The Ninja's Illusion (Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery, #5)
“A beautifully complex, fast-paced mystery—a well-crafted blend of modern magic and ancient secrets, full of compelling characters and set in one of Japan’s most beautiful—and mysterious—locations.” – Susan Spann, Author of the Hiro Hattori MysteriesA fabled illusion performed by a stage magician who claims to possess real supernatural powers. A treasure from the colonial era in India when international supremacies vied for power. A phantom trading ship lost over 200 years ago. And a ninja whose murderous intentions in present-day Japan connect the deeds of a long-dead trader who was much more than he seemed…When Jaya travels from San Francisco to Japan with her stage magician best friend Sanjay—a.k.a. The Hindi Houdini—for his Japanese debut, she jumps at the chance to pursue her own research that could solve a tantalizing centuries-old mystery. With the colorful autumn leaves of historic Kyoto falling around her, Jaya soon loses sight of what’s real and what’s a deception. A mysterious ninja attempts sabotage on Sanjay’s trick, along with Japan’s most controversial magician, Akira. Ancient folklore blurs the lines between illusion and reality when a magician’s assistant appears to be a kitsune, a mythical fox spirit. As tricks escalate to murder, Jaya and her friends must unravel secrets hidden in the ancient capital of Japan, before one of their own becomes the next victim.

The Ninja's Illusion (Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery, #5) Details

TitleThe Ninja's Illusion (Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery, #5)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 3rd, 2017
PublisherHenery Press
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction

The Ninja's Illusion (Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery, #5) Review

  • Sheryl
    January 1, 1970
    I was hooked by the first line, (I'm better at finding lost treasures than a phone buried in the bottom of my bag.) Boy, can I relate to that, not that I’ve found any treasures but who know what lurks in the bottom of my bag. Jaya Jones is on her way to Japan during Thanksgiving break to accompany her best friend, Sanjay aka the Hindi Houdini while he will be performing the opening act in the highly impossible Indian Rope Trick that will also include the famous Japanese Magician, Akira. This wou I was hooked by the first line, (I'm better at finding lost treasures than a phone buried in the bottom of my bag.) Boy, can I relate to that, not that I’ve found any treasures but who know what lurks in the bottom of my bag. Jaya Jones is on her way to Japan during Thanksgiving break to accompany her best friend, Sanjay aka the Hindi Houdini while he will be performing the opening act in the highly impossible Indian Rope Trick that will also include the famous Japanese Magician, Akira. This would be a fantastic opportunity for Sanjay, but Jaya gets a video call from him telling her not to come to Japan then the call mysteriously drops. Of course, that doesn't stop her from flying off to Japan to see what's got Sanjay so spooked. She's also got a tentative meeting set up with a Japanese professor she had met during a history conference a few years ago to discuss European trade in Japan during its isolation period. When she lands in Japan she meets up with Sanjay who is not himself. Things are getting dangerous on the set where the magicians are to perform. They’ve experienced several accidents that look like someone is sabotaging their equipment. The two magicians can no longer trust each other and it looks like things are getting worse. Sanjay himself is about ready to catch the next flight back to San Francisco but it would not be a wise career move for him to do so. Meanwhile, he’s got to try to deal with the situation and stay safe. Jaya is going to stick this out with Sanjay, he needs her now more than ever. Jaya is also trying to come to terms regarding her longtime boyfriend Lane. She tried to speak to him before she left for Japan but it wasn’t the right time. They have some unresolved issues that really need to get taken care of. She even finds herself questioning just how deep are her feelings for Sanjay? The way Ms. Pandian described the rich Fall setting in Japan, I could almost close my eyes and visualize myself being there with all the distinct colors of leaves floating around me. The Japanese traditions plus their gracious culture made this an outstanding read. I was not only entertained by the mystery but I also learned some historical facts regarding Japan. I would like to think Henery Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this e-galley in exchange for my unbiased opinion.
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  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    January 1, 1970
    The Ninja's Illusion is the latest book in the Jaya Jones series and this is a series that I truly love to read since I love reading adventures mystery books in exotic settings. This time Jaya travels to Japan where here best friend Sanjay a.k.a. The Hindi Houdini is working with the controversial magician, Akira who is said to be able to do magic for real. However, something is wrong, Sanjay seems to want Jaya to stay home, but that just makes her more eager to travel to Japan. And, when she ge The Ninja's Illusion is the latest book in the Jaya Jones series and this is a series that I truly love to read since I love reading adventures mystery books in exotic settings. This time Jaya travels to Japan where here best friend Sanjay a.k.a. The Hindi Houdini is working with the controversial magician, Akira who is said to be able to do magic for real. However, something is wrong, Sanjay seems to want Jaya to stay home, but that just makes her more eager to travel to Japan. And, when she gets there doesn't it take long for Jaya to realize that something is definitely wrong when Sanjay and she discovers a man dressed as a Ninja in a Buddhist temple watching them...The Ninja's Illusion is an entertaining book to read, just as the previous I have read has been. It can without any problems be read as stand-alone. The story is intriguing, and I love the easy-going banter between Jaya, Sanjay, and Tamarind. However, to be honest, was there a moment around half the book when I felt that the story just didn't have the same thrilling feeling as the previous did like the pacing was a bit off and I wanted something to happen to get the book back on track. It could be all the Jaya, Sanjay and Lane (Jaya's ex) drama. I have never liked the whole triangle drama thing and as much as I like Sanjay wasn't I that interested in this new development. Thankfully it was resolved in a good way. Also, Tamarind showing up around the time of the BIG drama thing helped put the book back on track. Man, it's hard sometimes to write about things in books without spoiling it... The Jaya Jones series is fabulous, and I recommend it warmly! I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!
