jay kristoff, an award- [ebook download] stormdancer the lotus war book one - stormdancer the lotus war book one pdf format pdf format. by Jay Kristoff. ·. ··3, Ratings. A SHATTERED EMPIREThe mad Shōgun Yoritomo has been assassinated by the Stormdancer Yukiko, and the threat. 1 day ago The Last Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff is Epic An original eNovella set in the world of the Lotus. War before the events of Stormdancer.
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Stormdancer The Lotus War 1 Jay Kristoff. [ebook download] stormdancer the lotus war book one - of your stormdancer the lotus war book one pdf format book . JAY KRISTOFF is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Lotus War, The Illuminae Files and The cover image of Stormdancer. first in an epic new fantasy series introducing stormdancer the lotus war 1 jay kristoff pdf ebook - day trial. [ebook download] stormdancer the lotus war book one.
Other things I loved: Chainsaw katanas. The scenes in which Buruu's humor peeked through. The dangerous politics of an empire controlled by ambitious and ruthless men. The quite topical cry of mercy for a dying land.
I do wish that I felt more for the somewhat under-nuanced secondary characters, however, and that the romance in particular felt more urgent and anguished and real. I've also seen, in passing, a number of reviews that have touched on inaccuracies in Japanese culture and customs. It seems perfectly reasonable and understandable to me that specific knowledge will influence a reader's review of this book; I am mostly and somewhat blissfully unschooled in that area, however, so I found nothing in particular that bothered me.
I also tend to look on fantasy with a more lenient eye true story: Still, it seems worth noting that this is Shima, a place inspired by Japan, not the actual country. This isn't a book that all readers will enjoy and it's certainly not a perfect one, but for many fans of traditional fantasy--or even occasional fantasy readers like me--this wildly imaginative adventure is lightning that strikes in just the right place. Remember the name Jay Kristoff, because this spectacular debut blazes a fiery trail across oft cloud-laden skies.
I for one, cannot wait to be swept away with the next installment of the Lotus War. And I may even get to ride a thunder tiger next time This review also appears in The Midnight Garden. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.
View all 98 comments. You have no idea how badly, badly , I wanted this book to turn out brilliant and smashing and turn into one of those amazingly successful books that takes the publishing world by storm. I mean, really? So, when I read the first three chapters I thought this was great stuff.
Oh, man. I was ready to start running around and screaming its wonders. Until I hit that solid wall soon after. Holy crap. That prose. It drove me crazy and made my eyes wander. There were long passages that described everything in minute detail and these many passages stretched over many, many pages.
One I also hated for the excessive mind-numbing amount of unnecessary overly specific descriptions that were just fluff and not needed. Not to mention I already read enough dense and long articles every day for grad school, my brain does not want to be burdened with more.
There is a lot of use and abuse of the Japanese language in this novel. That does not make sense at all! It really aggravated me when the suffix —sama was used by itself as an address to someone of higher rank.
Excuse me? Sama does not function that way. You do not have that social status or standing or right that refer to them as if you were on equivalent levels. This does not automatically make your speech more polite. There is a lot more to it than that! I don't remember this word being used that much in the novel but my eyes caught on it right away: This is for white collar workers who spend all their time in offices and cubicles.
I'm sorry, you can't just take a word like this and apply it for anything, especially in a historical context because the word is very MODERN. I just want to rip something into shreds. Oh and then there's that "aiya" thing. Aiya means something like "oh no" or an expression of surprise, dismay, or shock when something happens you didn't expect or didn't want to happen.
Like you placed your stack of books on the table and then as soon as you walk away they all fall down. It may have the same phonological similarity but it is NOT Japanese.
It really irritated me when he just threw out random words haphazardly in his sentences. And that hai thing? Hai is not the general universal, yes, or I understood.
You know there are other variations! Like un, sou desu, wakarimashita, ryoukai, kashikomarimashita, all with varying levels of politeness and casualness. And different conjugations. Meh… Another thing that I hated was how the author used simple words to designate his world. Shima means island, so Island Isles? Even putting together random sounds would have been fine as a last resort. The male gaze is pretty prevalent in here. By having guys PEEP on her?
Did we really need that? Ugh, gross. Btw, who are the gaijin anyway? This is never explained or dealt with. Also the lotus thing that everyone gets drunk on… Lotus? Why lotus? They did have that back then, you know. Haiku is not the be all and end all of Japanese poetry, you know? Being able to write beautiful poems was a point of pride back then.
