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Australian Spec-Fic Authors Challenge – November Round-Up

stormdancerFor November I read Jay Kristoff’s Stormdancer. Really it would have been impossible for me to not like this book. Seriously, combining Japanese culture with steampunk – it would have to have been appalling writing for me not to have dug it.

It certainly wasn’t appalling writing. At times the description did get a little too verbose for my liking and sometimes it seemed to be dropped into certain spots just to try and drag out tension (which ticks me off personally), but for the most part it was vivid and wonderful.

I still love physically strong female characters, even if certain factions on the internet seem to dislike them (well at least as long as her physical strength isn’t her only defining characteristic) so enjoyed Yukiko, even if she did border on almost-a-little-too-perfect-to-be-true on the odd occasion.

(MILD UNSPECIFIC SPOILERS AHEAD) One thing I especially loved was that the second a plan looked like it was about to work BAM! No such luck. So frequently and so well done. I constantly kept thinking ‘yeah, I know where this is going now’ and constantly got thrown back in my seat and laughed at by Kristoff (not literally we live several thousand kilometers apart). (/SPOILER)

The depth of the world was impressive. There are many different political factions all at work, all playing in their own way for power, environmental concerns, traditional Japanese gods and mythology woven into the world and lots of references to Japanese clothing and weaponry. The terminology could be a small struggle point for someone not familiar with Japan, but after the first few chapters you’d be fine. My only issue is it was summer and no one was wearing yukata – summer is for yukatas! (but that’s me being a crazy Japanophile and there were many other details that made me supremely happy so all is forgiven)

I will certainly be reading the sequel as soon as I’ve finished my December read for the challenge. Gah! Thirteen days to try and complete my own challenge! I’m also a teeny bit sad that I hadn’t read the book in time to have it signed by him at the Brisbane Supanova.

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