Steph Sinclair's Reviews > Stormdancer

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
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The first thing that came to my mind after finishing Stormdancer was the very eloquent: WHOA! The second more composed chain of thought was something along the lines of: Why yes, that *was* just as badass as its cover suggested. Stormdancer had it all for me. Richly crafted world building, carefully placed humor, realistic characters, unpredictable storyline... I mean, I could go on and on here! This book was freakin' awesome! I went into Stormdancer expecting to fall in love with it because it has such an awesome premise. Which is saying something because I'm not a huge fan of Steampunk. *Cue the mock horror and shock* But you know what? I loved this book. Prepare yourselves, friends... for a glowing review.

Right off the bat the reader is immersed into Shima's culture with no hand holding from Kristoff whatsoever. The beginning is intelligently planned and doesn't insult the reader with countless explanations of terms, locations and titles. That's what a glossary is for. Thankfully, Stormdancer has one, which I found myself visiting often at first. However, those visits tapered off as I became more familiar with the story. It's almost like watching your favorite anime with subtitles. In the beginning you're doing a lot of reading, but halfway through you find yourself catching on, getting lost in the story, following along easier without the need of your training wheels. Good stuff, people. Good stuff.

The plot rocked my socks. It all revolves around a flower called "blood lotus" that fuels their machinery and the population's drug addiction to it. The Shogun believes he is destined to be a legendary Stormdancer, riding the back of a Thunder Tiger, leading his army to victory against an enemy he plans to enslave for further production of the plant that's choking the life from his country. Throw in Samurai with clockwork armory, a telepathic griffin and chainsaw katanas and you, my friend, have got yourself a damn good time.

The characterizations are phenomenal. I absolutely loved Yukiko. She's incredibly smart, fierce and independent. And her voice felt very real to me as a female. The best part of Stormdancer hands down was Buruu the griffin. HILARIOUS! When he and Yukiko first meet up he affectionately refers to her as "insect" and "monkey." Did I mention this dude speaks in ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME? (He sounds like Zordon from the Power Rangers in my head. But with attitude.) I found myself laughing every time they interacted. His development was also an interesting one because he starts off with a simpler mind, thinking short choppy violent thoughts, with no understanding of sarcasm, only blood. But as the novel progresses you can see his sentence structure improving and his thoughts becoming more humane (darn!). It was all a very smooth transition until I couldn't see the final Buruu any other way.

What's that you say? You find it impossible that I can find no fault with Stormdancer? Well, that's not entirely true. But keep in mind this is coming from someone who doesn't read a lot of High Fantasy or Steampunk. Basically, ignore me. Lol. If there was one thing that bothered me, it was the beginning. It felt a little slow for me with the myriads of description after description. When my best friend asked me in the beginning what I thought of Stormdancer I told her it was kinda like when Rowling went nuts on describing the Weasley house. And her reply was, "Yes! I love tons of descriptions." And that's when I realized I was obviously the weirdo in this case. For once. Don't worry, I'll be back to being the "kool" one soon enough.

So why did I give it 5 stars? Why not 4? Truthfully, for about half the book I thought, "Okay, 4 stars for sure." But then Buruu and Yukiko brought the THUNDA with that fight screen against the Oni... and I was like whoa, dude! Oh, and when the minor character, Michi, started going into splits, cutting dudes to shreds!! OMG, it was like a serious Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon badass scene on steroids. And then with the plot twists! *takes deep breath* Sorry, I-I-I couldn't contain the fangirling. But it was awesome!

And that ending?! Wow. So much win and I never saw it coming! And damn you Kristoff for making me shed a tear! Who knew my cold, dead heart was capable of such emotions? But you know what they say, "The lotus must bloom." Heh. I am very thankful that salt wasn't poured into the wound with a cliffhanger, but I feel like a desperate lotus addict looking for book two to magically appear on my bookshelf. *weeps* It's not there! So I'll just be over here rocking back and forth waiting for my bookish fix.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

ARC was provided by the publisher. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. Doubt me not, friends. These are my honest thoughts. Kristoff happened to write a book and I happened to love it.

More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.


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Reaction right after reading:

Like, wow. Need book two. Now.

I hear Mr. Kristoff does not believe in happy endings. That roughly translates into sucker punching your emotions and then proceeding to stomp them, probably with a bloody smile on his face.

He should expect my therapy bill in the mail.

In case you were wondering: Yes, Stormdancer is as badass as its cover suggests.

Review most definitely to come. Alas, I'm not allowed to post it until August 1st. Just remember that it hurts me more than it does you. (Well, maybe not...)