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  • Lesa
    January 1, 1970
    The latest Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery, The Ninja's Illusion, takes Gigi Pandian's historian to Japan. It's another whirlwind adventure for the historian who specializes in the East India trading companies.Her recent adventures in Italy are not enough to keep Jaya from traveling to Japan where her best friend, Sanjay, The Hindi Houdini, is scheduled to appear with another magician. But, Sanjay asks her not to come, and he sounds worried when he calls. That's one more reason for Jaya to show The latest Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery, The Ninja's Illusion, takes Gigi Pandian's historian to Japan. It's another whirlwind adventure for the historian who specializes in the East India trading companies.Her recent adventures in Italy are not enough to keep Jaya from traveling to Japan where her best friend, Sanjay, The Hindi Houdini, is scheduled to appear with another magician. But, Sanjay asks her not to come, and he sounds worried when he calls. That's one more reason for Jaya to show up in Japan. She already has plans to contact another historian, a man who sent her an intriguing question about a Dutch sailing ship from the 1700s. Now, she has to check out her friend.Sanjay's worries all surround his upcoming appearance with an illusionist who claims to know the world's most famous trick, the Indian Rope Trick. There's sabotage, murder, and suspicion. Even a body disappears, and suspicions surround a mysterious ninja that seems to follow Jaya and Sanjay. And, before the case of misdirection can be wrapped up, Jaya has to resolve the case of misdirection of her own heart. Which man does she love, Lane Peters, or her best friend, Sanjay?Romance, history, an unknown treasure, and magic. Those elements, all wrapped around the exotic mythology and history of Japan, add to the fast-paced excitement and adventure of The Ninja's Illusion. I've said before that Pandian's Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mysteries remind me of Elizabeth Peters' Vicky Bliss stories. Fans of that series, and young adults who crave exotic adventure stories, should enjoy this latest mystery.
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  • Kevin
    January 1, 1970
    Any book that includes qutoes from these guys and Arthur C. Clarke is probably going to get at least 3 stars from me, but this book pushes it even further by setting Jaya's latest adventure in Japan. This book out this week is just too good to miss. Magic, treasure and murder, along with anime loving librarians.
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  • Marlene
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published at Reading RealityThe Ninja’s Illusion is a lovely piece of misdirection and stage management, much like the trick that Jaya Jones’ best friend Sanjay, the “Hindu Houdini”, performs onstage as part of his magic act.And it’s great fun to read.This is a cozy mystery, and much of the fun, and the mystery, revolves around Jaya and her group of friends. Her best friend Sanjay has come to Japan to work with an ultra-famous Japanese magician on a trick that is famous for its imposs Originally published at Reading RealityThe Ninja’s Illusion is a lovely piece of misdirection and stage management, much like the trick that Jaya Jones’ best friend Sanjay, the “Hindu Houdini”, performs onstage as part of his magic act.And it’s great fun to read.This is a cozy mystery, and much of the fun, and the mystery, revolves around Jaya and her group of friends. Her best friend Sanjay has come to Japan to work with an ultra-famous Japanese magician on a trick that is famous for its impossibility – the Indian Rope Trick. But someone is stalking both Sanjay and Akira, so there is clearly much more going on than meets the eye.Jaya, a respected historian and increasingly well-known treasure hunter, comes to Japan to support Sanjay. And to assist a Japanese historian who has unearthed a historical mystery that relates to Jaya’s area of expertise, the history of the Dutch East India Company.But when Sanjay’s mentor is killed in a brutal attack, Jaya’s historical research takes a definite back seat to the need to figure out who killed Akira, and why. Because if it’s all about the secret of his marquee trick, then Sanjay may be next on the killer’s list. But if the trick isn’t the motive, then what is?When Jaya finds that her original historical research leads right back to Akira and the trick that can’t be done, she has a difficult time separating the threads of her research from the increasingly desperate attempts to find something that Akira left hidden.If all the clues from both puzzles point to the same mystery, then what is the real mystery after all? And can Jaya and her friends figure out the solution before it’s too late?Escape Rating B+: The Ninja’s Illusion is the fifth book in the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt series, and I had a great time with it. I have not read the previous books in the series, which begins in Artifact, and there were references to events from previous books that flew a bit past me, but I still had a terrific time with this one. Enough of a terrific time that I went back and bought the first four. I can’t wait to see how we get to this point, and the ways in which Jaya’s friendships with the other characters have developed over the series.One of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much is that it feels like a bit of an homage to the late Elizabeth Peters’ Vicky Bliss series. While Vicky Bliss was a librarian rather than a historian, she also spent much of her madcap career hunting for mysterious historical artifacts and treasures, and was surrounded by a very similar cast of “irregulars” including an elderly mentor (Sebastien in Jaya’s life, Herr Professor Anton Z. Schmidt in Vicky’s) and an on-again, off-again lover who is as much thief as he is adventurer (Lane Peters for Jaya and John Smythe for Vicky) as well as a supporting cast of friends and fellow researchers. While there are plenty of differences, the feeling of Nancy Drew jumping out of the frying pan into the fire and falling in love with someone completely impossible feels very familiar. And as Elizabeth Peters is sadly no longer with us to continue the Vicky Bliss series, it is very, very nice indeed to have a read-alike that looks like it has the legs to keep going.The historical piece of the puzzle also reminds me of the historical setting of the Shinobi Mysteries by Susan Spann. So if the historical parts of this puzzle sound as fascinating to you as they did to me, take a look at Claws of the Cat, the first book in Spann’s series. That one of Akira and Sanjay’s stalkers in The Ninja’s Illusion is costumed as a shinobi, or ninja, makes the link between the two just that much closer.Magic is at the heart of this story. Not magic like in Harry Potter, but magic like in stage magic. David Copperfield. The hand is quicker than the eye. Illusions, misdirection, smoke and mirrors. Jaya spends most of the case distracted. Some of her distraction is internal, she’s trying to resolve a sudden confusion in her relationships with and between Sanjay and Lane. So she’s not thinking on all cylinders, and she’s away from home and missing her usual resources, like her librarian best friend Tamarind Ortega, who definitely reads like “one of us”, librarians, that is.Jaya is also distracted by the endless distractions offered by what begins as two cases, Akira and Sanjay’s stalker, and her historical research into a Dutch East India Company ship of the 1790s that managed to lose itself in history by flying a false flag. Things continue along the paths of confusion for quite a long time, as just because the two cases are coming together it does not mean that there is a single perpetrator, or even a single motive, for all events.This case is like the old story of the blind men and elephant. Each person seems to be grasping a different part, and drawing different and equally erroneous conclusions about the nature of the elephant and the case.So if you like madcap adventures with likable characters and multiple mysteries to solve, The Ninja’s Illusion will provide not a very good time, and that’s no illusion.
