By: Jay Kristoff

(Japanese Steampunk!)

324 pages

You had me at Japanese Steampunk…

It’s not often that my two favorite things collide in one neat little package like this, so I was determined to love this book no matter what. I was not disappointed. This book is awesome!

Now, I have a hard time reviewing the books I love, because I get all excited, and spew out random things, and become completely incapable of organizing my thoughts. Really, I just want to write I LOVED IT!, and leave it at that, but I’ll do my best to tell you why I loved it.

I love Japan, I love Steampunk, and this book did justice to both. This story is not feudal Japan with a few Steampunk gadgets thrown in. It’s an entirely original Steampunk world based on both modern and historical Japan, with a wonderful sprinkling of Japanese words and concepts throughout. This was fun for me, because I know a little Japanese, but if you don’t, there’s a very thorough glossary at the back…which I didn’t actually notice until I had finished the book. I’m a genius.

On the Steampunk side of things you have a wonderfully corrupt government, nifty technology (airships included), and a broken down world with a serious environmental problem. The blood lotus is brilliant, creating everything from an opium-like drug, to a fuel that pollutes the sky, all while destroying the very land it grows upon. I also liked the idea of this Japanesque country invading and conquering its neighbors on a grand scale, all in the name of growing more lotus.

Throw in an angry arashitora (which is essentially a griffon) and an amazing mythology, with demons and everything, and there’s no way I couldn’t love this book. But what I really loved the most was the arashitora and his relationship with Yukiko, who can communicate with him, a gift that she could be burned at the stake for. I really just loved his personality, and their bond is truly beautiful.

I could gush about its brilliance forever, but I think it’s best if I stop here, before I go recounting the entire tale. Thankfully, there will be sequels, and I can’t wait for them to come out. Kinslayer, the next installment of this trilogy, should be out sometime in September and I’m sure it’ll be just as great. Until next time…

Happy Reading!


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