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I’m Reading… Stormdancer

September 27, 2012

I’m on the fence. Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff is one of my most anticipated reads of September and I have  finally gotten my hands on a beautiful copy. But  I’m torn because so far I have read to chapter 8 and I’m not loving it. In fact I keep on be jarred from the story. Why, you ask?  Well, the novel is set in an imagined steampunk Japan. All the characters are Japanese with Japanese names and culture but the dialogue and speech patterns are western, like really really western. Dialogue like this keeps on throwing me from the story:

“So now he’s receiving visions from the gods,” he muttered. “Heavens preserve us.”

“That would be your bloody problem, wouldn’t it?

“I don’t kiss and tell, Lady.”

It’s like the story has been set in Japan just to have a different or new setting but the characters based upon their speech and actions could easily be from anywhere. It feels like lip service to Japan. I’ll keep reading because I really want this book to be brilliant. But so far I’m not getting it. Hopefully Stormdancer will improve 🙂


Series: The Lotus War #1
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: September 13th, 2012
Links: Amazon   Book Depository 


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?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. littlebearries permalink
    September 27, 2012 2:28 pm

    I hate when authors do that… it’s like they do an internet search for “What the kids like, these days” and then write some half-arsed rendition of it. I hope for you that it gets better too.
    It would be interesting to find out, if he includes actual Japanese historical locations, how accurate his descriptions are. I’ve found a lot of authors often phone things in when it comes to location as well… I get the feeling they do a Google search and call it a day.

  2. Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews permalink
    September 27, 2012 9:32 pm

    See my problem with this book is all the lengthy, flowery prose that accompanies a description of a coat or a tail swish. It’s highly annoying. I didn’t really notice the speech because I was drowning in the Japanese culture etc that is a lot to take on.. Still, there are some Japanese words…

    • September 27, 2012 10:30 pm

      I have noticed that but I’ve been fixating on the language. I’m going to try to stop doing that and just enjoy the story. If I can…

    • September 28, 2012 2:18 am

      Oh man, now I have TWO reasons not to read this book. 😦 I think I’ll still give it a try though.

      • Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews permalink
        September 28, 2012 6:47 pm

        I’ve heard plenty of people like it, so do try it! 🙂

  3. September 28, 2012 8:29 pm

    I’ve read some interviews with Kristoff and he’s mentioned that his story is set in a Japanese-inspired world. He has stressed that it’s not actual Japan but a creation of his own that has some similarities to Japan. So maybe this will help you look past the speech variations since it’s not really supposed to be a certain country or culture exactly. I have heard good things about Stormdancer and really want to read it myself.

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