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  • Alisha Trenalone
    January 1, 1970
    The latest Jaya Jones mystery is still strong on Nancy Drew vibes, though short on real thrills.I found this entry in the series to be less compelling than the previous books, with a setting and payoff that never quite pulled me in. Jaya travels to Japan to see a special magic show in which her best friend Sanjay plays a major role. The show is supposed to feature the legendary but impossible Indian Rope Trick. But before the show can go on, Jaya and friends are confronted by possible sabotage, The latest Jaya Jones mystery is still strong on Nancy Drew vibes, though short on real thrills.I found this entry in the series to be less compelling than the previous books, with a setting and payoff that never quite pulled me in. Jaya travels to Japan to see a special magic show in which her best friend Sanjay plays a major role. The show is supposed to feature the legendary but impossible Indian Rope Trick. But before the show can go on, Jaya and friends are confronted by possible sabotage, an unusual theft, and a masked mystery man. As usual, Jaya's skills as a historian come into play, and seemingly unrelated pursuits tie together for a tidy denouement.The author's skill at weaving real history into her novel is always excellent. The solid historical facts that underpin her plot set her books apart from other mystery novels. While this book didn't intrigue me as much as the previous ones, I think it'll be enjoyed by fans, and future endeavors by author Gigi Pandian will be most welcome!Thanks to Henery Press for providing me an advance copy of this through NetGalley.
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  • Katreader
    January 1, 1970
    THE NINJA'S ILLUSION by Gigi PandianThe Fifth Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt MysteryJaya Jones is overwhelmed with requests for help, both in historical research and treasure hunting. When Dr. Nakamura has questions about her work on the East India trade routes she decides to go to Japan in person. It's the perfect time as her best friend Sanjay, the Hindi Houdini, is also in Japan working with a controversial stage magician who supposedly can perform real miracles. But when Sanjay tells her not to c THE NINJA'S ILLUSION by Gigi PandianThe Fifth Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt MysteryJaya Jones is overwhelmed with requests for help, both in historical research and treasure hunting. When Dr. Nakamura has questions about her work on the East India trade routes she decides to go to Japan in person. It's the perfect time as her best friend Sanjay, the Hindi Houdini, is also in Japan working with a controversial stage magician who supposedly can perform real miracles. But when Sanjay tells her not to come and the video call is prematurely disconnected, Jaya gets worried. Sure, Sanjay can be overdramatic, but something in his expression and voice said the danger was very real. Now Jaya is off on another adventure filled with history, peril, and treasure!I always get excited when I hear that a new Jaya Jones mystery is being released, but when I discovered her latest would take her to Japan I was positively giddy! I'm fascinated by Japanese culture and traditions and they are entwined in this novel with dexterity.Illusion, deception, betrayal, and ninjas! All that and more can be found in this fifth Jaya Jones adventure. Gigi Pandian once again makes history come alive with stories, both past and present. rich in detail, filled with vivid descriptions and compelling characters. With slight of hand and misdirection the center of the magicians' universe these characters, magician or not, are forced to look deeply within themselves and decide if who they see is who they truly want to be. Which persona is the true self? Are they willing to accept their own truth and, if so, at what cost?THE NINJA'S ILLUSION is more than a compelling mystery. It's a serious character study and a fascinating historical story amid the intriguing backdrop of Japan. It also has plenty of humor and lots of action. In short, THE NINJA'S ILLUSION delivers everything I could ask for in a book.
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  • Debbi
    January 1, 1970
    I was randomly selected to receive this as an ARC from NetGalley. This is my honest review of it. I love the Jaya Jones series and was anxious to read this one. It never disappointed. Each time Jaya gets involved in treasure hunts, the locations and history used makes you want to see those places. The Fushimi Imari shrine drew me in this time. But aside from that, Gigi does an exceptional job in writing a mystery that has you trying to figure it out right up to the very end. And the way this one I was randomly selected to receive this as an ARC from NetGalley. This is my honest review of it. I love the Jaya Jones series and was anxious to read this one. It never disappointed. Each time Jaya gets involved in treasure hunts, the locations and history used makes you want to see those places. The Fushimi Imari shrine drew me in this time. But aside from that, Gigi does an exceptional job in writing a mystery that has you trying to figure it out right up to the very end. And the way this one ends, I'm curious what her next exploit will be. I first read about Jaya in the prequel Fool's Gold in Other People's Baggage. After that, I've read all the books in the series. I think you'll enjoy reading about Jaya and her friends and family. Just try it.
