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The Kensei (Lawson the Fixer, #5)
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The Kensei (Lawson the Fixer #5)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  222 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Meet Lawson. A cynical, wise-cracking vampire charged with protecting the Balance between vampires and humans, he is part cop, part spy, and part commando -- James Bond with fangs. Lawson mixes shrewd cunning with unmatched lethality to get his job done. He tries his best to dismantle conspiracies, dispatch bad guys, and live long enough to get home. In The Kensei, a battl ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 18th 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 7th 2011)
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Mandi Schreiner
Favorite Quote: She looked at me and smiled again. I could never get tired of that. “Why else do you think I’m with you?”

I shrugged. “I thought my magnificent butt might have had something to do with it.”

Lawson (born a vampire) is in need of rejuvenation. He decides to slip out of Boston, only letting his trusty friend Niles know that he is headed to Tokyo to regroup and train in his beloved martial art style, ninjutsu for a few days. Lawson is a Fixer in the vampire world – it is his job to mak
Jon Merz
Jul 25, 2010 Jon Merz rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
This is the next book in my Lawson Vampire series - in this installment, the action takes place in Japan. I hope you all enjoy it! It will be out in January 2011 from St. Martin's Press.
A wonderful cover sold me on this book. It had good cover art -- a man in a black coat with a katana (Japanese Samurai Sword) and a automatic pistol. It had good plugs from various writers stating that the action was fierce and the book was about vampire hero, who fights vampire ninjas. Sounds great.

And I guess the book lived up to its action billing, but not enough for me to read other stories in this series.

Lawson is a vampire chose by the Vampire Counsel to be a Fixer, that is a person who i
After reading this book I needed a couple of days to digest it before writing a review. Truth is, I felt as though I needed to come down from the adrenaline high which would have been easier if I hadn't gone right into reading Enemy Mine and then The Enchanter. Yeah, so I'm still riding that wave of adrenaline. However, I'm far enough removed from this title now that I can look at it as a whole and tell you it's most definitely the best book I've read so far this year. This book is the total pac ...more
Cheryl C.
Apr 05, 2013 Cheryl C. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: paranormal and urban fiction readers
There are a lot of elements to this story. Lawson's destiny as a Fixer. His on again-off again relationship with Tayla. His friendships in the States and Japan. The gangs in Japan. The organ trafficking networks. The Kensei's role in organ trafficking and his interest in Lawson. The mysterious Council who Lawson is defying by having a secret relationship with a human, in addition to Lawson beginning to take stock of his life to determine what matters.

The Kensei is a fast-paced, exciting read tha
I really enjoyed reading The Kensei. The action starts from just about the first page and continues through the book. However, The Kensei is not all about the action. I loved the fact that there is a continuing romance and also good character development through the book. Add to that the excellent action scenes that I could easily picture in my head and you have one great book that will appeal to male and females, young and older alike.

The Kensei is actually the 5th book in the series, but you c
Wendy Hines
The Kensei is book five in the series, and the first book by Mr. Merz I have read. However, it can read as a stand-alone novel as I really didn't feel lost at all. Lawson is a vampire secret agent who is on his way to Japan for some rest after his last big mission. He wants to spend some time with his dojo and spend some time with Talya.

However, Talya has other things in mind, namely asking Lawson to assist in bringing down an organ trafficking ring. This brings Lawson in proximity with Kensei,
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

Lawson is a sardonic, sarcastic, slightly somber spy who thinks he’s going to get some much needed R&R vacationing in Japan until a plea from his former assassin girlfriend lands him in the middle of an organ trafficking operation. Trouble enough for any man, except Lawson isn’t a man. He’s a centuries old vampire.

I’ve never set foot anywhere near Asia, but after reading THE KENSEI I feel like I just got back from my own vacation to Japan. Merz does
Rambles On
When the press release for Jon F. Merz’ The Kensei came over the wire (and doesn’t that sound just the least bit retro?), I immediately e-mailed the Chief and said “It sounds weird enough to be interesting.” I mean, a vampire ninja detective story?