------------------
5/18 EDIT: Check out the badass US cover! Don't forget to stop on over to Cuddlebuggery for a chance to win an ARC!

This cover screams, "I'm going to cut you."


3/27 EDIT: Just saw the UK cover!

*Drools*

This book sounds badass. Must acquire at all costs.
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Quotes Steph Liked

Jay Kristoff
“He's probably out there in the hallway right now, composing bad poetry in his head." Michi cleared her throat, her voice taking on a breathless lilt:

"Pale Fox's Daughter,
Her cherry lips haunt my dreams.
Something, something, breasts...”
Jay Kristoff, Stormdancer
tags: humor

Jay Kristoff
“It's easy to lose yourself in the idea of a person and be blinded to their reality.”
Jay Kristoff, Stormdancer

Jay Kristoff
“Dying is easy. Anyone can throw themselves onto the pyre and rest a happy martyr. Enduring the suffering that comes with sacrifice is the real test.”
Jay Kristoff, Stormdancer

Jay Kristoff
“A conscience is easier to swallow on an empty belly, simpler to swing with a broken wrist.”
Jay Kristoff, Stormdancer

Jay Kristoff
“To be a servant can be a noble thing, but only as noble as the master served.”
Jay Kristoff, Stormdancer

Jay Kristoff
“DO NOT UNDERSTAND YOU MONKEYS.”
Jay Kristoff, Stormdancer
tags: buruu

Jay Kristoff
“ENOUGH NOISE. STAND ASIDE. I WILL GUT HIM.”
Jay Kristoff, Stormdancer
tags: buruu

Jay Kristoff
“You're hungry.
The beast glared.
STAY OUT OF MY MIND, INSECT.”
Jay Kristoff, Stormdancer
tags: buruu


Reading Progress

05/23/2012 page 1
0.0% "SOOOOOOOOO... excited!!!" 12 comments
05/28/2012 page 51
15.0% "Excellent world building. Good stuff, people." 6 comments
06/04/2012
20.0% 2 comments
06/06/2012
27.0% "This griffin means business. :D" 3 comments
06/07/2012
37.0% "I love how the griffin... affectionately calls Yukiko "Insect" and "Monkey-child." Lol."
06/08/2012
45.0% "Right now in this moment I'm loving this book so hard. Very entertaining dialogue between the griffin and Yukiko." 5 comments
06/10/2012
73.0% "Wow. And the plot thickens. I don't want to go to sleep, but I must..." 6 comments
06/10/2012
85.0% "I want the little prick to die already!"
06/11/2012
91.0% ""You bastard whoreson," the big one spat. "I'll kill you and all your little girlfriends."
Oh shit. Something tells me: Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos"
06/11/2012
93.0% "Kristoff, damn you. D:" 10 comments

Comments (showing 1-50 of 104) (104 new)


Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews) right? My brain is set to "acquire immediately"


message 2: by Jay (new) - added it

Jay Kristoff If you want a sneak preview before September, I'll accept payment in firstborn children.

Although if I hit 1k TBRs before my cover reveal, I'ma throw some advanced copies around to say thanks to you awesome GR folks :)


Steph Sinclair Hahahaha! Something tells me Mr. Sinclair would pitch a bitch fit if I sold off his only daughter for a book. I suppose I'll just have to settle for enabling all my GRs friends.

I can't wait to see the cover. It has to be equally as awesome as the blurb.


message 4: by Jay (new) - added it

Jay Kristoff Stephanie wrote: "I can't wait to see the cover. It has to be equally as awesome as the blurb"

I'm actually looking at roughs for the US cover as I type this. And yeah, one of them is frackin' awesome. :)


Steph Sinclair Jay wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "I can't wait to see the cover. It has to be equally as awesome as the blurb"

I'm actually looking at roughs for the US cover as I type this. And yeah, one of them is frackin' awe..."


You tease! You see the shelf it's on? "Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimmie" <=== True story, Bro.


message 6: by Skyla (new) - added it

Skyla It is also on the "Need-it-like-a-fat-kid-needs-cake" shelf. I love that shelf name it makes me laugh and then makes me want cake.


Steph Sinclair Skyla (Happy Go Lucky and Lost in Books) wrote: "It is also on the "Need-it-like-a-fat-kid-needs-cake" shelf. I love that shelf name it makes me laugh and then makes me want cake."

Oh, yeah! That one too! Lol.


message 8: by Jay (new) - added it

Jay Kristoff Stephanie wrote: "You tease! You see the shelf it's on? "Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimmie" <=== True story, Bro."

Well, it's almost at 850 tbrs now. Got a whole bunch last night from lord knows where.

