I got this because The Dead Sea-Bottom Scrolls by Howard Waldrop was nominated for a Locus Award for best short story in 2014. His story was interestiI got this because The Dead Sea-Bottom Scrolls by Howard Waldrop was nominated for a Locus Award for best short story in 2014. His story was interesting, but it did thrill me., I think some others in the category are stronger. And the rest of the book didn't do it for me either, even though I'm very into short stories right now. I picked it up several times, read a couple of the stories, but something about the tone of the book wasn't working for me. Maybe it's because our basic idea about Mars has just changed as a culture, it's not the thrilling adventure that it was imagined to be in the '50 and '60, and that reality permeates the stories even when the authors try to set it aside and write something fantastic. I don't know. And now I just saw that the book won the Locus Award for best anthology this year, so what do I know? Obviously some people liked it. And liked the editors, which helps get it picked up and read by more people with a positive frame of mind maybe. Their names got my attention too, their anthologies are usually quite good. But I marked it "partially-read-was-enough"....more
There was a bit of a preponderance of high fantasy compared to the other books that I've read that these two have edited, and less of a mix overall ofThere was a bit of a preponderance of high fantasy compared to the other books that I've read that these two have edited, and less of a mix overall of genres. But maybe fantasy just sounded fun to some of the authors when they thought about writing about rogues, it isn't as though the editors told them what to write. There were a lot of stories from author's existing worlds, many more than usual in anthologies and in the previous anthologies that I've read by these two editors. Which is great for their fans. And sometimes good for new readers. But sometimes not so great, like the authors were trying to shoehorn their favorite characters into the idea of being rogues even though they really were good guys and gals and not roguish at all.
A note on bios - listing every book the author ever wrote isn't helpful. List genres they fall in and the first book in a series. Tell me if the author has done something else different than those novels that I should check out, something particularly representative of her work. And please tell me of the story I'm about to read is related to those novels or other short stories I should look for. Definitely intrigue me so that I can't wait to turn to page and read the story and add more of these books and stories to my to-read pile. But listing all of the books is a huge waste of paper. Intros should be anything but dull!
Joe Abercrombie - Tough Times All Over - A very cute story chock full of rogues in a thieving round robin that should keep you chuckling. It was the perfect opener for the book. I'm not familiar with the his First Law books, but this appears to be set in that world, I can't tell if any of the characters cross over. High fantasy.
Gillian Flynn - What Do You Do? - A twisty psychological story, slightly spooky at points, it definitely held my attention. It was also a good take on rogues from a couple of angles, very good use of the theme. I haven't read any of her novels but I think I can see what some of the fuss is about if she pulls these same kind of keeping the tension high and switchero tricks, making you have to go back and look at everything you read and see from a fresh perspective what you may, or may not, have missed the first time. Thriller?
Matthew Hughes - The Inn of the Seven Blessings - Another high fantasy. Raffalon and the story crossed the line from amusing rogue to not fun anymore when he was willing to rape the woman, and the only reason he didn't ask the other guy to help him do it was that he didn't want to cooperate with him more than he did want to rape her. Not funny in the least. I sure as heck didn't buy into the happy ending after that and I don't want to read any of his books anymore. I deleted his book that had been my to-read list for a while.
Joe R. Lansdale - Bent Twig - I was excited to finally read my first Hap and Leonard story, I've had Savage Season on my iPod for way too long. But I didn't get any sense of Hap's voice in this. Maybe it's because Leonard is gone for so much of it. Or maybe it's because he's thinking to himself instead of talking to other people a lot. But I didn't get much of a feel for him being any different than any other guy, he "sounded" the same to me as the guy in the story before this, and that guy was in an entirely different world running around in a forest, not in Texas. And it's super weird because the other book I just happened to be reading at the same time as this just happened to end up at a Joe Lansdale story too. It was Games Creatures Play. I'm not sure I loved that story for different reasons, but the kid who's the narrator has his own voice, as does the whole setting and situation, much more than the one in this book. I know Lansdale is a master. I've read a few very good stories of his before, I'm not doubting it. It was just odd that Hap was so bland here. I did listen to the first few minutes of Savage Season and it sounds terrific with Phil Gigante's voices for Hap and Leonard so I'm still looking forward to it. Anyway, this story wasn't exactly a mystery, but it was an investigation, whatever genre you want to classify it as. Violent PI story.