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  • Patricia Romero
    January 1, 1970
    In this the fifth installment of the Jaya Jones mysteries, Jaya is meeting her best bud Sanjay in Kyoto to see his act and the famed Akira do his impossible rope climbing illusion. From the start things aren't quite as they appear. Who is this mysterious Ninja they keep catching glimpses of? While tricks turn into murder Jaya turns to research and hidden secrets about a missing ship hundreds of years ago.I enjoyed the mystery and the history of this clever book! Jaya and her friends are memorabl In this the fifth installment of the Jaya Jones mysteries, Jaya is meeting her best bud Sanjay in Kyoto to see his act and the famed Akira do his impossible rope climbing illusion. From the start things aren't quite as they appear. Who is this mysterious Ninja they keep catching glimpses of? While tricks turn into murder Jaya turns to research and hidden secrets about a missing ship hundreds of years ago.I enjoyed the mystery and the history of this clever book! Jaya and her friends are memorable and talented. A very entertaining and informative book. My favorite type!Netgalley/Henery Press   Release Date is this Tuesday, October 3rd!
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  • Shannon McDonald
    January 1, 1970
    Jaya Jones is back and this time she's headed to Japan for another adventure and an unexpected treasure. When Jaya's best friend Sanjay invites her to Kyoto to see an impossible magic trick: The Indian Rope Trick, she can't help but tag along. But as soon as she arrives she finds out that there's something afoot. A ninja has been following Sanjay and a world-famous magician is murdered. While Jaya is dodging ninja's and trying to help Sanjay put his best performance forward, she's also on the tr Jaya Jones is back and this time she's headed to Japan for another adventure and an unexpected treasure. When Jaya's best friend Sanjay invites her to Kyoto to see an impossible magic trick: The Indian Rope Trick, she can't help but tag along. But as soon as she arrives she finds out that there's something afoot. A ninja has been following Sanjay and a world-famous magician is murdered. While Jaya is dodging ninja's and trying to help Sanjay put his best performance forward, she's also on the trail of a missing Dutch ship. Pandian's effortless weaving of historical fact in with the narrative has always been her strong suit. This mystery takes a lot of turns and will keep reader's guessing until the end.
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  • Darcysmom
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley and Henery Press for free in exchange for an honest review. The Ninja's Illusion is the fifth installment of the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunter series. In this volume, Jaya goes to Kyoto both to support Sanjay's performance at a highly publicized magic show and to work with a colleague on an intriguing historical find. Jaya barely has time to get her bearings before she is thrust into a murder mystery and a hunt for treasure. The Ninja's Illusion is my f I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley and Henery Press for free in exchange for an honest review. The Ninja's Illusion is the fifth installment of the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunter series. In this volume, Jaya goes to Kyoto both to support Sanjay's performance at a highly publicized magic show and to work with a colleague on an intriguing historical find. Jaya barely has time to get her bearings before she is thrust into a murder mystery and a hunt for treasure. The Ninja's Illusion is my first experience with Jaya Jones, but it definitely won't be my last. I had a ball reading this fast-paced, entertaining story.
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    **I voluntarily read this ARC**This was a highly enjoyable mystery. It is the first one I have read in the series, but I feel it is a series best read in order. The characters were very well developed. I absolutely loved the setting. It felt like I really was in Japan. The mystery was intriguing, but the ending wasn't my favorite.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed The Ninja's Illusion. As with her other Jaya Jones mysteries, Gigi Pandian makes the country the characters are visiting, its culture and pertinent history accessible and interesting. There are 2 different mysteries at play. One involves the magicians; the other involves history. Each mystery is captivating in its own way. The mysteries begin even before Jaya has left the States for Japan. I found myself caught up in the book. There were a few lulls, but overall there is more ac I really enjoyed The Ninja's Illusion. As with her other Jaya Jones mysteries, Gigi Pandian makes the country the characters are visiting, its culture and pertinent history accessible and interesting. There are 2 different mysteries at play. One involves the magicians; the other involves history. Each mystery is captivating in its own way. The mysteries begin even before Jaya has left the States for Japan. I found myself caught up in the book. There were a few lulls, but overall there is more action than not. Even during the lulls, the plot is moving forward, which is as it should be.The characters are interesting and likable. And there is a good variety of characters. The story about the kitsune who has become a magician's assistant brings an exotic flavor to the plot. I liked that it was up in the air for much of the book as to just how much of a mischevious spirit fox she really was. Overall, it's a well-written mystery made even better by Pandian's treatment of the location and culture. The history that is blended in makes the reading a richer experience. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy of the book from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions herein are my own and freely given.
