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Stormdancer (The Lotus War Book One) by Jay…

Stormdancer (The Lotus War Book One) (edition 2012)

by Jay Kristoff

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3916527,416 (3.93)24
Title:Stormdancer (The Lotus War Book One)
Authors:Jay Kristoff
Info:Thomas Dunne Books (2012), Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Early Reviewer Titles, Reviewed (Early Reviewers), Read, ARCs, Your library

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Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

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Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
Kick-ass fight scenes, vivid characters and mythic creatures in a crazy alternate steampunk Japan that will ensnare you!

I find it really hard to portray just how radtastic of a read Stormdancer is. Steampunk is certainly all the rage right now but I haven’t seen anyone do it the way Kristoff has managed. He didn’t glorify the machines, instead he showed us the gritty dirty side to what a crazed machine age could do to the once beautiful and lush country of Japan. Cue the blood red bleeding skies, with air so choked with filth the populace can’t even go about daily life without wearing a breathing apparatus. To bad the poor are stuck with just a rag over their mouths and noses. Who doesn’t like a little grime and misery?

There are the expected airships and goggles that most people have come to identify steampunk with. However, what might not be expected was the awesome mechanized full body armor suits and chainsaw like weapons.

Yukiko and Buruu (the gryphon) were excellently crafted characters. Both of them displayed solid personal growth through the entirety of the book. Yukiko went from a young girl concerned mostly with her own feelings to a woman ready to fight for the good of the people. Buruu was just as interesting. He seemed very angry and closed minded in regards to humans but the way he thinks and feels changes gradually until he trust his very life to Yukiko. I’ve rarely seen the development of a relationship done so well with the slow progression of trust.

I don’t want to give anything away but I must say there were a lot of twists in Stormdancer that I didn’t see coming. I absolutely love it when I can’t predict what is going to happen in a book. It has me foaming at the mouth to know what is going to happen next. ( )
  Pabkins | Jun 24, 2014 |
Feudal Japanese pseudo-steampunk. Yukiko travels with her father to capture a mythical arashitora for the Shogun, while the island of Shima languishes under a pall of lotus smoke, which threatens to destroy the land. Part steampunk, part fantasy, part Japanese creation myth.
  LibraryGirl11 | May 29, 2014 |
Wow, after making it through the first third of this book the story took off and you become engulfed in the world that was crafted. Shoguns, fantasy creatures, and steampunk? Utterly brilliant idea and I'm definitely reading on through this series. ( )
  capiam1234 | May 17, 2014 |
The opening scene of this first book serves to entice the reader to keep reading through a much slower beginning (and it is the cheapest of enticements; it has relatively little to do with the rest of the story) and I must say that it was absolutely worth the wait. It kept me interested long enough for me to get completely hooked on this story.
Every character is surprisingly nuanced, every loose end (of which there are many) is tidied into a perfect unity of meaning, and the writing itself was fascinating and beautiful. The descriptive imagery in this story was gorgeous, easily portraying the most incredible depiction of steampunk fantasy that I have ever seen, fused with feudal Japanese society and a really, really badass griffin.
I personally cried over this story several times, but in that I'm aware I cry over everything, let me just add that this story is perhaps the only one I have ever read to successfully address the question of progress, environmentalism, and government in a satisfactory way, without sugar-coating things or swerving away from the difficult topics. I got a lot out of this story morally, and if you walk away from this read without taking a hard look at your life, I don't think you read closely enough.
To end on a note of critique, I would like to warn readers that the initial characterization of our main character can be difficult to swallow at times (she tends to come off as a spoiled child with daddy issues, which is quite unfair given the information we are later offered), and at times the imagery could get a little repetitive (there are only so many variations on the concept of disease, after all). However, at no point did the imagery cease to be enjoyable, so I would say it was effective overall (unless you simply can't stand any repetition whatsoever). The story could be pretty predictable, although towards the end, evens moved quickly enough that I was frankly quite shocked by them.
In summation, the weaknesses were much more than bearable, the strengths were splendid, and you should do yourself a favor and read this book. ( )
  Inkwind | Apr 3, 2014 |
A story set in a Japan-inspired steampunk world, about a girl named Yukiko, who has the power to communicate telepathically with animals. This power helps her gain the trust of a thunder tiger, Buruu, who her father has been ordered by the shogun to hunt. As their bond grows, Yukiko must decide whether to help turn Buruu in as ordered, or risk everything to free him.

As someone who studied Japanese, I am very picky about how writers use Japanese words/terms/culture in their stories. Aside from a few nitpicky things on word usage, I appreciated that this book took less time to explain each term and each mythological figure as they came up, instead having a quick reference guide at the back for foreign terms. The Japanese inspiration provided a fresh new look for steampunk--though the mechabacii in particular felt more full-blown sci-fi to me, they were still interesting--and once Yukiko and Buruu meet up, the story takes off nicely. Their relationship is truly the best part of the book, and I hope this aspect continues to shine in the rest of the series. ( )
  DeweyEver | Mar 25, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jay Kristoffprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chan, JasonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Amanda, My life, my love, my first and only reason
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As the iron war club scythed toward her head, Yukiko couldn't help wishing she'd listened to her father.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Haiku summary
His friend Yukiko kill the
Shogun of Shima.
Blood lotus is the
Life blood of Shima, but it
Poisons land, sea, air.

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In this dystopian steampunk fantasy set against a backdrop of feudal Japan, warrior Yukiko captures a supposedly extinct (but crippled) griffin for the Shogun, then learns -- after meeting secretive Kin and the rebel Kage cabal -- of the horrifying extent of the Shogun's crimes, both against her country and her family. Returning to the city, Yukiko is determined to make the Shogun pay -- but what can one girl and a flightless griffin do against the might of an empire?… (more)

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