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"Lego: Ninjago: The Search for Zane" is licensed book in the LEGO Ninjago property, one of many themed properties that LEGO developed in the first decade of the 21st century. It is written by a "Kate Howard", but that could be a pseudonym. It was published by Scholastic Books in 2015, and totals 72 pages.

I have read a lot of licensed books, at various levels of quality, and this one was neither good nor terrible. It takes place in a martial arts tournament on a secluded island (a well-known plot), where a sinister martial arts master has gathered competitors, including the four color-coded Ninjago fighters to compete. The four fighters, accompanied by their Sensei, have come in hopes of finding their lost brother Zane. And in the process, to find the mystery of the island, which seems to involve gigantic snakes. I mean, this is a 72 page LEGO-branded book, so don't hope for those mysteries to be too profound. While I am not the target audience, I still found the book to be somewhat lacking. Any time you have one of these "color-coded" sentai series, it is good to know who is the leader, who is the funny one, who is the smart one, etc. I think one of them was the funny one, but I didn't really catch any personality differences between our four Ninjago warriors.

But one of the biggest impediments to this was the fact that these are LEGO minifigs as shown on the cover. Is a minifig just a representation of a normal human, or should I imagine the characters with the comically stout bodies and coffee pot heads of minifigs? When they are hovering on a vine over a waterfall, should I imagine it as a beloved LEGO vine piece, over a stylized brick waterfall, or should I imagine this really happening? And how does this conflict (however non-violent?) fit in with the fact that there is no violence or enmity in the Lego universe? Some of the difficulty for me is that for me, LEGO are still building toys, where the storytelling comes from the building activity, and not storytelling toys with a few visual motifs. My interest in LEGO coincided with the beginning of this shift, but I don't understand the nest of properties and storylines that LEGO has become in the past decade.

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