Michael Swanwick - Tawny Petticoats- Apparently the author has written several other short stories and a book about Darger and Surplus before. It's alternate history/urban fantasy. Fine, kind of cute, not so unique.
David W. Ball - Provenance - I didn't like the beginning of the story. I can't remember what it's called when stories use real history in them, like Dan Brown or Sarum, maybe just historical novel or something. But you have to work the history or the facts into a story, not just lecture. If I wanted to read pages of encyclopedia entry or an art history book then I'd be doing that, not reading a book of short stories. Then it did turn into a story but it was still weird. It's still plenty dry but isn't even interestingly peppered with real history. And he totally wasted my time and battery life checking to see if any of it was true. Then the one thing that was real is that there was a real artist named Otto Walter Beck born in the late 1800's in Ohio. Naming one of his Nazi characters after a real person in a historical fiction story does not seem right. Maybe he was trying to make it alternate history? Making Becks never having moved to America or something. If that was my family I'd be pissed
Carrie Vaughn - Roaring Twenties - The atmosphere was fun. As usual, her stories kind of leave meh at the end. It was urban fantasy set in the 1920s.
Scott Lynch - A Year and a Day In Old Theradane - Another high fantasy, this was very entertaining, just terrific. The cast was all strong females, except the automaton. I hope he writes more about this gang.
Bradley Denton - Bad Brass - I'm not sure a guy who hopes a chihuahua ends up as stir fry, and seems to mean it, is a rogue, which implies likability. But I do like the idea of the substitute teacher being so invisible that he can hear everything the kids say in the halls or see their texts over their shoulders when they aren't supposed to be texting in class. It's was kind of a thriller, with some cross/double-cross kind of action going on. I liked it better than I thought I would at the opening with the bad dog joke. But it was long and I literally couldn't keep my eyes open by the end so I missed some nuances.
Cherie Priest - Heavy Metal - I liked the story, but other than being told that he was a very bad man in the intro, he sure as heck seemed like a very good man in every way. That Ammaw Pete was pretty roguish though. Urban fantasy.
Daniel Abraham - The Meaning of Love - Amusing. It was interesting that when I read it the first time I thought that the main character was a male. It wasn't until I read other peoples' reviews that I realized that it might be a woman. On reading it again, it wasn't really clear, it could go either way really. I just didn't think a woman would be living along with a prince,
Paul Cornell - A Better Way To Die - I had been looking forward to this because it's the fourth of Cornell's Jonathan Hamilton story, all of which have been award nominated. Is Hamilton a rogue? Sometimes more than others. He definitely did not seem to be one here with his obey the military machine mentality and crisis of faith. I do like to some degree how every Hamilton story has been so different but it also makes it hard to relate to him. I liked the alternate worlds idea. But after four stories I still don't understand what Cornell is talking about with the Balance concept in these stories, it's just confusing. And if I don't get it then people who have only read this story really won't know. And this story didn't work. I didn't get it. I wouldn't have started to if I hadn't read the other stories. And don't get why Hamilton would let her get way with it, he's totally capable of lying but all about duty. And he seemed so dull here, not roguish at all. Alternate history/sci-fi
Steven Saylor - Ill Seen In Tyre - The intro says he does historical mystery, but this was just historical fiction. Pretty cute, I think much better than the one in Down These Strange Streets, which I didn't like because it was too full of lectures. It was pretty heavy handed on the rogue thing though, it would have been better to write a story where I didn't need him to explain who the rogues were or mention the word rogue so many times.
Garth Nix - A Cargo of Ivories - Nix has been forever on my to-read list because of his collaborations with Sean Williams, who's a real favorite of mine. I did find it a bit too convenient that the other two things that could banish a godlet that's gotten that powerful are incredibly difficult to come by, but they just happen to have an albino moklek right there, what a coincidence. But it was a pretty good story.
Walter Jon Williams - Diamonds From Tequila - A good reminder that This Is Not a Game has been on my to-read list for a long time. Though it looks like the first two books in the series are a lot more serious than the third, or at least that the third has a sense of whimsy that the others don't. I could be wrong about all of that though. But I'm intrigued about what this story had to say about Dagmar, who appears to be not the ingenue but the supervillain, at least by the time of this story. It could be interesting to see how that happened.
