Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Book Review: Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Author: Jay Kristoff
Published: September 1st, 2012
Publisher: Tor
Pages: 451
Rating: 3/5

Griffins are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shogun, they fear that their lives are over. Everyone knows what happens to those who fail him, no matter how hopeless the task.

But the mission proves far less impossible, and far more deadly, than anyone expects – and soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country's last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled griffin for company. But trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and Buruu soon discover a friendship that neither of them expected.

Meanwhile, the country around them verges on the brink of collapse. A toxic fuel is slowly choking the land; the omnipotent, machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure; and the Shogun cares about nothing but his own dominion. Yukiko has always been uneasy in the shadow of power, when she learns the awful truth of what the Shogun has done, both to her country and to her own family she's determined to do something about it.

Returning to the city, Yukiko and Buruu plan to make the Shogun pay for his crimes – but what can one girl and a flightless griffin do against the might of an empire?

Deskynowsky's Review:
This is going to be totally subjective of me.... At the end, this book won me over and I ended up liking it.. *silent applause*

So lemme tell U this.. People who are Japanese, students of East Asian studies or Japanese Literature, huge fans of Japanese Mangas/Anime/Music/Drama/Film or like me who happened to grow up and still until today with Japanese entertainment medias (Mangas/Anime/Music/Drama/Film) so have enough/decent knowledge of everything Japanese.. Probably will criticize this book coz that was the first thing that I did when I read half way through the book..

Am not saying that I am an expert of Japanese culture because I am not.... But I think the author needs to do more in depth research on the general Japanese custom or culture during the feudal times where I think this book based on and twisted it with the steampunk touch and supernatural.. People who watch Anime and read Manga of Samurai X, Inuyasha, and Sakura Wars will understand what I am really saying here.. The fist wrapping thing, I never seen that custom on any Japanese customary in feudal times or any time.. I believe it is more the custom in Chinese martial arts.. Then I kinda have problem with the name calling, you guys who learn or have learned Japanese calling hierarchy must know how complex this thing.. Yeah, so in the first half, I found the name calling in the book was not what I expected esp when I already used to read or watch Japanese mangas or animes or tv series or movies.. So it was really hard not to compare it..

I also have problem with the writing style, it was too over descriptive so it felt meaningless at some point.. This book had a really slow and dragging development.. And almost ALMOST cheesy in the romance department..

And you guys, this book had REALLY DIFFICULT Japanese terminologies! I was saved because I used to these terms coz I was kinda grew up with it (watched animes since I was a baby maybe) and I did learn Japanese language for two years.. But for people who don't have the knowledge, It will confuse you, but there was Glossary at the back of the book which I just realized after like 150ish pages into it.. Hmm.. Just a mild reminder for U who want to read the book.. There is Glossary at the back.

So why a quite high rating.. When I could overlook all those flaws, this book was pretty engaging.. I probably started enjoying it after halfway through it.. The story did get better and had faster pace than the first half of the book.. Tho the writing style was still kinda too over descriptive that kinda gave me a headache.. The romance, when you think it was going to fall to cheesy category with "the beautiful boy with green eyes", you are wrong.. And Kin, I like this character way more than the female protagonist who was also the main character in the book.. I personally like Kin so very much, I think his story was really interesting and I wish for more of him.. And I also like the world building so far.. The ending was kinda satisfying and cliffhanger-ish at the same time that make you were wondering "and what happen next"..

So that was my review.. At the end I enjoyed it and liked it too.. Can't wait to read the sequel!!! (Hope there will be more of Kin.....) :)

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