The art of 'arrow cutting' is a ninja skill that fends off or catches arrows coming at the ninja--arrows or shuriken or any other ill-intentioned missiles. That is the least of the information on Japanese martial skills or semi-mythological characters that appears in this very interesting short novel. Past Mercedes Lackey's gaki soul vampire or Wen Spencer's kitsuni fox spirits, with some of Steven Gould's JUMPER---this is chock full of new ideas.
from the back cover---If he'd known all the trouble following her, itinerant photographer Michelangelo "Mage" Magistrale would have thought twice about helping the beautiful, distressed woman at the bus station. In return for a ticket, she gives Mage what she says is the key to her apartment, but he quickly discovers that it's much more than that. It's a key to open any door, to any place, to incredible power--and there are people who will stop at nothing to possess it.
Suddenly Mage is on the run from Calgary to Los Angeles under constant attack from ninja, Yakuza thugs, and terrible creatures ripped from Japanese mythology. His only hope is to discover the secret of the key and master its power--to learn the art of arrow cutting before he comes to the inevitable confrontation with the dark forces pursuing him. Equal parts urban fantasy, black thriller, and Japanese myth . . .