I remember the manyoushuu being brought up and it was called, The Book of a Thousand Deaths, or I dunno some ridiculous title like that. Something Shadows on the Moon or the Eon: I know there are exceptions like some ethnic Chinese groups or Mongolian people although this is contested as there may have been crossing way back when but for regular pure-blooded Japanese people, this is practically impossible.
I can go on and on and on but this review is heinously long. To sum it up quickly: Bitterly disappointing. I am not happy. Not at all. View all 47 comments. Well, if there's one book that has had a hype machine going for it this year, it's Jay Kristoff's Stormdancer. No, not a hype machine. More like a hype combine harvester. I've seen this book being talked about so much over the past year, and naturally, I bought into the hype.
It had to be good if so many people were talking about it, right? Stormdancer tells the story of Yukiko Kitsune, who joins her father on a hunt for a rare beast - an arashitora , which literally translates to 'thunder tiger'. Basically, a griffin. Yukiko and her father take to the skies in an airship, and succeed in capturing the supernatural beastie, but their new cargo uses his powers to cause the ship to crash into the mountains.
While there, Yukiko earns the trust of the griffin which she names Buruu , fights demons, and learns of a conspiracy to take down the shogun. And that's the story in a nutshell. Now, I really feel like disclaiming this review with a big old 'it's not you, it's me' , or 'this just wasn't my cup of tea'. But that's what I find really strange about this book.
How could I not enjoy this? It's got telepathic samurai girls, griffins, demons, Shinto mythology, a dystopian steampunk setting, and it's set in feudal Japan! That alone sets it apart from most of what you see on the YA shelves of any given book shop. I like anime, manga, and all the other typical nerdy Japanese things, I used to practice kendo and karate, and I used to take Japanese after-school classes!
So, I don't quite know why Stormdancer wasn't my particular cup of koucha. To be fair, Stormdancer does have a lot of good things going for it. This book has some really beautiful prose at points, it's always nice to see a badass action heroine, and I genuinely liked Buruu, the griffin. If you do want a steampunk story with a Japanese setting, you wouldn't go too wrong with Stormdancer. That genre is a very small field, after all. My main problem with the book was that it was so incredibly… boring.
It's not the kind where you feel like the author has taken a vacuum cleaner to any interesting parts of the story, it's just very clunky, and certain parts the beginning, the time on the airship drag on forever. Thankfully, they get less clunky as the story goes on, and the story nicely wrapped itself up in the last 30 pages, but still.
You know the beautiful prose I spoke of precisely two paragraphs ago? That is a plus about this book, but… moderation, folks. Sometimes while reading this book, I felt like I was wading through a peat bog.
The writing just didn't keep my full attention, and I just longed for simplicity at points. Another qualm I have with this book is the lack of research. It's not that the author has no idea about Japanese culture, or historical authenticity. We're not looking for that, of course. Stephen King once rightly said that research should be firmly in the back of the story, because nobody wants to read a dissertation on the New York sewer system for the sake of authenticity if your characters have to pass through those murky waters.
Paraphrased from On Writing , Mr. King's excellent memoir. However, Kristoff really fell foul of this rule. In the first part of the book, we are subjected to very, very lengthy passages about Shinto mythology. Raijin, Susano-ou, Lady Izanami, Amaterasu, etc. It's nice to see that the author knows the legends and mythology, but I soon dreaded every moment where a character would sit down and pretty much say: Nor does it work when characters bounce these stories back and forth between each other, mostly in the first act of this novel.
Other parts of the research were just… just… argh! Look at the second question in this interview. I've had people ask if I did a degree in Japanese studies, but the closest I've come is reading all six volumes of Akira in a week.
I have a friend who lives in Japan who I bounce ideas off too. Stormdancer itself seems to take place in this weird pseudo-Japan, called 'Shima'. There are pandas, people seem to use Cantonese expressions of exasperation, and there are parts where characters talk about how a word has x number of syllables - when in Japanese it actually has y amount of syllables - and people bow the way a kung fu practitioner would to their sifu, and there's not much detail paid to the clothing of the period.
Our main heroine Yukiko is put into a juunihitoe at one point - a twelve-layered kimono that only ladies of the court wore. Yukiko also shrugs on a thin kimono at one point. There's no such thing as a thin kimono; a yukata maybe, but not a kimono. People might call an Asian-style robe or a long silky cardigan a 'kimono' in the West, but not in Japan.
Kimono are extremely expensive, for one thing, and they normally require assistance to get into, whether it's a full-on ceremonial kimono, or a furisode worn by unmarried women. But what do you expect when this novel was informed by a glut of anime and Wikipedia research?