It was mystery and an investigation, with some sci-fi element, 3D printers exist just not that sophisticated yet. It was a very good story, it didn't matter that I hadn't read any of the books, I didn't feel frustrated about what I didn't know, just a bit intrigued to know more if I felt like it some day. But the story was very complete, it felt very finished, it didn't feel short story like somehow, whatever the heck that mean. The character just felt very real. They all did. 3D! But I haven't read Daryl Gregory's Afterparty yet but they do have the same idea about 3D printers making meds available, if different executions. But that's sci-fi for you, extrapolating where the technology can take things and thinking up a story of what could happen with it. I did wonder how did an actor found out that the biggest crime lord in Mexico has a profit of $6 billion a year on income of about $20 billion and employs about 150,000 people. Is that kind of thing public knowledge? It kinda ended with a whimper but it was good.
Phyllis Eisenstein - The Caravan To Nowhere - She wrote stories about this character, Alaric, in the magazines a long time ago and later turned them into two novels. This is the first new story about him in decades. It was fine but he wasn't much of a rogue, a pretty good guy all around. It was another author who was more enchanted with the idea of writing about her beloved character than the theme.
Lisa Tuttle - The Curious Affair of the Dead Wives - It's a blatant Sherlock Holmes knock-off, and by blatant I mean that it makes no bones about it and mentions Holmes several times, with the client even saying that she'd hoped to hire Holmes at first. I do wish that the female detective had done more detecting or had a more active role somehow. I guess having a reputation as a feminist author set up an expectation that wasn't really met. And the ghost stuff was kind of cheesy. And who was the rogue? The Not-Sherlock? He's cute but I didn't see him be bad except for when they broke into the house. And the woman detective says something on one paragraph near the end about having spent time over the last few years at séances. It sounds like the author was referring to other stories to establish their roguishness. It really wasn't clear here, they definitely came off as heroes. The story was OK. And a good balance for the book, which didn't have much by way of mysteries.
Neil Gaiman - How the Marquis Got His Clothes Back - A Neverwhere story. It was kind of fun, certainly richly imagined. But again the character, The Marquis de Carabas, didn't feel much like a rogue. He actually felt kind of whiny. Don't come after me with pitchforks, fans! I'm a big Gaiman fan, too. And if you're a diehard Neverwhere fan, I'm sorry. The brother, Peregrine, was roguish. I don't know if they were in the book, I forgot that I started it but never got very far into it when the dog ate it many years ago. I put it back on the high-priority to-read list even though the story was only OK.
Connie Willis - Now Showing - A near future science fiction story that was really fun. It was packed full of movie references that were very enjoyable, from Audrey Hepburn movies to Despicable Me. I'm sure some people will think it was overkill but I liked it. She really thought about how movie complexes could continue to get people to go and spend money in the near future when streaming video on our huge TVs is becoming so fast and easy. And she then took it even a step further and though about how those movie complexes and movie producers would take further advantage of their new business model, legal or not. It was a very good story, clever, stylish, romantic and smart.
Patrick Rothfuss - The Lightening Tree - I don't know from Kingkiller Chronicles or Bast, but it was fun. I guess the innkeeper is the guy in the books? Bast is his apprentice?
George R.R. Martin - The Rogue Prince, or, A King's Brother - This was even worse than the one in Dangerous Women. I was at least able to read some of that one. It's just beyond me what he's doing with these stories, since he's obviously able to write really terrific, gripping tales. I didn't read more than a few pages. I tried. I really did. I tried flipping through to see what happened as it went along, to see if it picked up a plot that I could grab on to. It made my junior high school history books seem interesting. And it will probably be nominated for a Hugo Award next year too because you people just love George. I love him too, but not like this, that's for sure....more
I just discovered this in my library's ebook collection when I was checking to see if Kane had anything new out yet. It's a prequel to the Downside seI just discovered this in my library's ebook collection when I was checking to see if Kane had anything new out yet. It's a prequel to the Downside series, about when Chess was eighteen and in her final year of training at the Church. There's some interesting background about the Church and the history of Haunted Week. But most of all, the story really shows a lot about Chess's background, how very much she feels alone and abandoned and why. And more than that, there's a lot of insight into why she hates herself so much. And why she turned to drugs to assuage those feelings. And it's a pretty fun story too, believe it or not. Kane's kind of amazing that way. My only complaint is that the supposedly scary Black Squad Inquisitors come off as a bunch of idiots so that Chess can be the hero. I wish that had been more balanced somehow. But it's a very good story and I'm really glad I finally came across it....more
More a prequel to the new series than a genuine short story in and of itself. It's definitely not a story that could stand on its own two feet in anyMore a prequel to the new series than a genuine short story in and of itself. It's definitely not a story that could stand on its own two feet in any way. But it served its purpose to tease the new series. Ridley's always been a fun character, full of that push-pull that was kept her interesting. We'll see if the new series will work in New York since the South was so much of what made the first series successful. It could be the shot in the arm it needs, the other books were never as good after the first one. Some good elements were introduced here....more
