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Includes the name: Jakob Halskov


Works by Jakob Halskov


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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Ripples in the Waters by Lake Kawaguchi is an LGBTQ+ romance novel written by Jakob Halskov. As the first volume of The Tokyo Trilogy, this story explores passion, self-discovery, sexual awakenings, overcoming challenges, and it provides the reader with insight into the underworld of Japanese organized crime. Some of the topics depicted can be unsettling, so be advised to read the trigger warnings at the end of this review.

Japan serves as the setting, the majority of the story taking place in the heart of Tokyo, with some scenes set in Lake Kawaguchi. The novel is narrated by several third-person subjective narrators, alternating between their points of view providing the reader with a well-rounded depiction of the story. The main characters introduced by the author are Tomoko, a lonely and sexually curious housewife; Yumiko, the teenage daughter of a CEO; Shoko, a young yakuza girl; Takeda, a recently laid-off and depressed family man; and many other compelling characters.

I was intrigued from the start; the story is dynamic and easy to read, ensuring the reader´s interest from the very beginning. The fact that the plot is so varied because it follows so many different characters could have been confusing, but instead, it makes for an entertaining read. The characters are diverse and their stories are complex, dealing with sexuality, identity and much more, which I enjoyed a lot, even if not every character was my favourite, which is not unusual when there are so many.

The setting was what made this book stand out to me. The way it is a part of the characters and also the reason many of their stories intertwine just makes reading it so much better. It feels very real and at times it seems you are the one walking around the streets of Tokyo interacting with the characters.

I only have a few complaints about this book. The main one related to my need to know more about the characters and their relationships. Considering this is the first volume of a trilogy, it makes sense to leave the reader wanting more, and as eager as I am to read the next one, I think some of the relationships portrayed should have been given a little more depth. Additionally, the pacing seemed a little weird to me which could have interfered with how I perceived the characters´ relationships.

I would rate this story 4 out of 5 stars overall, and here is the rating broken down into categories:

- overall enjoyment: 4
- writing quality: 4
- characterisation: 4
- world-building/setting: 4
- plot development: 3,5
- ending satisfaction: 4

I really enjoyed reading this novel, I was invested throughout the whole story and I liked seeing how each character evolved.

This book can be a great reading choice for romance and Japan lovers who also enjoy a little peek into the dark side of a story. This novel is also about characters discovering themselves and the growth they achieve throughout the story, and although the plot includes some action too, it is mostly about the characters´ experiences so do not expect an action-packed book. I believe this could honestly be an entertaining read for everyone, but take into consideration this is an explicit romance and there are multiple main characters, so if you do not like that maybe this book is not for you.

Age recommendation: Adult General Fiction LGBTQ+ Romance (18+).

Trigger warnings: Alcohol, Assault, Kidnapping, Suicidal Thoughts, Prostitution, Rape, Sexually Explicit Scenes, and Dubious Consent.

I received an advanced review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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natsreverie | 1 other review | May 21, 2023 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
An erotic - cum - underworld drama set in Tokyo and its outskirts. As someone who loves Japan, nightlife and sex I clearly fit the intended audience, and for me the story worked. Not as high literature, but as a quick, entertaining stint to Japan – like watching an episode of a soap opera.
Jakob Halskov clearly knows the country and its customs and culture. The dialogues felt very 'real' for the most part.
Ok, sometimes the Japanese expressions got a bit too much for my taste, as if the author wanted to show off his proficiency in the Japanese language.
Sometimes the story felt a bit too 'classy porn drama' and the ending was very sugar-coated & wrapped everything up a bit too nicely - but, well, it was fast-paced & entertaining. I enjoyed the read.

I received this eARC via LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program - Thanks, LT and author! - in exchange for an honest review.
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Yuki-Onna | 1 other review | May 15, 2023 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Serenade of Souls was a wonderful read. The journey through several perelous relationships of couples that seemed fated to a bad ending, but won out in the end, was really good. I would have liked a bit more at the end of the book, it felt like it stopped very abruptly.
1 vote
VandaChittenden | 2 other reviews | Feb 17, 2023 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I appreciate that even though this book is a part of a “series” the author stated they can still be read independently of each other and do not need to read each one to get the full picture. This book had me hooked from the start. Definitely a must read!
1 vote
8tlhoffman | 2 other reviews | Feb 16, 2023 |


½ 4.6