There's a reason why university professors scream at their students if they source Wikipedia in their essays! The speech patterns were another bugbear for me. People say 'hai' all the time, and it just sounds really weird. There's also the matter of the author's constant use of 'sama' to mean 'sir' or 'milord'. On its own. In Japanese, honorifics are added onto the end of somebody's name, and although there are some honorifics where you don't use somebody's name i.
Yukiko would be referred to as, say, 'Kitsune-sama'. Not just 'sama'. I worry for the potential readership of this book. I knew some of the words here and there shogun, uwagi, tantou, oni , but everything else I had to Google-fu.
Only after finishing this book did I find out that there actually was a glossary. This isn't exactly good for those reading the e-book, like I did. It forces you to jump back and forth all the time, and I can imagine it's very annoying reading the physical copy and having to flip to the glossary every two minutes because you don't know some Japanese word. I imagined reading this as somebody who knew nothing about the Japanese culture or language, and it was very frustrating.
Shall I write something in French to illustrate my point? I think I will. Forgive me if it's a little bit rusty. Yukiko sensed quelquechose. She knew it must have been le dieu de la guerre , but she couldn't be too certain.
Buruu, le griffon who helped her escape from a monstre earlier, cocked his head. Oui , thought Yukiko. I will sleep on it. Eragon 's glossary was nice and succint, and I only had to look at the map once or twice.
With Stormdancer , though, this went way overboard. I just don't see what would have been wrong with writing: Or 'tunic' in place of 'uwagi'.
Not the kind of thing your average anime fan would know, let alone somebody with no experience in Japanese whatsoever. In summation, the first act was definitely the most problematic. The world-building and mythology becomes incredibly dense, and I found it really hard to care or connect with any of the characters. The action scenes were always fun to read, and there's plenty of badassery going on hell, I love the idea of the chain-katana!
It's just a shame this awesome concept fell so short for me. This review is also available on my blog: View all 57 comments. Trick question? The first thing that came to my mind after finishing Stormdancer was the very eloquent: The second more composed chain of thought was something along the lines of: Stormdancer had it all for me.
Richly crafted world building, carefully placed humor, realistic characters, unpredictable storyline I mean, I could go on and on here! This book was freakin' awesome! I went into Stormdancer expecting to fall in love with it because it The first thing that came to my mind after finishing Stormdancer was the very eloquent: I went into Stormdancer expecting to fall in love with it because it has such an awesome premise.
Which is saying something because I'm not a huge fan of Steampunk. I loved this book. Prepare yourselves, friends Right off the bat the reader is immersed into Shima's culture with no hand holding from Kristoff whatsoever. The beginning is intelligently planned and doesn't insult the reader with countless explanations of terms, locations and titles.
That's what a glossary is for. Thankfully, Stormdancer has one, which I found myself visiting often at first. However, those visits tapered off as I became more familiar with the story. It's almost like watching your favorite anime with subtitles. In the beginning you're doing a lot of reading, but halfway through you find yourself catching on, getting lost in the story, following along easier without the need of your training wheels. Good stuff, people. Good stuff. The plot rocked my socks.
It all revolves around a flower called "blood lotus" that fuels their machinery and the population's drug addiction to it. The Shogun believes he is destined to be a legendary Stormdancer , riding the back of a Thunder Tiger, leading his army to victory against an enemy he plans to enslave for further production of the plant that's choking the life from his country. Throw in Samurai with clockwork armory, a telepathic griffin and chainsaw katanas and you, my friend, have got yourself a damn good time.
The characterizations are phenomenal. I absolutely loved Yukiko. She's incredibly smart, fierce and independent. And her voice felt very real to me as a female. The best part of Stormdancer hands down was Buruu the griffin. When he and Yukiko first meet up he affectionately refers to her as "insect" and "monkey. He sounds like Zordon from the Power Rangers in my head. But with attitude. I found myself laughing every time they interacted.
His development was also an interesting one because he starts off with a simpler mind, thinking short choppy violent thoughts, with no understanding of sarcasm, only blood. But as the novel progresses you can see his sentence structure improving and his thoughts becoming more humane darn!
It was all a very smooth transition until I couldn't see the final Buruu any other way. What's that you say? You find it impossible that I can find no fault with Stormdancer? Well, that's not entirely true. But keep in mind this is coming from someone who doesn't read a lot of High Fantasy or Steampunk. Basically, ignore me. If there was one thing that bothered me, it was the beginning. It felt a little slow for me with the myriads of description after description.
When my best friend asked me in the beginning what I thought of Stormdancer I told her it was kinda like when Rowling went nuts on describing the Weasley house. And her reply was, "Yes! I love tons of descriptions. For once. Don't worry, I'll be back to being the "kool" one soon enough.
