Monday, September 24, 2012

I want a griffin: STORMDANCER by Jay Kristoff

STORMDANCER (The Lotus War #1) by Jay Kristoff
YA Science Fiction/Fantasy
322 pages, hardcover
Available now (September 2012)
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Review copy provided by publisher via Amazon Vine

A DYING LAND
The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever.

AN IMPOSSIBLE QUEST
The hunters of Shima’s imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger—a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.

A SIXTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL
Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.

But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.

I drooled over the cover. I lusted after the contents. But once I got it in my hands, I worried that I'd hyped it up (and read too much hype) too much in my mind. So I held off reading it, staring mournfully at the cover, gently brushing the spine...procrastinating just in case it sucked.

But I needn't have worried. STORMDANCER, Yukiko and Buruu blew me away. Thrust into an alternate feudal Japan, I fell deep under the spell of the Lotus, my senses overwhelmed by the deadly world of thunder tigers and griffin hunters, psychotically obsessive Shoguns, and floating airships.

While the beginning wasn't the fastest-paced in the world and did tend to be a bit too info-heavy, the story took off like a rocket after that as Yukiko and her father leave to hunt down an extinct thunder tiger for the Shogun under threat of death.

Buruu needs to come home with me. He's gorgeous and brilliant and, oh yeah, a thunder tiger--a griffin. One of a small group of remaining griffins who've hidden away from the ridiculous and war-like humans who care nothing for the land. Captured and injured, he has no reason to care for the small human who rescues him but he grows to love Yukiko as she does him and together, they become an unstoppable pair that the Shogun would do well to fear.

I'm not sure I can wait an entire year for the next installment. Write faster, Jay Kristoff! I want to know what happens to Yukiko and Buruu now that all that stuff happened and...no, no. Spoilers!

Available on Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble

11 comments:

  1. I want a Burru for myself too *sniffles* You know, at home to snuggle.. (although I'm sure he wouldn't like this ..at..all) But I feel the same way about too much hyped books and was scared of this one... sooo happy it turned out so epic! Loved this book!

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  2. ZOMG!!!!!!!!!! This review definitely has me even more excited for this book! I LOVE Japanese culture and really look forward to experiencing this fantastical world. Yay for thunder tigers!

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  3. Don't you hate when you have to wait a year? Though I think back to the time where a year didn't seem that bad. I am so glad that you really really really enjoyed this one :) YEAH!

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  4. I was quite put off by all the information in the beginning-it made it very tough going although I felt rewarded by the end.

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  5. Yay, I've heard good things about this and I'm so glad you loved it. I love the incorporation of Japanese elements.

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  6. I think this is one of those books that I have to check out, just for all the hype. SO MANY people have really loved it. :)

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  7. Ummmmm. I want a griffin too Mary! How cool would that be? I've heard so many mixed things about this book, and I have to say that has me wanting to pick it up even more just to see what I'll think. I don't think I can miss out on a griffin, so I need to get on this immediately.

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  8. I love me some Japan! Lol, alternative and otherwise.
    Love the sound of the book actually, though it's a bit out of my comfort zone. :D
    Im happy you liked it though.

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  9. I want Buruu for myself too! I don't think I have fallen for an 'animal' the way I have for him. It feels weird to call him a character but he definitely is and was awesome! I'm so glad you loved it too!

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  10. Lol. Procrastination in case it sucked >.< Sadly this one wasn,t for me. I know everyone says the first half is difficult to get through but I just had to patience to gt to the good part. A book should be interesting from the start IMO. Just too much Japanese in this for me O_O Glad you enjoyed it though. I definitely seem to be in the minority hehe.

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  11. Hehe, everyone loves Buruu. We expect we will too. We fell in love with this cover and concept and the hilarious author, but after the reviews we do have some concerns about how the Japanese culture was portrayed... Still, your review is definitely keeping this book on our list! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

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