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  • Megan Worley
    January 1, 1970
    I love the characters the Pandian creates, as well as the mysteries that they solve. They usually involve hidden secrets and long lost treasures. This particular one fell a bit short though because it focuses too much on the main characters best friend and his magic act, rather than Jaya and the mystery of the lost treasure.That being said, it was still a great story full of historical intrigue and delightful historical facts. Being a history major I always love a good bit of historical intrigue I love the characters the Pandian creates, as well as the mysteries that they solve. They usually involve hidden secrets and long lost treasures. This particular one fell a bit short though because it focuses too much on the main characters best friend and his magic act, rather than Jaya and the mystery of the lost treasure.That being said, it was still a great story full of historical intrigue and delightful historical facts. Being a history major I always love a good bit of historical intrigue in my mysteries. Pandian writes exceptionally well and weaves beautiful scenery and cultural facts into the story with ease. Although this book wasn’t my favorite I’m sure others will love it and I look forward to reading the next installment in the series!*I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Jossie Solheim
    January 1, 1970
    I found this one a little bit tough to get into at first, but slowly it did draw me in and I found the story enjoyable if a little slow at times. The premise is good though and the excitement that it builds around the Indian rope trick. I liked Jaya and the majority of her friends but found that as a whole everyone was just a bit too easily forgiven for the bad things they did. I mean I kind of understood with Hiro, as he never actually did anything too bad, but the professor, I wasn't so sure a I found this one a little bit tough to get into at first, but slowly it did draw me in and I found the story enjoyable if a little slow at times. The premise is good though and the excitement that it builds around the Indian rope trick. I liked Jaya and the majority of her friends but found that as a whole everyone was just a bit too easily forgiven for the bad things they did. I mean I kind of understood with Hiro, as he never actually did anything too bad, but the professor, I wasn't so sure about. Still, it was an enjoyable read and I would be interested to give some of Gigi's other books a go in the future.
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  • Helen Callahan
    January 1, 1970
    My first book by Gigi Pandian, The Ninja's Illusion. A TRUE Treasure. There's a stealthy ninja, magic and illusion. Spying, sabotage and theft. Murder and romance. Exciting scenes and unpredictable twists and turns. Using exquisite details and 'poetic license' to weave fiction with past/present historical facts. Her writing creates "The perfect place for the impossible"....pages come to life. This book is an 'exhilarating, baffling, passionate, nerve-racking and blissful', CONSUMING reading adve My first book by Gigi Pandian, The Ninja's Illusion. A TRUE Treasure. There's a stealthy ninja, magic and illusion. Spying, sabotage and theft. Murder and romance. Exciting scenes and unpredictable twists and turns. Using exquisite details and 'poetic license' to weave fiction with past/present historical facts. Her writing creates "The perfect place for the impossible"....pages come to life. This book is an 'exhilarating, baffling, passionate, nerve-racking and blissful', CONSUMING reading adventure !!! Book 5 in GP's Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mystery series. The only difficult part reading this book, deciding, read book 1 or 4 next !?! Jaya Jones, asst. prof. of history, is quickly becoming a world renowned go-to person for historical research. And her research can become a hunt, literally. Worldwide. Finding treasure, secrets and/or evil doers along the way. Though trained in jujitsu her strongest assests, her mind and her magnifying glass. Jaya is not alone. Collecting an intelligent and crazy cast of characters as she goes. She travels to Japan from San Francisco home for best friend, Sanjay's world premiere magic show. She also has a research request concerning, 18th century Dutch shipping to 1700's Japan. Modern day Japan as the backdrop. All tied together by the ancient Indian Rope Trick. What is real and what is illusion ?!? Who is friend and who is foe ?!? Which GP book to read next ?!? I received this book as an ARC from Henery Press publishing through NetGalley. I am voluntarily posting this review.
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  • Kylie
    January 1, 1970
    Although #5 in the Jaya Jones series it is possible to read this excellent mystery as a standalone story. Not having read the other titles in the series but a fan of the author's 'The Accidental Alchemist' series, when I saw it on Netgalley I had to request it. Nor was I disappointed, this fast paced, well written, engaging mystery had plenty of puzzles to ponder plus scintillating magical tricks to dazzle the imagination. Jaya and her friends are likeable and well developed characters.Basically Although #5 in the Jaya Jones series it is possible to read this excellent mystery as a standalone story. Not having read the other titles in the series but a fan of the author's 'The Accidental Alchemist' series, when I saw it on Netgalley I had to request it. Nor was I disappointed, this fast paced, well written, engaging mystery had plenty of puzzles to ponder plus scintillating magical tricks to dazzle the imagination. Jaya and her friends are likeable and well developed characters.Basically I loved it and will now be devouring the rest of the titles in the series, the same way that I did this novel, although perhaps not always in one sitting. With many thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for my ARC.