So why did I give it 5 stars? Why not 4? Truthfully, for about half the book I thought, "Okay, 4 stars for sure. Oh, and when the minor character, Michi, started going into splits, cutting dudes to shreds!! And then with the plot twists! But it was awesome! And that ending?!
So much win and I never saw it coming! And damn you Kristoff for making me shed a tear! Who knew my cold, dead heart was capable of such emotions? But you know what they say, "The lotus must bloom. I am very thankful that salt wasn't poured into the wound with a cliffhanger, but I feel like a desperate lotus addict looking for book two to magically appear on my bookshelf. So I'll just be over here rocking back and forth waiting for my bookish fix.
ARC was provided by the publisher. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. Doubt me not, friends. These are my honest thoughts. Kristoff happened to write a book and I happened to love it. More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog. Like, wow.
Need book two. I hear Mr. Kristoff does not believe in happy endings. That roughly translates into sucker punching your emotions and then proceeding to stomp them, probably with a bloody smile on his face.
He should expect my therapy bill in the mail. In case you were wondering: Yes, Stormdancer is as badass as its cover suggests. Review most definitely to come.
Alas, I'm not allowed to post it until August 1st. Just remember that it hurts me more than it does you.
Well, maybe not Check out the badass US cover! Don't forget to stop on over to Cuddlebuggery for a chance to win an ARC! This cover screams, "I'm going to cut you. Just saw the UK cover! Must acquire at all costs. View all 95 comments. Apr 04, Patrick added it. What's this? A Japanese Steampunk novel with mythical creatures and a strong female protagonist? Yeah, I'm all over that. Though honestly, you had me at "Japanese Steampunk.
That means it could undergo some changes between now and when it's printed in September. Simply said, I liked it. Plus, y'know, Japanese steampunk View all 10 comments.
The Lotus Wars Series
Jul 30, Dan Schwent rated it it was amazing Shelves: When the Shogun demands someone bring him an arashitora griffin , a group of adventurers gos on an airship voyage to capture the beast, long thought to be extinct.
The airship goes down and a girl named Yukiko befriends the captured arashitora. Can the two of them be reunited with Yukiko's friends and overthrow the Shogun? I received this ARC from the fine folks at St. It's freeness does not diminish its awesomeness. Not too long ago, I got an email asking if I wanted to give Stormdance When the Shogun demands someone bring him an arashitora griffin , a group of adventurers gos on an airship voyage to capture the beast, long thought to be extinct.
Not too long ago, I got an email asking if I wanted to give Stormdancer a try. Once I read the phrases "steampunk feudal Japan" and "free," I was sold. Stormdancer takes place in a fantasy version of feudal Japan, one with an environment fouled by the blood lotus, a plant that blights the land but has many beneficial properties, like being smoked or turned into a super-fuel. Thus, the island nation of Shima has an impressive empire, ruled by mad and cruel Shogun.
Yukiko, the heroine, is the daughter of an aging hero Masaru, The Black Fox, and a yokai, one of the people touched by the spirits.
The Yokai are relentlessly hunted by The Lotus Guild, armored machine-men who keep the Shima technology moving forward. If I had one gripe about the book, it's that it takes a little while for the main plot to kick off. To be fair, though, there is a ton of worldbuilding that needs to be done before then. Anyway, once Yukiko meets the arashitora, the book grabs on tight and doesn't let go. I found myself getting really attached to the characters and probably would have went into seclusion if Buruu had died.
The relationship between Buruu and Yukiko was my favorite part of the book. You know how most steampunk seems to be Paranormal Romance with some gears and brass added on? Stormdancer is not one of those. This book is jam packed with interesting concepts, like the Iron Samurai, the Lotus Guild, ninja cells with agents hidden everywhere, yokai, the list goes on and on. Still skeptical? Two words: The ending was poignant yet satisfying. If one were so inclined, one could read this book and not read the subsequent volumes and be satisfied.
I'll be continuing, though. Five easy stars. I did a blog interview with Jay Kristoff here. He's a hilarious guy so download his book. View all 42 comments. Sep 05, TheBookSmugglers rated it did not like it. There is a story behind my reading of Stormdancer and it starts months ago when the author first contacted us to introduce his upcoming book. That email remains one of the best book pitches we have received, and the book was described as a dystopian novel in a Japanese-inspired Steampunk setting with a strong girl as its protagonist.
