Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Reviewed on 09/15/2012
Before I start this review, I must say that if you are looking for a review that is based on actual facts and will give you an impartial view of the book, you may stop right there. Don’t need to go any further. This is 100% selfish, nonsense and some of the stuff I’ll talk about will come right out of my head with no connection to the story what so ever.
Ok, consider yourself warned.
Lets start with the basics and built up the crazy stuff on the way.
The Plot - Yukiko is the daughter of the great hunter Masaru. After a really awesome (and crazy) dream, the Shogun (the High Roller) sent Masaru and his daughter (along with a bunch of other people) to catch an arashitora. You may think this is easy enough, but there’s a little problem, two actually. The first is that an arashitora is a flying creature called griffin.
No, not that Griffin LoL This griffin
Yep. A mythical creature that nobody saw for a long, long time and is supposed to be extinct, or don’t even really exist. That wouldn’t be so bad if not for the second little problem. If they don’t bring that little pet, they are as good as dead. Talk about pressure.
The Characters - I don’t know what to say about the characters. They literally stole the words out of me. Ok, *deepbreath* I’ll start with Yukiko. She is damage by a haunting past and, as we all know, life is a bitch, so of course her past will get her on the behind. Her dad, Masaru, is just the shadow of the great man he used to be and is haunted by the ghosts of choices he can never take back. I think if there’s one thing that we can connect all these wonderful characters with is one fact: secrets. They all have dark, dangerous, almost crippling secrets. Complex, yeah, that’s the perfect word to describe it.
The Writing - This guy, this guy
sure has a way with the words. His writing is flowing and poetry and all that crap girls always say. He made me smile, he made me scared, he made me warm like a summer day and he made me cold like a storm in a winter day. There’s just one thing that I must warn you about, it’s a really visual descriptive writing. As I said before in my others reviews, I have a serious problem with descriptive writing. I have a 5yo attention span and when it gets really detailed, I drift off like a pipe in a windy day.
"From above, it was intricate, beautiful and terrible, a winding maze of squeeze ways and alleys twisting between the cracking sores of bleached buildings. The broad square of brick at its heart, cobbled arteries worming off in labyrinthine patterns that mimicked a maniac’s scrawl. A great cluster of broad, grand roofs on the hill, red flags crowing among its stunted gardens. A five sided fist of yellow stone amidst a growth of hunchbacked, abandoned slaughter houses, 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. Winding serpents of filthy river water, spilling out into a bay of char and floating refuse, shoals of garbage drifting on a dirty sea breeze. The streets were choked with a black-tongued haze, a dirty stain smeared across the skies, hovering over the crust of concrete and brick on the harbor’s skin."
Beautiful, right? The only problem is that is too distracting and the fact that is a 3º person narrative don’t help me to connect to all this beauty. In some parts I felt like I was watching it all through a glass window. I saw the beauty, but I couldn’t feel it. That is not a problem to some people, but, unfortunately, it is for me. That is my only biff with this book.
I guarantee that it gets really heart felt and personal, but I advise you guys to read the Prologue before purchase this:
Considerations- Ok, now the crazy really kicks in. So, Shima is a dying land, man. Smoke are in the air and people die every day from starvation, pollution and murdered for being out of line. Does that make you think about our society? Blood Lotus, I love the name and what it represents in the story. They live for it and they die for it. It’s the poison that is killing everything, really fast. If that wasn’t bad enough, we have the crazy and psycho Shogun that is just like a mean kid holding a magnifying lenses over the ants to watch them burn, just because he can. Power can turn a good man mad, and that can be even worse if the man is already crazy to begin with. Ok, but that is not enough, we also have the Guildsman cult. It’s not actually a cult, but is just like it. They go around being all superior and, get this, they burn people alive saying that they are impure. I know, right? In a land where people turn black inside out because of the pollution, these mechanical monsters go around picking people who are different and burn them alive for something that is not even their fault. (you’ll know what it is when you read the book)
Here is a quote that made my brain burn:
"The Communications Ministry invokes past glories to inspire new ones among the working class, to wring more sweat from the karoshimen’s backs. To convince more young men to take up arms and spill their heart’s blood beneath the Shogun’s flag in a war they know nothing about."
I know this is a fantasy book, but this is something that sounds really true. Have you read 1984? Control, control, control. We know only what they want us to know and, in all the stories I know, knowledge is power. Keep them dumb, keep them in control. Why do we fight? Because they say we must. If that is the answer, you are fighting for the wrong reason. To win a battle is to believe what you are fighting for is worth the fight.
Here is another quote that I keep in my heart:
"HAVE MERCY ON ME, FATHER. TAKE MY WINGS. CHAIN ME TO STINKING EARTH. BUT THIS TORTURE I CANNOT ENDURE.
Oh, shut it."
I crack up every time I read this. LoL
Here is another pearl of wisdom:
“One day you will see that we must sometimes sacrifice for the sake of something greater.”
This is the perfect sentence and it sums up everything I’ve read in this book. Greatness comes for those who make the hardest choices and the biggest sacrifices.
By the end of the book I was crap. I’m not embarrassed to confess I wanted to punch Jay right in the baby maker for make me watch those horrible things and see my friends suffer so.
But after the 3º (8º) drink, I was thinking clearly and now I can see why those things had to happen. Heroes are forged in fire and blood. Pain is what makes them better and the overcome of the adversities is what makes us love them so. I still want them to be safe, but I know I can only hope that my heart won’t be shredded in the Jay’s hands.
Here is a quote that says exactly the state I was in by the end of it:
"The tears rolled unheeded down her cheeks, pattering on the floor with the sound of rain."
So sad and so beautiful. *tears*
Ok, now, I only have to wait for the next book. I know that Jay will say something helpful like: “Hold your breath, it makes the time goes by faster.” But I got a better Idea. I’ll just freeze myself and ask Butters to unfreeze me when the next book is out. That will totally work. I’m a genius.
Now, I have a little surprise for those who like a little more “visual” stuff on the review.
Here is something the guys can expect from this book:
Here is something for the ladies:
And underneath all of this you’ll find this:
If you are romantic, expect some of this:
And there’s also this:
Ok, that’s not in the book. LoL But this pic is so funny. I just had to put it in this review.
See? This book has it all. *wink*
*An ARC was kindly provided by the publisher. But this in no way influenced my views on this book. This is my honest review.*