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Samurai Summer by Åke Edwardson

Samurai Summer 
by Åke Edwardson
Official site | Goodreads 

Format: ebook, ARC
Published: June 25th 2013, by Amazon Children's Publishing
Genre: Children's/ Thriller

Amazon | Kindle | Book Depository

"Looked at from the outside, the annual summer camp in the countryside seems idyllic. But for Kenny, a boy with a Samurai soul, it is no more than a prison camp, run by a sadistic woman who is sometimes helped by her salacious son, Christian. To escape the adults, Kenny and his "samurai" friends sneak out to the forest to build a secret castle. It’s off-limits to the girls, but a female camper named Kerstin begs Kenny to show her the castle. But suddenly she disappears, and Kenny realizes something terrible must have happened to her. Something that points to the old woman who runs the camp but even more so to her strange, creepy son." -Goodreads


“Those were the truest words ever spoken. Never trust a grown-up.” (loc. 1510)

It’s a bit hard to do a review on a book that felt weird from the beginning. First I had to get used to the writing style, which is told through the eyes of a troubled child. Second I had to sort through what was imaginary and what wasn’t, which became harder and harder as the book went on. I’m not all too sure what specific genre this book is intended for, but I wouldn’t say it’s for children; it’s not all that exciting, it’s a bit confusing and some of the subject matter probably isn’t appropriate for children. I give this book three stars because the ending did interest me, and some of Tommy/Kenny’s insights were quite philosophical. I understand what part of the message was– that some grown-ups as seen through a child’s eye, really are as evil as the child thinks– but the choppy plot, and the whole Samurai thing, sort of complicated the understanding.

“It was morning again. The sun rose on good evil alike. This morning, the evil had cooked up something new.” (loc. 1096)

In all, I wasn’t too hooked on the plot, nor was I ever really sure where it was leading to. I found the ending interesting, but that’s about it. I wouldn’t be too sure who I could recommend this book to, because I’m not too sure they’d find the book interesting or understand the complete meaning of Samurai Summer.

“Things happen, sometimes because they have to, sometimes even though they don’t have to. Sometimes it’s horrible. And the most horrible things are the most difficult to explain.” (loc. 3542)

First Line: “I wish this was a secret story.” (loc. 58)
Last Line: “From Japan maybe.” (loc.3548)


“This story is about the lake and the forest.” (loc. 74)

“If I swear sometimes, it’s because my should hasn’t yet evolved into the perfect state: satori. That’s when the soul and the sword become one.” (loc. 91)

“Sometimes all the summers flow together like different streams flowing into the spring when the water’s high.” (loc. 116)

“When you were a kid you didn’t get to decide anything. At least not about yourself.” (loc. 304)

“Just like always around here, I thought. Nothing that happened ever actually happened. Not even when the worst happened did they every say that anything had happened.” (loc. 3417)

Galley provided by NetGalley via Amazon Children's Publishing

*Quotes are from uncorrected advanced galleys and may change before going to press. Please refer to the final printed book for official quotes.

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