We loved the idea, as it sounded like it was a book made for The Book Smugglers Dystopia! Kick-ass Girls! In the ensuing months we were one of the many people creating hyper around the book, we participated in its cover reveal and interviewed Jay Kristoff in our September Newsletter. Basically, I was predisposed to like it. That is, until I became predisposed not to like it.
Whilst I am able to shut my ears to all sorts of criticism before I read a book in order to make my own mind up about it, when it comes to cultural appropriation especially of cultures not my own , I listen. A couple of interviews with the author including, unfortunately, our own did not assuage my fears — in fact, they may have exacerbated them. It strikes me that my reading experience of Stormdancer is emblematic of not only the power of reviews but also of the increasing flow of information about authors — all of that available to anyone who bothers looking for it, before we even start reading a book.
Reading does not happen in a vacuum and this is more true now with the increasing amount of information available online. In that sense it was impossible for me to dissociate myself from my reaction to those reviews and interviews and thus, I started reading the book under the weight of conflicting emotions and being hyper-aware to these potential issues. Interestingly enough, I had several problems with the novel but none of the problems I personally had related to the Japan-inspired setting — but I will get back to this latter affirmation further down.
There is a good book idea here somewhere. The premise is fabulous. There is a believable Dystopian world although in a less believable Steampunk setting where an evil overlord exploits the lands and its people and they accept it all because of a cultural concept of honour and devotion to their leaders.
The main character Yukiko and her arc were actually pretty interesting in its basic idea coming of age, quest for revenge, leading a revolution and I really did like the fact that main female is sexually empowered without being shamed for it.
So, as I said, there is a good book idea here somewhere — but the execution left a lot to be desired. To sum up some of my feelings: The first or so pages are basically exposition and descriptions. Paragraph after paragraph of info-dump where things are described in minutia there is a very long paragraph, for example, describing the clothes someone is wearing. I am not a fan of exposition at best of times and this drove me to distraction.
As the story progresses though, the level of exposition diminishes somewhat and becomes a bit more manageable and the story flows better. Storylines progress far too quickly, events happen at speed of light without a lot of depth or actual development. For example: She forgets all about it after a few hours in the company of a group of rebels. Clumsy translation issues: In fairness, I thought it did get a little better in the latter chapters in terms of plot.
Which brings me to the topic of Cultural Appropriation and the Japanese culture as depicted in this book. Was it well done? Was it done respectfully? Was Japan a mere source of aesthetics, superficial inspiration that exploited nothing but its stereotypes?
To be honest? Because I know fuck-all about Japanese culture. And that is why I really appreciate reading those reviews and then those interviews cited above. Because I know nothing about Japan, when I pick up a book to read that is so obviously inspired by Japanese culture, I expect the author to have done their research well. I trust the author to have done their research.
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This whole experience to me, speaks to the trust between reader and author. When I get a book that is inspired by Japan I implicitly trust the author to do it right. To at least attempt do it responsibly and respectfully. But then you start reading reviews by people who DO know and they point out mistakes ranging from misrepresentation of concepts to the wrong use of language and you realise that there is something wrong with this picture. That the people behind a book author, editor could not be bothered with really simple things in terms of research that even people like me who are not experts at all can tell is wrong after a simple Google search.
For me, it will always be something like: And that is what I have to say about my experience with Stormdancer. Well, what can I say to follow that?
Ana has expressed a good majority of my feelings and experiences with Stormdancer. I, too, was ridiculously excited to read this book — because Japanese-inspired dystopian steampunk world starring a kick-ass young heroine?!
And then it was time to finally read Stormdancer. I also appreciate the idea of the world of Shima and the general message decrying the evils of mindless industrialization at the sacrifice of the natural world.
And, while Jay Kristoff does have a natural skill with description, there is a whole lotta repetition going on. She touched the fox tattoo sleeving her right arm, tracing its nine tails in prayer. Which brings me to the next section of this ponderings post, and the main problem with Stormdancer — the cultural appropriation. The — as one apt goodreads reviewer puts it — weeaboo fuckery.
I am not a scholar of Japanese culture, nor am I Japanese. That said, I do know a bit about Japan having lived in Kobe and Fukuoka for four years, and having attended a public Japanese school. While today my Japanese is rusty at best, I am comfortable saying that I know a bit about Japan. So please believe me when I say that for all that Stormdancer is set in a mythical place called the Shima Isles, this is clearly Japan. These characters speak in Japanese.
This is especially irritating because had the author or editor, or copyeditor! Finally, I just want to put out one last note. I fucking go batshit when I see this.
And yes, a character in this text — the lusted-after teenage samurai lord — has sea-green eyes. And that is all I have to say about that. View all 6 comments. Someone please make it stop View all 9 comments.