Lawson is 150 years old, a vampire “fixer” — among other things, he cleans up those vampires who start to get too obvious and keeps the clandestine relationship between vampires and humans clandestine — and he needs a vacation. In fact, he’s on his way
I have a new favorite badass and his name is Lawson! I was a little leery when I started this book because I'm not usually a fan of martial arts action but I thought that a ninja vampire sounded pretty awesome, and it turns out that I was right. Lawson is battle worn and tired, just wants a small vacation before returning to the world of being a vampire Fixer, but trouble just seems to follow him wherever he goes, despite the fact that he is supposed to be off the grid. Being a Fixer for the vam ...more
I happened upon The Kensei when I was checking out the amazing sale that Tynga told us all about at the end of July. I'd never heard of Jon F. Merz before but I thought that the book had a really eye-catching cover and an intriguing synopsis and so I had to pick it up, especially since it was a steal at $2.99 (also currently 2,10$ on

There was nothing I didn't love about this book. It's the fifth book in the Lawson Vampire series so I thought that I might have troubl
I read The Kensei by Jon F. Merz which I had naturally heard about online. The reviews for it were awesome and so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. When told a vampire tale set in Japan with a James Bond like vampire you want to read it. This isn't the first book in the series though so I was surprised about that but the book can be read stand alone. Some things are referenced that I take it occurred in previous novels however.

The character of Lawson is one that is very different from
The Kensei by Jon F. Merz
Reviewed by Moirae the fates book reviews.

Meet Lawson. A cynical, wise-cracking vampire charged with protecting the Balance between vampires and humans, he is part cop, part spy, and part commando — James Bond with fangs. Lawson mixes shrewd cunning with unmatched lethality to get his job done. He tries his best to dismantle conspiracies, dispatch bad guys, and live long enough to get home. In The Kensei, a battle-weary Lawson heads to Japan for a little rest and some ad
You know how, in order to be fair, you're supposed to read a solid chunk of pages from a book before deciding whether or not it's to your taste? 'Solid chunk' numbering something like, 50 pages?

I reached my limit with Kensei in 8.

Sometimes I stop reading a book because it isn't a good match for me, such as in the case when I'm passed novel that's received rave reviews but is a genre I don't have any particular affinity for. (Young adult, mystery books; I'm looking at you.) Sometimes I stop readi
Stop by Smash Attack Reads for a character interview with Talya!

My Thoughts

Lawson was born a vampire and he is a Fixer. He ensures the secrecy of his kind, and his work is tough. He decides to take some time off and visit Japan, but Japan isn’t as welcoming as he hoped. After he nearly loses his life in an assassination attempt, he meets an unsuspecting colleague in Starbucks. Yuki is also a vampire, and she is in charge of that particular slice of Tokyo.
Evil exists in many forms. I've seen plenty of all the types. The violent psychopaths are out there, sure. But so are the subtle egomaniacs who hide their tactics under a cloak of supposed intelligent bullying. While everyone is busy being impressed, they quietly work their plans into fruition. Sociopaths come in many forms.

Who's to say which type is more dangerous?

~The Kensei: A Lawson Vampire Novel by Jon F. Merz (ARC copy)

Believe it or not, when I was asked if I was interested in reviewing "
Nicholas Ahlhelm
Jon F. Merz's "The Kensei" is apparently the fifth novel in his tales of the vampire enforcer, Lawson. That being said, it was my first experience with the character or his universe. Despite being book five in a series, the story was very reader friendly, which is always a sign of a writer who knows his way around a good serial.

Lawson is a vampire, but that doesn’t really make him all that different. The vampires of his world aren’t created but born, and seem to be only slightly stronger than an
I hang my head as I tell you this my friends, but my childhood love of James Bond has been thwarted. Yes, from the moment that Lawson stepped into my life I was smitten and there was no turning back. New favorite action hero, thy name is Lawson!

