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Kaji Warriors


Worth reading 😎

A young alien warrior struggles to prove herself in this fun sci-fi story of battles, beasts, and overcoming fears.

Young adult readers in search of sci-fi action and genuine characters should look no further than Kelly A. Nix’s Kaji Warriors: Shifting Strength. The Kaji people are a strong race of warriors involved in ongoing intergalactic battles. The current queen regent, Queen Sula, even brokered a peace with former rivals. Many members of the Empire do not agree with Sula’s actions, but an influx of other cultures and species have made non-Kaji citizens and hybrid Kaji children part of the Empire.

Atae is one such hybrid and lacks some of the height, strength, and physical characteristics common of the Kaji. Like many hybrids, she does not have a second form. Full-blooded Kaji can shift into “battle beasts” and fight in a lethal, four-legged form. Despite these disadvantages, Atae is a proud Kaji and determined to prove herself at the Sula Academy.

One day, an ambush by two deadly strangers shakes Atae’s pride and confidence. While recovering physically and mentally, Atae prepares to compete in a broadcasted, academy-wide tournament for the chance to enter a prestigious competition called the Gridiron. During the Tournament, Atae realizes that her battle beast is lurking beneath the surface, and she must fight for her spot in the Gridiron while controlling the beast within.

Kaji Warriors has a promising plot and cast of characters, but very slow to start. The author, Kelly A. Nix, alludes to a mysterious plot involving the queen, and I was hoping for more of that story rather than intermittent scenes about it. The main plot itself got bogged down by some of the world building in the beginning, but it did pick up about halfway through with the creative Tournament scenes.

Even with the large chunks of information dropped in the beginning, Nix had a nice balance of world and characters. The main characters have their own goals, motivations, and personalities, and I want to know how they will fit into the queen’s mysterious plans. While some of the characters were frustrating, I enjoyed the rapport and camaraderie among the group during the latter half of the story.

On a technical level, the book struggled with some narrative focus, as the perspective flowed between characters in the same chapters constantly. Although physical characteristics are part of Kaji culture, the overreliance on certain physical descriptions weakened the writing.

With Hunger Games action and fierce aliens, Kaji Warriors: Shifting Strength is great for young adult readers who want a battle royale on another planet.

Reviewed by

I am a passionate, life-long reader, and I've made writing and editing a part of my professional life. I love reviewing pieces to see what works, what doesn't work, and how it can be fixed. I'm even considering going back to school to continue my mission of sharing reading with the world.


About the author

Kelly A Nix is a native-born Texan from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In high school, she competed in rodeo, earned a brown belt in Taekwondo, and strived to be an actress. After graduating with her M.B.A., Kelly spends most of her free time with her family, traveling, and writing. view profile

Published on June 10, 2020

Published by

140000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Science Fiction

Reviewed by