A fun short story. I'm glad I was able to get it from my library. I wouldn't read it before Steelheart though, it doesn't actually explain what an EpiA fun short story. I'm glad I was able to get it from my library. I wouldn't read it before Steelheart though, it doesn't actually explain what an Epic is, it jumps right in and assumes that the reader has some idea what's going on. And there would be huge spoilers. But if you liked the book you're sure to like this fast-paced story. Though it might make you hungry for a hot dog....more
I think I'm still just not getting the target age for the series. It's too much for the 8-12s, but it's really not sophisticated enough for the olderI think I'm still just not getting the target age for the series. It's too much for the 8-12s, but it's really not sophisticated enough for the older kids. The politics is too dumbed down, everyone is either a hero or a villain, there are no shades of gray in the characterizations. The plot just has a lot of holes, it's more like a game of kids playing politics than like real nations being a war. But, and it's a big but, the emotions ring very true and that's the big strength of the book and the series. And I thought the end worked, it was poignant and smart....more
They were decent little stories that gave a glimpse of Day and June's lives as twelve year-olds, June's life with Matias and having to start militaryThey were decent little stories that gave a glimpse of Day and June's lives as twelve year-olds, June's life with Matias and having to start military college as a precocious kid at least four years younger than any of the other students. And Day's life trying to survive out on the streets. There was a bit of added insight into who the kids became three years later when we first met them in Legend. But not really anything significant. While the stories were certainly enjoyable, they're more just windows into the past, days in the life, not not anything that you should feel like you're missing out on if you can't afford to buy it as an ebook or to buy the boxes set to get it included, which is how I heard it's being offered. I was lucky that my library has the ebook. It's just a little bonus from the author to the fans, but not substantive to the shaping of the main trilogy. A treat, and a nice one. ...more
3.75 stars? I liked this one better than the first book. The first book was good, but just too simple, the kids were way too perfect to easily, especi3.75 stars? I liked this one better than the first book. The first book was good, but just too simple, the kids were way too perfect to easily, especially at such a young age, and everything was much too black and white. This had more complexity and shades of gray. It was more interesting trying to figure out who was right and what they should do. Things weren't as obvious. And there was a lot more going on than just the plague issue that seemed like the big problem in the first book, it was significantly more complex than book one, going much further into the history and current politics of the world. It's normal for dystopian trilogies to start off without explaining much about the history or politics, then get more complex in the second and third books, I've seen it a lot. But I do still think that the first book was too simple. I didn't think there was a lack of development of the society, it was rich enough to sustain the initial story, but the characters other than June and Day were flat, especially the villains. I want to wonder if maybe they have a heart of gold, or if their motivation might be other than what appears on the surface. If so many people hadn't raved about the series I wouldn't have been excited to continue on, not because I didn't like it, but just because I wasn't left with any huge curiosity about what was going to happen next. It certainly wouldn't have stood out as unique among the many similar books in the sub-genre or in YA lit.
But I'm glad I already had this book reserved. It was definitely more interesting and for most of the book there were a lot of questions about what was going on, what people's motivations were, and who the heroes really were. In the end the characters again appeared to settle into their black or white camps, which was a disappointment, I still want to have more gray. It wraps it up too neatly. Just because it's YA doesn't mean it shouldn't be complicated. Kids know better than anyone that people aren't just one thing or another and they don't need to be talked down to. Especially in a series aimed at older kids, not the 8-12 set, though I often think that authors overly-simplify characters and emotions meant for them as well. Or meant for their parents to read over their shoulders, maybe. Sometimes the kids are ready for more than their parents are ready to accept that they are. Anyhow, in this case it seemed clear that the supporting characters would have been more interesting if they'd had a few more layers. Especially the villains. But it's a fun series and I am curious to see how the changes at the end play out in the next book, there have been a lot of game-changers....more
**spoiler alert** This book frustrated me so much that I didn't write the review for months, even though I was lucky enough to get the book from the l**spoiler alert** This book frustrated me so much that I didn't write the review for months, even though I was lucky enough to get the book from the library the week that it was released. The more I thought about it, the more disappointed I became in it, and I didn't want to spoil it for anyone who was excited about it, so I just stayed quite and kept to myself for a while. Not that there weren't tons of reviews out there pro and con, but I wanted my closest friends to just go into it with fresh eyes at least.