Aug 08, Robin Bridge Four rated it really liked it. Just to give you a little history most everything I know about Japanese culture I learned from Mulan. What I can tell you is that this is about a Girl with a sword who went on a quest to find a hippogriff Thunder Tiger to give to the Emperor but found that doing the honorable thing might be the worst decision of her life.
There is lots of other stuff too like a world bound in poverty and sludge and addicted to a flower that either kills or addicts everything it touches. There is also a power struggle between the Emperor who has been fighting a war against the west and a conglomerate of people, the Guild, who dress completely in metallic suits various compartments for all your gadget needs that never let the world see the people underneath.
The Guild controls everything about the Lotus flower that is controlling the entire populace and have a tendency to burn people at the stake that they find impure a. It takes a little while for the story to pick up and get going. All the Japanese names and the world take some time to build up. There are flying ships and the city reminded me of something dirty and much like the times in the industrial revolution.
Kin watched them mutely, wondering what passed between them.
What a strange thing for the Guild to want to exterminate. What a wonderful gift. To never be alone. Maybe that was why they were afraid. Truth in the Guild was a dangerous thing. There is also some talk of honor since this is a story with Samuri in it.
But I think that it is more a story of breaking away from traditions and choosing what is the honorable path for yourself. This is the code of the warrior. I am samurai before all, Yukiko. To wield the long and the short sword and to die.
This is my purpose. There were a few deaths that happened off page that I thought could have been more dramatic. View all 13 comments. This book has a thunder tiger in it. It is as awesome as it sounds.
The story is set in a re-imagined - steampunk! Lotus is a plant which serves as the main source of the economy. But it pollutes the air and part of the plant is used as an extremely addictive drug. It can also be made into fuel for airships and vehicles, but is toxic to the soil, so crops do not do well except with the "special" fertilizer that most people can't affo This book has a thunder tiger in it.
It can also be made into fuel for airships and vehicles, but is toxic to the soil, so crops do not do well except with the "special" fertilizer that most people can't afford. It destroys people's lungs, so most people are sick and poor and animals are all but extinct.
Nice world, huh? Yukiko is the main character. I liked her. She is a hunter like her father, who serves the Shogun. Well, the Shogun has the brilliant idea that he wants one of these "thunder tigers," so commands commissions a trip to a remote mountainous region to find one. And the hunting crew better find one to bring back.
Or else. So we have lots of things unfolding in this story. Teenage girl growing up and discovering things aren't as rosy as she thought.
Girl meets boy. Girl meets insurgent types. Girl meets another boy don't worry it's not an annoying love triangle. Intense feely scenes at the end. There is a TON of world-building in this and some of it is complicated with hard-to-pronounce words - and a LOT of words that will be new to you. I don't think that should discourage you, though. This is my second Kristoff book, having read his newest one, Nevernight , first.
I think his writing skills have improved a lot just in a few years! I can't wait to read the next one in this trilogy! This did not bother me since it is fantasy. I think authors can recreate, change, tweak whatever they want - and it's also steampunk.
View all 5 comments. This is how the rain becomes a flood. One drop at a time. As hard as it is to understand it at first, once you become a part of it, it is unlikely to ever let you go. It is a grim, filthy world, poisoned by blood lotus, a plant that kills the land it grows from and is used for everything from fuel to drugs. It is a world of stark contrasts — excessive wealth and excessive poverty, mythical creatures and technology.
Not much in it can be described as beautiful, and yet, the beauty of it in its entirety is undeniable. It is reminiscent of the most intricate filigree work. And yet, in many ways, this stunning, complex world quickly becomes overshadowed by the characters.
Each of them was created just like the world was — slowly, with much attention to details, in a million layers, some more important than others. Yukiko herself cannot be reduced to a one-sentence description, but what truly surprises me is that none of the characters can either. They are all so many things at once, their histories interconnected, their stories all somehow related.
Everything has an explanation, everyone carries some trauma and hurt, and every single character has hidden motives. Among them, the thunder tiger stands out as the most fascinating by far. He is truly a magnificent creature, powerful and fiercely intelligent, yet tender and caring toward Yukiko, his Stormdancer.
The hindquarters of a white tiger, rippling muscle bound tight beneath the snow-white fur, slashed with thick bands of ebony. The broad wings, forelegs and head of a white eagle, proud and fierce; lightning reflected in amber irises and pupils of darkest black.
All good things come at a price and with Stormdancer, that price is your patience. View all 21 comments. I am judging every single person who has blurbed and recced this book. Leaving aside the criticisms of cultural appropriation and there are many criticisms to be made, believe me , this book has some serious gender issues and proves why many female readers do not trust male authors who claim to have written a "strong female character.
