I am late to the party when it comes to Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mysteries. I’ve only read one other before this, but I had enjoyed it quite a bit.
In The Ninja’s Illusion a stage magician claims to have real super-natural powers and will be performing, not as a trick but as real magic, a fabled illusion – the Indian Rope Trick , in which a magician makes a rope rise into the air and a young boy climbs the rope, disappears and reappears somewhere else.
Jaya Jones is traveling to Japan with her friend Sanjay (aka The Hindi Houdini) who is going to make his Japanese debut with his magic show. But a ninja seems to have other ideas about Sanjay’s performance and has appeared and tried hard to sabotage the show.
One of Gigi Pandian’s strengths as an author is her wonderful characters. Jaya Jones (who is a wonderful nod to Indiana Jones) is not a superhuman adventurer but a very real, very intelligent woman who searches for treasure around the world. She’s lovable and flawed, which makes us identify with her. She’s our best friend and we root for her and worry about her, even though we know she’ll come through okay.
Pandian’s mysteries (based on the books I’ve read in this series and her other, Alchemist, series) are well-crafted and engaging. There’s solid story-building and because we understand and like the characters we’re pulled right in on a mysterious journey. Pandian also does some nice research to bring a specific level of accuracy to her story. Although I was familiar with the Indian Rope Trick as a trick, I was not aware of the history and science behind it. A Google search brought me to a few web pages that had much of the information that Pandian shares through the course of her story.
As much as I enjoyed this, I will admit that I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the previous Jaya Jones book, Michelangelo’s Ghost (see my review on my blog). Most of this had to do with the subject. I was much more fascinated by the Park of Monsters than I was by the Indian Rope Trick. However, both brought to light some fascinating information for me and I look forward to seeing what Pandian brings to us next.
Looking for a good book? The Ninja’s Illusion by Gigi Pandian brings to us a wonderful mystery surrounding a familiar, old trick, with a brilliant and lovable new mystery/treasure hunter in Jaya Jones.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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The Ninja’s Illusion
author: Gigi Pandian
series: Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery #5
publisher: Henery Press
paperback, 288 pages