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Stormdancer: The Lotus War Book One Kindle Edition
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|Length: 337 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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More About the Author
Jay is 6'7 and has approximately 13380 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world's laziest Jack Russell.
He does not believe in happy endings.
Top Customer Reviews
The problem for me, and the main reason for the 3 star review, is that I really disliked the author's writing style. Here is a sentence taken from the book: "A five-sided fist of yellow stone amidst a growth of hunchbacked, abandoned slaughterhouses, the great nest of pipes and tanks and vomiting chimneys that must be the refinery, a rusted length of intestine spilling from its bowels and leading off north toward First House." Now, picture page after page of sentences just like that one and you can understand why, at one point, it took a whole chapter just to describe a walk across town. I completely understand that this is a matter of personal preference. Some people enjoy this style of writing and some don't. I just happen to be one who does not.
I had a few other minor quibbles. Many of the characters were too one-dimensional. The author often chose to describe in great detail things that I didn't really care that much about, while completely skipping over events I wanted to know more about. The story left me with some unanswered questions that may, or may not be addressed in future books - both the subtitle, "The Lotus War Book One," and the Amazon description indicate that this is intended to be the first in a series.
Do I recommend this book? Maybe. As I said, the basic premise and plot are great. If the idea of a feudal Japanese dystopian steampunk fantasy novel appeals to you and you aren't bothered by the writing style, with its long, descriptive, adjective-overloaded sentences, then you will probably enjoy this book. However, I didn't like it enough to read any future books in the series.
It was mainly because of the writing - there was just way too much description for everything and I mean EVERYTHING. Details upon details are dumped onto the reader and it was just too much for me. And I use the word "dumped" because that's what it felt like. And it was boring. Was this book really only 336 pages long? Because it felt like 2,000.
I've read books with overdone writing like this before, but if there's a saving grace like say, awesome character development, then I can overlook it and still like the book. Obviously, this book didn't have that either. With one exception, the characters all came across as pretty one-dimensional and I felt detached from them throughout the entire novel.
And lastly, I know this is fiction so, yeah, the author can play pretend all he wants however he wants, but still I have to say - the heavy misuse of real Japanese words was annoying to me. Don't worry, I'm not going to go off on some white-man-raping-my-culture rant, but come on, if you're gonna use certain Japanese words so prevalently throughout your book, couldn't you have done just a LITTLE research to make sure you're using it correctly? (like -sama. Hello!)
Anyway, it's a cool idea - like, seriously cool - so I have to give the author props for that. Which is why this gets 2 stars instead of 1.
To start with something positive: the dystopian/steampunk elements of this book are pretty cool, and I like that it deals with environmental and social issues. And I didn't feel the urge to throw it at a wall. It does get a little bit better as it goes, and finishes strong (relatively speaking--I was never moved, but the end is the best part). And, in fairness, I am not a teenager and have never been very interested in anime; I don't melt at the phrase "chainsaw katana"; and so I'm not in the target demographic for this book.
Now the plot. Teenage Yukiko accompanies her father on a supposedly impossible mission to capture a "thunder-tiger" (part eagle, part tiger, essentially a griffin) for the evil Shogun, but winds up teaming up with the thunder-tiger to fight the Shogun instead. Here's where my problems with Stormdancer begin. The plot drags, especially but not exclusively in the first third of the book, weighed down by a ponderous style. Rather than building great imagery through well-chosen details, Kristoff dumps enormous amounts of detail on the reader in a pedestrian writing style, such that almost nothing happens for the first 50 pages. Here's a sample:
"She wore an outfit of sturdy gray cloth, unadorned save for a small fox embroidered on the breast, cut simply for the sake of utility. An uwagi tunic covered her from neck to mid-thigh, open at the throat, long, loose sleeves with folded cuffs rippling in the feeble breeze.Read more ›
By the time I'd got around 130 pages into the book I was well and truly addicted and I didn't want to put it down for a second. I don't give up on books often but once I do I never go back to them so Stormdancer was an unusual exception that turned into one of my favourite fantasy reads of the year so far. I don't want to go into too much detail regarding the storyline (there are plenty of other reviews out there that already do that) but I do want to tell you that this is a book that shouldn't be missed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I picked up this book for the same reason everyone else did: the unusual Japanese steampunk theme. I can see why some people said it was hard to get into. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Tom O'Donnell
This was an incredible, fantastic read! The author paints a gorgeous story with fantastic characters and an environment that is both wonderful and terrifying. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Jonathan E Wasik
A unique setting combines with some impressive characters to form a story well worth your time- can't wait until I can read the rest of the series!Published 23 days ago by Aircraft247
A highly enjoyable novel, with a strong bond between its two main characters. Nothing too deep, but still emotionally affecting and engaging.Published 1 month ago by Evan
I’ve heard nothing but great things about this series. A Japanese steampunk with a kick-ass heroine and a griffin? Sign me up! Read morePublished 2 months ago by DragonCeres
Fantastic writing sheer beauty. This is a great book a must read and I would recommend to all I knowPublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
First 60 pages were painful to get through but it really picked up and turned into one of my favorite books.Published 3 months ago by Patrick Denney
Complete characters, amazing visuals. You could actually feel that you are a part of this world. I simply must know what is going to happen in the next book.Published 4 months ago by Kyle
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