Book Review: “Ninjas of the 512”

“Ninjas of the 512: A Texas-Sized Satire” is a short novel by Laura Roberts. Apart from the word “satire” in the title, I had no idea what to expect from my fellow Canadian author.

If I had to sum up this entire story in just one simple word, I would choose “hilarious.” My family kept asking me why I was laughing aloud while reading. Ms. Roberts’ voice and humour come through so clearly on the page. She manages to highlight serious political issues, while keeping the tone comedic. I appreciate her tongue-in-cheek analyses of politics, media brainwashing, and what it might take to actually achieve positive change in this day and age.

The heroine of “Ninjas of the 512” is Suzie Jimenez, a Hispanic school teacher in Texas. Suzie is entirely easy to relate to as a character, along with the rest of the cast of this novel. You will recognize archetypes as you read, along with stereotypes that we all encounter on a near-daily basis. The author presents these with wit. Having worked in education, I found myself smiling at approaches I recognized. (For instance, there’s nothing we cannot protest with sufficient posterboard and markers.)

In addition to the funny story Ms. Roberts presented in the novel, I also deeply appreciated the writing itself. I am a grammar nerd at heart, so when I read I am often distracted by formatting errors, typos, or grammatical errors. I found none in this novel. The writing was very polished.

In short, if you find yourself wondering what to read, I would highly recommend this novel. You can download it here:

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