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  • Celia
    January 1, 1970
    It was all I could do after finishing The Ninja's Illusion not to buy a plane ticket to Kyoto, Japan for the fall season that Gigi Pandian describes so vividly in this book. It is a perfect backdrop for Jaya's best friend Sanjay, the Hindi Houdini's participation in a magic show with the idolized and mysterious Japanese illusionist Akira, as well as another mystery that goes back to isolationist Japan and the Dutch East Indies Company in the 1700's. Although seemingly unrelated, the more Jaya an It was all I could do after finishing The Ninja's Illusion not to buy a plane ticket to Kyoto, Japan for the fall season that Gigi Pandian describes so vividly in this book. It is a perfect backdrop for Jaya's best friend Sanjay, the Hindi Houdini's participation in a magic show with the idolized and mysterious Japanese illusionist Akira, as well as another mystery that goes back to isolationist Japan and the Dutch East Indies Company in the 1700's. Although seemingly unrelated, the more Jaya and Sanjay learn about Akira's headlining act, the seemingly impossible Indian Rope Trick, the more they realize that it may be intertwined with a mysterious Dutch East Indies ship and sailor. There is plenty of action, history, and adventure in this book, which features a murder, ninjas, kitsunes, netsukes, rival magicians and more. I really enjoyed that, in addition to Sanjay, Jaya is joined by Sebastien, Tamarind and Lane Peters in her attempts to unravel the mysteries and to keep her safe. I loved the ending, which was unexpected, and also sets the stage another Jaya Jones adventure -- yay!I highly recommend this book, the fifth in the series, which can easily stand alone. However you will be missing out on some spectacular stories if you don't read the Jaya Jones mysteries leading up to this wonderful book.I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    As I have come to expect since Book 1, this story had an interesting mystery with just the right amount of historical details to add flavor. I also appreciate the beautiful countries that the author gives us insight into with each new book. I am really invested in the core characters in this series so it was wonderful revisiting many of the beloved characters from previous books as well asmeeting new ones. I have loved Jaya and Lane from the moment they met in Book 1 because they make an incredi As I have come to expect since Book 1, this story had an interesting mystery with just the right amount of historical details to add flavor. I also appreciate the beautiful countries that the author gives us insight into with each new book. I am really invested in the core characters in this series so it was wonderful revisiting many of the beloved characters from previous books as well asmeeting new ones. I have loved Jaya and Lane from the moment they met in Book 1 because they make an incredible couple and team. This was evident when Lane was able to help Jaya see the answers she had but hadn't yet pieced together.I am looking forward to the next book in the series because I have so many questions that I am hoping will get answered. I am also looking forward to both Lane's and Jaya's reaction to the reappearance of the expected guest at Jaya'a home.For now, I will just be counting down the days until the audio-book for The Ninja's Illusion is available because the only thing better than reading the stories is to enjoy them in the audio-book format. I received a free, advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased review.
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  • Jan
    January 1, 1970
    Meet Jaya Jones, history professor extraordinaire and several of her friends. Tamarind is a very brilliant and colorful college librarian, Sanjay is a wacky magician who failed law school only to become an accomplished magician with roots in India, now working with an egomaniac magician in Japan. Murder, a mysterious fakir magic trick no one can seem to replicate, and interpersonal issues make for a riveting read. There are lots of plot twists, and the misdirection is not only on the stage. Of c Meet Jaya Jones, history professor extraordinaire and several of her friends. Tamarind is a very brilliant and colorful college librarian, Sanjay is a wacky magician who failed law school only to become an accomplished magician with roots in India, now working with an egomaniac magician in Japan. Murder, a mysterious fakir magic trick no one can seem to replicate, and interpersonal issues make for a riveting read. There are lots of plot twists, and the misdirection is not only on the stage. Of course, there is the suspense, humor, snarkiness, action, and history insights that we love and expect. The publisher's blurb give clues, but can't begin to prepare you for the addictive nature of the book that seems to demand that it be read in one sitting!Thank you, NetGalley, for the opportunity to receive this gift from the publisher!
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  • Leena Clover
    January 1, 1970
    There's not much of a treasure hunt here. It was a page turner, set in Japan this time. Wonder if the Dutchman will appear in subsequent books 😊.
  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    I love escaping into this series. The settings, the characters, the dialog and, of course, the mystery - all in perfect balance. Jaya Jones is all ready to hop on a plane to go to Japan to see Sanjay perform in a magic show. The day before she is to leave, he contacts her, asking her not to come but the conversation is suddenly cut off. Of course she goes to Japan. Honestly, I was ready to read this one just for the lure of magic. Add Japan, oh, yes, please. If you are new to this series, please I love escaping into this series. The settings, the characters, the dialog and, of course, the mystery - all in perfect balance. Jaya Jones is all ready to hop on a plane to go to Japan to see Sanjay perform in a magic show. The day before she is to leave, he contacts her, asking her not to come but the conversation is suddenly cut off. Of course she goes to Japan. Honestly, I was ready to read this one just for the lure of magic. Add Japan, oh, yes, please. If you are new to this series, please do yourself a favor and start at the beginning. This one can be read out of order but you will get so much more out of the characters if you read them in order. My thanks to the publisher, Midnight Ink and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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  • MsArdychan
    January 1, 1970
    Please Note: I received an advance reader's copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence the opinions in my review in any way.Over the past year, I have become a huge fan of author Gigi Pandian, having read all the books in her series called The Accidental Alchemist. This is my first time reading a book in the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt series, and I didn't know what to expect. I loved that I didn't have to start with the first book in order to enjoy th Please Note: I received an advance reader's copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence the opinions in my review in any way.Over the past year, I have become a huge fan of author Gigi Pandian, having read all the books in her series called The Accidental Alchemist. This is my first time reading a book in the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt series, and I didn't know what to expect. I loved that I didn't have to start with the first book in order to enjoy this latest novel. The setting is so compelling, the characters so well-developed, and the action so thrilling, that I was fully immersed in the experience. I loved it!What I Liked:Setting:As someone who lived in