And even putting that aside, the story is jus I am judging every single person who has blurbed and recced this book. And even putting that aside, the story is just not that good. It's pacing is slow -- it takes pages before anything really happens. Because the first pages are devoted to clumsy infodumping, which only highlights the superficial cultural research. There are plot cliches everywhere. The romance, such that it is, makes me roll my eyes because it's a classic Nice Guy tm fantasy.
It's just very disappointing. This is a book that got a lot of buzz, and part of that buzz is because of the setting. Except it's exoticized, fetishized Othering and it's bothersome to think that the kind of books that get that amount of attention only support the failtastic Orientialism that's been in the fantasy genre for decades. We haven't moved past this? In conclusion: View all 16 comments. I read the words: So I did. And now I'm torn, because the words "Japanese Steampunk" deserve five stars for even existing , but the book The blurb sounded fantastic - all the elements I could ever want in a steampunk story Or even any genre kind of story.
I went through lots and lots of rave enthusiastic r [Made some major edits - Oh, and read the end of the review, please. I went through lots and lots of rave enthusiastic reviews. And, OMG, chainsaw. I expected so, so much from this story, and perhaps that's why it failed to deliver what I was looking for. While I was reading, all I could think about was how oddly detached I was from the characters.
The only character I actually liked was Buruu, and possibly Lady Aisha, and even that was a very tentative, fleeting sort of 'like'. The character development was minimal and, well, soggy at best - I know its there, but it wasn't good enough. Not by a longshot. Everyone is 2-dimensional and flat. Flat like steamrolled flat; there is literally no depth to these characters. Of course, there were some good lines in there, like view spoiler [ "Feathers grow back.
Sisters do not. World building went on forever, and ever, and ever, and ever. It was unnecessary, to say the least. Usage of Japanese terms and language was overdone and added to the confusion, because they weren't woven in properly. I'm annoyed, because its what we Malaysians use. D Singaporeans do, too - but I have never, ever, ever heard a Japanese say anything the least bit similar to 'aiyah!
Those are just things I felt uncomfortable with in the book - There are some things about this book that just outright didn't cut it for me. You can't just fling Japanese words around and market it as a Japanese story.
That's not how it works, and it really doesn't work here. This is most obvious in the way the characters interact with each other. There is something distinctly un-Japanese about how they address or relate to one another, and in their actions towards each other. Perhaps its different for other readers, but I see it very clearly, and it bothers me. No, seems like I'm not alone with this. And there are some hugeass glaring ones. I feel the need to reiterate this point: I reread a first few chapters in the hope my opinion would improve They were almost always unnecessary and got really annoying to sift through.
Even worse, the terms that I did know were a result of many long hours spent watching anime and reading manga - I can't even begin to imagine how the readers who never indulge in the pastime get through the insane amount of Japanese word-dropping that goes on.
I notice the author has three chapters up for previews. Take the father-daugther relationship. Yukiko was outright rude and whiny to her father in public at the beginning of the story. I know I once got disciplined in public for being rude to my dad - and Yukiko throws a tantrum instead. Oh boy. This may seem like a little thing, but the whole novel consists of odd non-Asian moments like this. And that bit where she was allowed to just walk away after downright insulting the group of adults smoking whatever flower it was?
Certainly it was adorable - but it was unbelievable. I simply had to compare it to the Toothless-Hiccup relationship in How To Train Your Dragon because there are many similarities in the circumstances, but the similarity ends there.
The Toothless-Hiccup relationship took lots of time and effort, and there was a slow, obvious forming of a lasting bond of trust that was ultimately rewarding and touching for both characters. Not so much in the Yukiko-Buruu bond. It happened too quickly, even with Yukiko's ability to view spoiler [talk to animals hide spoiler ] - one moment, they severely mistrusted each other and the next, they were the I-love-you dynamic brother sister fighting duo?
I have to say that I was looking forward to their character and relationship development the most, and so it was in this aspect that I was the most disappointed. You want a romance aspect to your novel? Fine with me, I'd prefer it, in fact. However, the romance within this novel was so badly written that I think it even detracted from the dramatic tension a little bit.
Yukiko is at her worst when her romance scenes are written, and I honestly hate the view spoiler [samurai guy she sleeps with. Why can't Yukiko?!?! All she ever thinks about is how green his eyes are. Does she ever notice anything else about him!? InstaLove rears its ugly head YET again; I loathe it, and its like Kristoff can't be bothered to even attempt to write it well.