My biggest problem, in the end, was that it had so many holes. It just felt very amateur, like the author was trying so hard to make these cool ideas that she had a few books ago fit into this mold but didn't know how to do it, but she kept pushing and pushing anyway, whether it worked of not.
The point of view switches didn't work because Tris and Tobias didn't have distinct voices. Every time I glanced away for a moment, by the time I looked back I'd lost track of who was telling the story because they both sounded exactly alike.
They kept talking about all of the other cities and the experiments that failed and the lab tech said that she was from one that failed, but what were the chances that that just happened in this generation? It was too coincidental that all of those cities had failures all at once.
I also couldn't believe that Tris's mom could just blend in as a Dauntless at age 15 somehow. It's been made out to be such a small world, how would no one notice where this girl suddenly came from? I'd have had a hard enough time believing it if the author said she did it as a Dauntless transfer to Abnegation at sixteen, but that somehow they modified her entire faction's memories to remember her seems too hard to believe.
Tris was sixteen years old. She had one month of training at Dauntless that consisted of fighting one-on-one with other kids, really mostly getting beat up, no actual instruction that I read, throwing some knives, and the fear simulation stuff. No battle strategy. She got caught up in a few battles since then and managed to survive. So when all hell breaks loose and she says stuff like, "The most important thing for me to do was use my knowledge of chaos, of attacks to keep..." spoiler spoiler from happening, it just made me laugh. It's great that she managed to stay alive that long but it's so silly.
And it's just still so overly simplistic and hard to believe, even with the whole reason for the factions fully explained finally. Every young adult book or series has to come up with a reason why the kids are wandering around without adult supervision and being the heroes in their world and this one just doesn't. In Dauntless the oldest and disabled people were kicked out, OK, sure, so maybe that gave them a reason to give younger people a chance more than most factions. And they'd respect ability maybe as much as experience, but I never understood that experience didn't matter at all to them to the point where kids like Eric and Four were actually in charge. And then the whole rest of the series it's just so silly that it's just the kids. The one adult who tries to move forward with them just gets killed, because a party of one grey hair and the rest sixteen year-olds makes total sense, we can all just suspend disbelief for that. The excuse that it's YA or dystopia and those kind of books often have big holes in them it isn't good enough, because many, many of them don't. There has to at least be a premise somewhere to attempt explain things. Especially by the third book. Especially when the sixteen year-olds are planning yet another revolution in the third book. The only realistic thing was that Tobias screwed up, that's what a real kid would do.
And Tobias's mom? Because that would never happen. I can't buy into the outcome of what happened with his mom, no one who showed herself to be that calculating and power-hungry would suddenly give it up just for him.
The thing I still liked best was that Tris and Tobias were constantly misunderstanding each other, like most kids their age in their first intense relationship would even without this kind of pressure. Add in their really complex dramas and I'd be annoyed if they weren't confusing each other, they don't know what they think themselves much less what they other one is thinking and feeling.