Japan, and has taken my family to Kyoto just a few years ago, I was very impressed with the level of detail about Japan and it's culture in this book. There are so many small touches that help to make the novel's setting authentic. From the tiny portions of food served to explaining the subtle insult of being called a gaijin (foreigner), the author gets everything right. I loved her use of all the city's temples and shrines as a backdrop for this book. I have been to many of these places and her descriptions are spot on.I also enjoyed how the Americans in the book were wide-eyed with wonder seeing Japan for the first time. It really is a place that is so different from the United States that the first-time visitor is often overwhelmed. Diversity of Characters:I got a huge grin on my face when I read that Jaya Jones, the main character, was just about five feet tall. Yes, I am that height, and I loved that nobody gave her grief over how short she was. Tamarind, Jaya's librarian friend, is tall and has an "ample" frame. When someone is presented as short (or big) in a book, it is usually as part of a comic element. Thank you, Ms. Pandian, for showing that people come in all shapes and sizes, and for not treating people's physical attributes as a joke.Characters:As I have not read any of the previous books in the series, I went in without any knowledge of the central characters. But that was not a problem because the author took the time to give a good amount of exposition around each person. I found Jaya and her group of friends to be smart and fun, but also flawed. Jaya is a modern-day Indiana Jones. A History professor who also is passionate about uncovering mysteries of antiquity, Jaya uses her research skills to uncover the story behind the event. I liked that she was accomplished in her profession without being perfect. Jaya is human and makes mistakes. She also owns up to her errors and seeks out the help of those she trusts.Sanjay (Jaya's best friend) is a magician who goes to Japan to ride on the coattails of the island nation's best known magician, Akira. He is an imperfect person who's ambition, at times, overrides common sense. But he is also a loyal friend who worried for Jaya's safety with a killer on the loose, and I could see why Jaya adored him. Story:The story centers around a magic trick called "the world's greatest illusion", the Indian Rope Trick. As the story progresses, we learn about the historical context of this real-life magic trick. It's a great way to explore the question of an historical narrator's reliability (or in other words: fake news!). Of course, there is a murder as someone is out to stop the show. Or is there another motive? Jaya becomes concerned for Sanjay and begins to research one of the historical figures who claimed to have seen the trick. Could knowing more about this long dead person lead to the modern killer?This really was a solid whodunit, and I didn't know for sure who the murderer was until the end. I enjoyed that the clues were there for the reader to figure it out for themselves. The author didn't throw in a detail at the last minute that would change who the killer is. I also liked that Jaya didn't try to solve everything solo. She knows her limits and seeks the help of her friends, and the police. Jaya is not James Bond, and she accepts this. Nevertheless, there is plenty of action as the characters become entangled in the quest to find the murderer (and maybe even uncover some treasure!).
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  • David Stringer
    January 1, 1970
    I've come into this book quite late in the series, book number five I believe, so I'm new to both the premise, the author and the characters and so maybe this has taken something away from me and my enjoyment of the book. I'm also not sure if this is classed as a middle grade book? It's not mentioned or labelled as such anywhere, but with the easy flow and language used I suspect it is. Not that this matters either way, but a slight warning to those that enter this booking expecting a more adult I've come into this book quite late in the series, book number five I believe, so I'm new to both the premise, the author and the characters and so maybe this has taken something away from me and my enjoyment of the book. I'm also not sure if this is classed as a middle grade book? It's not mentioned or labelled as such anywhere, but with the easy flow and language used I suspect it is. Not that this matters either way, but a slight warning to those that enter this booking expecting a more adult and challenging read.So in this book we have Jaya, the lead character, hero, adventurer, treasure hunter looking to solve a mystery in Japan and check up at the same time on her magician friend, Sanjay, who is now performing in a magic show with some mysterious character who claims to be now able to perform real magic, with her friend seemingly not to keen for her to come over. So she can't resist, and off she goes.But sadly, I could resist, as I never got into this book. Didn't find any thrills, spills or excitement that bothered or interested me into rushing to carry on reading more, or to read others in the series or even to read to my youngest to see if it would entertain him. Maybe coming in so late in the series was a problem, but I didn't particular like or care for any of the characters either. I couldn't relate to any.So sadly, two stars from me. Never gripped or grabbed me like others who have read and reviewed this book. BOO to me!
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  • JG
    January 1, 1970
    The Ninja's Illusion is the fifth book in the Jaya Jones Series about a history/archeology professor turned treasure hunter/mystery solver. This time Jaya is headed for Kyoto, Japan to support her friend, Sanjay's debut show with another famed Japanese magician. At the same time, she was invited to help with some research about a Dutch ship that traveled to Japan, that has no mention in any written historical papers but whose presence is very much noted in some paintings. But like any other Jaya The Ninja's Illusion is the fifth book in the Jaya Jones Series about a history/archeology professor turned treasure hunter/mystery solver. This time Jaya is headed for Kyoto, Japan to support her friend, Sanjay's debut show with another famed Japanese magician. At the same time, she was invited to help with some research about a Dutch ship that traveled to Japan, that has no mention in any written historical papers but whose presence is very much noted in some paintings. But like any other Jaya Jones mystery things do not appear as it should. Now a murder is needing to be solved but is Jaya's mysterious ship connected with the magic act of a famed Japanese illusionist? I love all Jaya Jones mysteries since they give great historical facts about things that are relatively uncommon knowledge. Plus Kyoto, Japan as the setting, one of the most beautiful and culturally rich places on earth, a great setting for this particular murder mystery. The plot appears simple but again is more complex than the author would let on thus adding to that edge of trying to guess where this is headed. There are a lot of other subplots regarding Jaya's personal conflicts but they actually never get in the way of the main storyline, therefore, these books can be read as a standalone. The Ninja's Illusion is a definite edge of your seat page-turner!*ARC provided thru NetGalley*
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  • 3 no 7
    January 1, 1970