When I first opened the pages of The Kensei I really wasn't sure what to expect. I'd heard rave reviews about Lawson's escapades, but would I really fall in love with the martial arts action that was said to lie within the pages? As a girl who grew up sur
The Kensei is the fifth installment in the Lawson the Fixer series by Jon Merz. Though there are four previous novels, this can be read as a standalone without any confusion. This is the first novel I have read by Merz and I had no idea what I was getting into. I was pleasantly surprised. Our hero, Lawson, is extremely likable... charming, courageous and witty. You will also find yourself learning a little bit about martial arts... which I was hesitant about though I then found it to be enjoyabl ...more
Julie Johnson
This is the book I've been waiting for since the first one, when Lawson & Talya meet. And it didn't disappoint! This one had the usual blend of reluctant hero & heroine (who also kick some major ass), & a nasty bad guy hell bent on super natural world domination. But the chemistry between these two is awesome! I enjoyed every minute of this book and I love Lawson's character, his wit & his weary cynicism, and his super martial arts fighting! And Talya is the action heroine I've b ...more
Ibrahim Robinson
The very first book I read about Lawson the fixer. I immediately tracked down the first four books in this amazing series. Even if Lawson is a "vampire" he still carries a high degree of honor and this story really puts those characteristics on display for his character. In my opinion Lawson brings honor among vampires which I never before saw as even remotely noble.
I bought this book on impulse because I liked the cover and the blurb on the back cover sounded interesting. I was pleasantly surprised. It had vampires, spy intrigue, action sequences, and a dash of romance. It was sort of like if Jason Bourne were a vampire. This is apparently the fifth book in the series but I haven't read any of the previous books and I was still able to jump right in and follow the story. I don't think it's necessary to read the previous books though I have since gone back ...more
Lawson is burned out, and a trip to Japan seems like the perfect holiday. That’s just wishful thinking of course because not long after he arrives his ex-girlfriend–-an assassin–-pulls him back into the game. Organs are being trafficked and it’s up to Lawson to put an end to it. The Kensei was a great book, and the only thing that really brought it down for me was that Merz hardly ever brings attention to the fact that Lawson is a vampire. It’s touched on a couple times (in regards to eating and ...more
This book really has it all! Vampires, paranormal elements, ninjas, humor, and gusto! I REALLY enjoyed it and found it to be a fast paced read with the right amount of action, drama, and of course some kick butt martial arts.
This is one that the man or woman in your life can read and find enjoyable. It has a great balance for all. You'll be pulled into this one and flipping pages to find out what happens next.
This is book 5 in a series but I'll say that it can certainly stand alone. I haven't r
I received this book as an Early Reviewer, and it is not a series I've heard of before. However, the story is written well enough that anyone can simply drop right in, without having needed to read any of the previous books in the series.[return][return] Some of the vampire mythology has some interesting quirks -- turpentine being deadly because it is a wood product is almost astounding in its simplicity -- and the story of how vampires in Merz's world cope is interesting. It definitely kept me ...more
The novel is written in a fresh style that makes this book a pure pleasure to read. It’s nice to go back to the ‘old’ model of supernatural fiction — where humans aren’t supposed to know about vampires, and vampires aren’t out in the open, and its dangerous for humans to find out about these secret underworlds. Lawson is a Fixer, or someone who has to maintain the human and vampire balance, ensuring that humans don’t find out about vamps. Overall, a good novel if you enjoy vampire PI series like ...more
I enjoyed this series from the beginning and it seems like a long time since I've read anything by this author. The main hero, Lawson, is likable in the fact that though he's a vampire, he is prone to very human doubts and mistakes. And the books are usually set in Boston. I didn't find this book as suspenseful as the last ones,the bad guy in this installment, the Kensei, is met early in the book and maybe this makes him less intriguing than most villans. This book is set in Japan, and I did lik ...more
Suzanne Johnson
Loved this book! Unusual setting (modern Japan), with vampires and half-breed vampires, martial arts, and a sort of Vampire-Human Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I'm glad St. Martin's is letting Jon Merz revive his Lawson Vampire series and hope they re-issue the earlier books. (No prior knowledge of series is required for this book--works as a standalone.)
William P.
Good stuff. I feel like the fact that the main character is a vampire was only sort of important in this novel, but it didn't detract from anything either, so I'm happy. I'm going to have to read the preceding books now, and that's mildly annoying because I really didn't need to toss four more books onto my hydra of a to-read pile.
This was the best Lawson book so far. Read this in one day. Too good to put down. I really like Jon's writing style. He makes the characters believable. They're powerful and sensitive, too. You feel like you know them intimately. Excellent book. I'd recommend this series as an enjoyable one to read.
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As a writer, Jon has published over two dozen novels with major publishers like Kensington's Pinnacle Books, St. Martin's Press, and many more. He is also the author of eleven installments in the internationally bestselling adventure series Rogue Angel (2006-present) with Harlequin's Gold Eagle line. His short fiction story "Prisoner 392" (appeared alongside Stephen King in FROM THE BORDERLANDS, 2 ...more
More about Jon F. Merz...

Other Books in the Series

Lawson the Fixer (6 books)
  • The Fixer (Lawson the Fixer #1)
  • The Invoker (Lawson the Fixer #2)
  • The Destructor (Lawson the Fixer #3)
  • The Syndicate (Lawson the Fixer, #4)
  • The Ripper
The Fixer (Lawson the Fixer #1) Dead Drop: A Lawson Vampire Bonus Story The Invoker (Lawson the Fixer #2) The Destructor (Lawson the Fixer #3) The Syndicate (Lawson the Fixer, #4)

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