I'm not saying that I didn't like it, because I did. The twists were all good. I bought into pretty much everything with Tris and Tobias throughout the whole series, their journey and emotions worked. Maybe not some of seriousness of the situations they found themselves in, it was hard to believe some of the plot, but their reactions made sense. Emotionally I got them and that's what works in the books. I don't really have a problem with the end. It seemed very consistent with their actions and personalities throughout the book. The whole series just kind of felt...young to me. Like something a young author would write to prove a point to her professor that she wasn't afraid to rock the boat or something. And in the end it left me feeling more and more disappointed the more I thought about it, to the point that I don't know that I could honestly recommend it to anyone. Once the adrenaline wore off, the excitement of wondering what would happen and I finally knew what did happen, it was just kind of a big mess with a lovely emotional core and a few good ideas almost holding it together. OK, that's too harsh. She writes great scenes, her Chicago was gorgeous, a lot of the scenes were so easy to imagine and really vivid and special, especially in the first book when it was all new and fresh. It just didn't all hold together. I'm looking forward to seeing what the author does next and hoping that she makes it more sophisticated and consistent. ...more
The atmosphere was really good, and I liked Zoe in a lot of ways. I just didn't think that the author really got the age bracket right. Zoe is a senioThe atmosphere was really good, and I liked Zoe in a lot of ways. I just didn't think that the author really got the age bracket right. Zoe is a senior in high school, but she made a lot of decisions that were really immature and Too Stupid to Live. Sure, she's been a sheltered kid up to recently, but she lives in a bad neighborhood now and she's indicated a regard for her own safety that she didn't show at all once she got to Iphigene. And the villains in the story were shallow and stupid, outfoxed by the simplest of moves by these kids. I had a hard time doing anything but shaking my head at the actions of Prospero or Hecate. Emmett was at least a bit scary. If Zoe had been a junior high school girl then it would have made more sense, but then Kadrey couldn't have used the word fuck or have made it as dark, so the tone and the story just didn't compute. I think he just didn't give teens enough credit, dumbed it down too much. He needs to read more YA and give it another try. But I did think he did a good job of writing from a girl's voice, which from the author of Sandman Slim was probably what a lot of people were wondering. And Zoe's parents had a surprising amount of depth for YA, which was a welcome change, maybe in part because he hasn't read enough to know that that sort of thing just isn't done, who knows? (Laughs) One of her parents was dead and she was mourning, so one of the major YA conventions was upheld, even if the parents are somehow in it we couldn't have a happy kid, that would be just too much. Oh, and I really would have enjoyed an explanation of the mythological references, but having his pantheons are all jumbled up kind of does make it less necessary somehow, like these things just exist and we have to accept them, whether we understand them or not.
So, a good main character and family. An interesting story but not such a great execution, in my opinion.
First, there's a glossary in the back, you don't have to look everything up on the Internet! If you're just glancing down reviews, that's the most useFirst, there's a glossary in the back, you don't have to look everything up on the Internet! If you're just glancing down reviews, that's the most useful thing I can tell you. It really should be in the front, I didn't discover it was there until I was peeking at the end to see if one of the characters survived when I was two-thirds of the way through the book or more and had already looked up at least a dozen words.
And on to more traditional review-like stuff.This book was really terrific. The author used the setting and history of Tokyo and Japan to create wonderful characters and tell a rich and interesting story. It isn't that often that a story is both totally fun and really interesting at the same time. There were so many details to absorb and wonder at, but it never felt like any effort at all, it all flowed easily and effortlessly. At least for me to read, I'm sure it was hard work for the author to write, but he made it seem easy, as the best authors do.
I guess it's technically an urban fantasy, but there really isn't much, if any, fantasy element. There's folklore and history, and swords that may or may not have personalities or souls, so I guess it depends on how you feel about that being fantastical. There aren't any werelions, witches or wardrobes though. There is a very strong police procedural aspect that people who like that type of story should enjoy, though it's not a mystery at all. People who like traditional fantasy should really like the sections that take place in the past, exploring samurai culture and the Bushido way.
I really enjoyed the parts of the book about Mariko's job, though it was shocking to see the kind of discrimination she faced as the only female police inspector in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department in 2010. It seems that Bein knew what he was doing though when he put her in that job at that time, from the little I could find in a pretty quick google search. The numbers I found showed female police at 1.9% nationwide in 2010, 6.8% in 2012. Tokyo had 7.9% women as of an article from September 2013. Both Tokyo and nationwide have goals of reaching to 10% by 2020, with intentions of actually actually having more detectives or women being consulted on cases about stalking or domestic violence and not just traffic cops and low level positions. Stalking is mentioned a lot, apparently that's a big issue there? Tokyo MPD is hiring 200 women a year. But 50 to 70 are quitting, it's so bad that the police department issued a memo to urge male police officers to stop discriminating against female officers. http://japandailypress.com/male-tokyo... So Bein really was right on trend when he wrote the book, with a publication date in 2010. It seems like many of the things that Mariko faced that made me flinch and that seemed so shocking were actually very accurate. But as Bein points out in the book, there are a lot of things that go on here that are just as shocking to them. Like gun violence.
This is a really smart, entertaining book. I'm always interested in books that have stories about Japanese culture or history because I have family from Japan and living in Japan, so I'm eager to learn more about that nation and it's history and culture. Not that this is a history lesson, it's fiction! But I've learned plenty of history from reading historical fiction and romances and it's more fun that history classes. Anyway, it was a really well-balanced, enjoyable book with great characters and a vividly setting. The only shortcoming was that the bad guy wasn't really that compelling to me. He was OK. But the rest of the book was great. I can't wait to start book two....more