martial arts is very much a spiritual experience. A lot of it has to do with mind over matter. I broke boards with my hands and feet and I am a small woman.

    I'm not an expert on ninjas, but from what I have read or seen in movies, they are connected to the mystical with supernatual abilities.


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