Bookanistas Review: Removed (The Nogiku Series 1) by S.J. Pajonas and a Giveaway!!!!

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I am so excited to share REMOVED (The Nogiku Series #1) by my wonderful friend S.J. Pajonas!!!!!


Duty knows no family. Love has no price. Secrets can cost you everything.

Twenty-year-old Sanaa Griffin, a sweet and smart half-Japanese girl, is about to get more than she bargained for when she wishes for love and excitement on New Year’s Eve 3103. Mark Sakai, who knows more about her than any stranger should, thinks Sanaa is the perfect person to spy on the heads of the three biggest Japanese clan leaders in Nishikyō. He wants her to gather enough evidence to keep them from going to war when they land on Earth’s colonization planet, Yūsei. Nishikyō, built by the Japanese 300 years ago to house the rest of mankind, is failing and everyone is preparing to leave.

Sakai has known Sanaa’s family all her life but she knows nothing of him! And despite all the time they spend together, he keeps his distance from her. Then one day, he brings her to Jiro, his nephew, to learn sword fighting, and it changes her life irrevocably. Between falling in love with Jiro and the information she is gathering on the clans, Sanaa realizes Sakai is holding back secrets about her family and her deceased parents, secrets as to why she was chosen for this job, and learning the truth puts her and all of Nishikyō in danger.

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Kimberly’s Review of REMOVED:

Both in life and in my reading material, I haven’t done a lot of delving into the Japanese culture. I recently got my first literary taste of Japan in Daisy Whitney’s WHEN YOU WERE HERE, a YA novel that spends part of it’s time in Tokyo. If WHEN YOU WERE HERE was the appetizer for discovering another culture, the New Adult novel REMOVED is the meal and I loved what I was tasting. Both authors won me over with their cultural passion and Pajonas’ captivation with Japan is skillfully woven into her unique vision of the future. REMOVED takes place in 3103, after an environmental decline has forced the remaining 6 million people (most of them of a Japanese heritage) to live under domes in North America. In a unique twinning of the past and the future, Pajonas’ insertion of the Japanese culture is effortless.

This novel has been correctly set up for a series, with a satisfying plot arc and enjoyable cliff hanger for the first book, all the while maintaining plenty of room for the larger plot lines that umbrella over multiple books. When poorly executed, this is a bit of a pet-peeve of mine and has been responsible for me leaving a series unfinished. In my opinion, Pajonas’ plotting skills are reminiscent of Marissa Meyer’s creativity and organization with the LUNAR CHRONICLES.

While REMOVED is an action-packed novel with a kick-ass heroine, it also has many sections that contain quiet, thoughtful moments. Additionally, there is a steamy, but swoony romance that doesn’t have frustrating love triangle. The sci-fi part of  REMOVED is believable without being weighted down and has plenty of twists in it’s plot to keep me wanting to turn the pages. All of this combined makes REMOVED a book that will capture the interest of readers in a variety of different genres. Think of it like a hybrid of some of your favorite books.

Lastly, I simply love the character of Sanaa. She is complex and that is my favorite kind of person.


About S.J. Pajonas

S. J. Pajonas loves all things Asian but has especially been in love with Japan for as long as she can remember. Writing about Asia and Japan came naturally after studying the culture and language for over 15 years. She studied film and screenwriting first at Michigan State University and eventually segued into fiction once she was no longer working a full-time job as a website programmer for

REMOVED is S. J. Pajonas’s debut work, book one of four in the Nogiku Series. She also writes Women’s Fiction and her upcoming Love in the Digital Age series will be published in 2014.

Stephanie lives with her husband and two children just outside of New York City. She loves reading, writing, film, J- and K-dramas, knitting, and astrology. Her favorite author is Haruki Murakami and favorite book is The Wind-up Bird Chronicles.

Now go out and buy your own copy of REMOVED…

Amazon (Paperback):
Amazon (Kindle):
Barnes & Noble:

Not sure if science fiction is for you? Read the first three chapters of REMOVED on Goodreads…
Read the first three chapters now!

While you’re there enter to win a copy of REMOVED… Goodreads Giveaway or enter here for another opportunity to win…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to see what inspired REMOVED? Check out the Pinterest board for images and videos of Japan, food, geishas, tattoos, and kimono.…

Also Be sure to visit S.J. Pajonas’ blog at for giveaways and posts on the Japanese cultures and traditions that inspired REMOVED and the entire Nogiku Series.

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Looking for more Bookanistas Reviews this week? You know I’ve got them…

What other cultures do you like reading about? Any recommendations? I’ve really been enjoying the Russian elements in Leigh Bardugo’s SHADOW AND BONE.

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4 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. Wow! Thank you for your lovely review, Kim. I’m so glad you enjoyed the book. And, of course, there’s more to come! 🙂

  2. […] Want to know more about Book #1? Check out my Bookanistas review of REMOVED.  […]

  3. […] love this book. #2 in the Nogiku Series. Wait–you didn’t take my advice and read REMOVED? Go back and check it out, fall in love with this quirky, exciting, romantic series and then check […]

  4. […] You can find my review of REMOVED here. […]

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