They're rare like unicorns, but they exist. This was not one of those instances, plus it comes with miserable and unneeded Love Triangle! Stop, please, I beg you. This kind of thing ruins a story, and its not like it needed any further ruination after all the weak characterization and plot that goes on.
I'm annoyed with this novel, because I really, really want to like it - but I don't. Its nothing special, and I've read so many better ones. The one star you see is just the star that I have to accord on account of the words "Japanese Steampunk". I can't give anything higher than that, because it simply wouldn't be true.
Yep, so I waver between two stars and one star a lot. After some contemplation, one star it is - I've read far worse books, as much as this one sucks. I wish for negative stars, but Goodreads just isn't accommodating like that The ending, of all things, just reads like a failed attempt at the dramatic tension that happens in Hunger Games or similar dystopian novels.
This book made me really fucking mad. I'll admit, I was a little leery of Stormdancer from the start - Japanese steampunk sounds cool, but coming from a white western author, the chances of problematic weeaboo fuckery are high. Plain old appropriation. Yet for some reason, I didn't really peg Stormdancer as a weeaboo outing.
I don't know why. There was no good reason, and yet, I expected Kristoff to be a scholar of some sort, or at least, to do some very in-depth, scholarly research, borne of a deep interest in, and respect for, Japanese culture. And while even that could have also potentially yielded something problematic, at least it would have been sincere.
What I thoroughly did NOT expect to get was a book informed by fucking Wikipedia and anime, set in Japan for the sake of novelty. That came as a genuine shock. And a dramatic rise in blood pressure. The thing is, that Wikipedia part? You can kinda tell. I mean, the first hundred pages or so of Stormdancer, basically until the airship crashes, are a chore to wade through, mostly because of the Wikipedia-esque info dumps.
It takes almost exactly half of those pages to make any progress on the plot. I understand wanting to set the scene and acquaint readers with the world, but Jesus Herbet Christ, get on with it already.
Work this stuff in to the action. Make me not want to put the book down out of sheer boredom. I mean, I haven't even gotten the chance to get angry yet. Making the world-building harder to parse are the Japanese words and terms strewn throughout the descriptions, most of which assume a familiarity with the culture that many readers just won't have. I had to break out the Google more than once to give myself a better mental image of what was going on, and though many of the terms aren't exactly vital to the story, it was still annoying as hell.
I want to be able to see this shit in my head, to get what's going on, and it doesn't help when half of the words are in Japanese just for the flavor of it. It's one thing when a word doesn't have an English analog; it's another when you're including easily translatable and even borrowed words, like "sarariman" seriously? At the very least it's unnecessarily confusing.
There is a glossary in the back of the book that would have been quite helpful to know about while in the midst of those first fifty pages, but if you're an e-reader like me, you wouldn't have realized it's there until you actually made it to that page Perhaps print readers will be able to make better use of it. But blah blah blah, detail-heavy writing, I can skim past that. My only issue was boredome until I started noticing all of the shit got wrong.
Then my head began hitting the desk. And okay, preface: I'm not an expert on Japan, nor am I Asian.
I've never studied the country or the language formally. I've got little knowledge outside of what I learned in my own weeaboo phase, from, yes, mostly manga and anime.
And YET I still came across glaring errors, repeated errors, stupid errors, errors that made it impossible to read through a conversation without wanting to strangle someone, and errors that lead to questions about some very basic assumptions of the book.
The Last Stormdancer (The Lotus Wars, #0.6)
Let's start with my primary nails-on-a-chalkboard issue, the usage of the words "hai" and "sama", shall we? Here are a few examples of these words in action in Stormdancer: Sama: "That is more than fair. Thank you, sama. The sea dragon who consumed the island of Takaiyama. Hai: "These cloudwalkers were men of the kitsune clan, hai?
The man who stood beside my father as he slew the last nagaraja of Shima will not be trouble by a simple thunder tiger, hai? And both together, for a double-slap to the face of any immersion you've managed to scrounge up: "Sama, please. Enough for one day, hai?Thank you, sama. Remember the name Jay Kristoff, because this spectacular debut blazes a fiery trail across oft cloud-laden skies.
Just because it's Japanese. This book has some really beautiful prose at points, it's always nice to see a badass action heroine, and I genuinely liked Buruu, the griffin. He's kinda important. Thankfully, they get less clunky as the story goes on, and the story nicely wrapped itself up in the last 30 pages, but still.
The character development is strong and I particularly like Buruu and the relationship he has with Yukiko. She knew it must have been le dieu de la guerre , but she couldn't be too certain.