    “The Ninja’s Illusion” by Gigi Pandiana is the fifth book in the “Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt” series. It is not necessary to have read the previous books in the series because the author provides quick background comments in the context of the storyline to fill in anything needed from the previous books. However, as a new reader I had to spend some time sorting out all the players. This story is about magic, stage magic with all its redirection, illusion, and trickery. Jaya, the main character, tr “The Ninja’s Illusion” by Gigi Pandiana is the fifth book in the “Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt” series. It is not necessary to have read the previous books in the series because the author provides quick background comments in the context of the storyline to fill in anything needed from the previous books. However, as a new reader I had to spend some time sorting out all the players. This story is about magic, stage magic with all its redirection, illusion, and trickery. Jaya, the main character, travels to Japan with her stage magician friend, Sanjay. While there, she researches a tantalizing centuries-old mystery. Clues abound, but just like stage magic, distractions abound as well. Jaya and her friends struggle to find answers as secrets from both the past and the present converge. The characters are interesting and likeable. Pandian’s vivid descriptions create an exotic and genuine sense of place by interweaving abundant Japanese culture, traditions, and folklore into the plot. The pace is generally fast with only a few slower sections. I received a copy of “The Ninja’s Illusion” from Gigi Pandian, Henery Press, and NetGalley. I found the story interesting even though I had not read any of the previous books. I enjoyed reading “The Ninja’s Illusion,” and now I must go back and find the treasures in the other books in the series
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  • Maria
    January 1, 1970
    Jaya Jones has prepared an amazing trip to Japan, but when her best friend's life is in danger she will cancel all of her plans to save his life, even if she has to face ninjas or impossible tricks.Ready for an amazing adventure?Preparing myself a trip to Kyoto next month, reading about all the beautiful museums and shrines Jaya was enjoying was a pleasure to say the least, and the story full of twists and mysteries was a great read.I have to admit that this book took me by surprise, I didn't ex Jaya Jones has prepared an amazing trip to Japan, but when her best friend's life is in danger she will cancel all of her plans to save his life, even if she has to face ninjas or impossible tricks.Ready for an amazing adventure?Preparing myself a trip to Kyoto next month, reading about all the beautiful museums and shrines Jaya was enjoying was a pleasure to say the least, and the story full of twists and mysteries was a great read.I have to admit that this book took me by surprise, I didn't expect a book so interesting in which the main character, Jaya, is a brave and intelligent professor that searches for lost treasures while enchants the reader with drops of history, murder and some quite unbelievable illusions.The characters are interesting and make a quite surprising group, all of them share some past but their friendship and kindness is more important than anything, even when they make some disappointed decisions or thoughts. And I was quite intrigued with the famous Lance, Jaya's ex-boyfriend, who has a big part on her thoughts but he will not be on the story.... This is the fifth book of the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mysteries, but you can read it as standalone, but I can assure you, you will love this book!Do you believe in magic?
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  • Elizabeth D.
    January 1, 1970
    I always feel like I've just come back from an exotic trip when I read Gigi Pandian's Jaya Jones books. This latest one set in Japan does not disappoint. Jaya's best friend Sanjay is performing as part of a spectacular magic show in Japan and Jaya goes along to provide support and also connect with a Japanese professor who has asked for Jaya's help. When a sudden death occurs and a mysterious figure dressed all in black begins appearing Jaya and her friends fear for their safety as they don't kn I always feel like I've just come back from an exotic trip when I read Gigi Pandian's Jaya Jones books. This latest one set in Japan does not disappoint. Jaya's best friend Sanjay is performing as part of a spectacular magic show in Japan and Jaya goes along to provide support and also connect with a Japanese professor who has asked for Jaya's help. When a sudden death occurs and a mysterious figure dressed all in black begins appearing Jaya and her friends fear for their safety as they don't know who to trust as strangers in a strange land. The descriptions of Japanese culture and lore are wonderfully descriptive and make for a fascinating window into the Japanese world. As a historian, Jaya also references Japanese history and makes it a key element of the story. This was such a great read!
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  • Leith Devine
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't know what to expect when I started this book, but it was a pleasant surprise! The story was great, the characters were fascinating and I loved the setting. This was the first book I'd read in the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mysteries, but I will definitely be reading more.Jaya Jones is a treasure hunter/historian from San Francisco. She goes to Japan to see her closest friend Sanjay, an Indian magician, perform with a Japanese magician named Akira. They are going to perform the famous and I didn't know what to expect when I started this book, but it was a pleasant surprise! The story was great, the characters were fascinating and I loved the setting. This was the first book I'd read in the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mysteries, but I will definitely be reading more.Jaya Jones is a treasure hunter/historian from San Francisco. She goes to Japan to see her closest friend Sanjay, an Indian magician, perform with a Japanese magician named Akira. They are going to perform the famous and never before seen Indian rope trick, where the magician, his assistant and the rope all disappear into thin air.After Jaya arrives, she finds a ninja has been following and threatening Akira and Sanjay. She wants to keep Sanjay safe, so she starts to do some investigating. Who is Akira's assistant really? What's with the prop they're using - is it really "magic"? The plot takes some twists and turns along the way and ending is a complete surprise.I highly recommend this book. It's complex and kept me on my toes. Thanks to the Henery Press and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first of Gigi Pandian's books that I have read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is excellent, very well written and the backdrop totally authentic. The plot was marvellous and I cannot praise it enough. Jaya Jones' best friend, Sanjay was working with a well known magician in Japan. They were re-creating the Indian Rope Trick, which is an impossible illusion. Things began to get out of hand when Akira, the Japanese magician finds that someone had sabotaged one of his tricks, in a way tha This is the first of Gigi Pandian's books that I have read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is excellent, very well written and the backdrop totally authentic. The plot was marvellous and I cannot praise it enough. Jaya Jones' best friend, Sanjay was working with a well known magician in Japan. They were re-creating the Indian Rope Trick, which is an impossible illusion. Things began to get out of hand when Akira, the Japanese magician finds that someone had sabotaged one of his tricks, in a way that could have killed the performer.. And then there is the ninja, all in black who keeps turning up.Brilliant brilliant book - impossible to put down. Totally recommended!
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