When we hit 1,000, it's signed hardcover giveaway time. :)


Steph Sinclair Jay wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "You tease! You see the shelf it's on? "Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimmie"

Well, it's almost at 850 tbrs now. Got a whole bunch last night from lord knows where.

When we hit 1,000, it's s..."


Whoop, whoop! C'mon people!


message 10: by Skyla (new) - added it

Skyla Jay wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "You tease! You see the shelf it's on? "Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimmie"

Well, it's almost at 850 tbrs now. Got a whole bunch last night from lord knows where.

When we hit 1,000, it's s..."


Will you let us know when you are doing the giveaway? I really want to enter =)


Now come one people add this to your TBR shelf! Do it now!


message 11: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael *adds* This book looks amazing. I can't wait to see the cover!


message 12: by Jay (new) - added it

Jay Kristoff Skyla (Happy Go Lucky and Lost in Books) wrote: "Will you let us know when you are doing the giveaway? I really want to enter =)"

If it's on your TBR list, you'll be entered :)


message 13: by Skyla (new) - added it

Skyla Of course it is on my TBR shelf, it sounds awesome! and yay I'll be entered to win *dances around in happiness* =)


message 14: by Megan (new) - added it

Megan Sanchez O_O NEED.


Steph Sinclair Megan wrote: "O_O NEED."

Well, only 82 more people to add it to their shelves before there's a signed giveaway. Not that I'm counting or anything! :P


message 16: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 10, 2012 09:06AM) (new)

*SIGH* Now I really want some cake AND I want this book so badly. It sounds kick-ass awesome. Not even that. The dictionary couldn't come up with a word to describe how awesome this is.


Steph Sinclair Ally wrote: "*SIGH* Now I really want some cake AND I want this book so badly. It sounds kick-ass awesome. Not even that. The dictionary couldn't come up with a word to describe how awesome this is."

+1 (<== Lol.)


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Not that you're keeping track or anything :P


Steph Sinclair Ally wrote: "Not that you're keeping track or anything :P"

Of course not! Hehehe.


message 20: by jo (new) - added it

jo mo +1 *drool*


message 21: by Jay (new) - added it

Jay Kristoff Ally wrote: "The dictionary couldn't come up with a word to describe how awesome this is."

You could always make up a word, then?

Splendiferous?

Zomgastic?

Jizztasmagoric?


Steph Sinclair *cough*

Just one more person till an awesome giveaway! :D


message 23: by Kate (new) - added it

Kate Copeseeley Stephanie wrote: "*cough*

Just one more person till an awesome giveaway! :D"

How bout now?


message 24: by Skyla (new) - added it

Skyla Giveaway time yet? *Pretty please with cherries on top and whipped cream and rainbow coloured sprinkles*


Steph Sinclair Kate wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "*cough*

Just one more person till an awesome giveaway! :D"
How bout now?"


Yay! It's hit 1,000!!

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


message 26: by Jay (new) - added it

Jay Kristoff zomg, so it did.

How shall we decide the winner? Random number generator, or Hunger games style gladiatorial battle to the death?


Steph Sinclair Jay wrote: "zomg, so it did.

How shall we decide the winner? Random number generator, or Hunger games style gladiatorial battle to the death?"


Battle royal. "Wench! Fetch my sword!"


message 28: by Jay (new) - added it

Jay Kristoff Stephanie wrote: "Wench! Fetch my sword!""

Ah, you're a sword gal. So much more stylish than a puny bow and arrow :P


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

I prefer my hammers. :)


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Jay wrote: "Ally wrote: "The dictionary couldn't come up with a word to describe how awesome this is."

You could always make up a word, then?

Splendiferous?

Zomgastic?

Jizztasmagoric?"


Splendiferouszomgasticjizztasmagoriclyamazinglyawesomesauce.


Erica (daydreamer) That, is an awesome cover.


sunset shimmer That looks aaaaaaawesome. <3


Steph Sinclair Erica (daydreamer) wrote: "That, is an awesome cover."

Right? It's gorgeous. I really can't wait to see the US cover.


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

:O


message 35: by Skyla (new) - added it

Skyla I need a new shelf for this not only is it nerdgasm and book boner it is covergasm too.


message 36: by Angela (new)

Angela Awesome cover for UK.


Hailee ADDED. Need it now please.


message 38: by Lyndz (new)

Lyndz Wow, great cover art!


message 39: by Rogier (new) - added it

Rogier lovee love love /i wanna marry u love /love the cover lol


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

That cover is gorgeous. I hope the US cover looks half as good as that.


message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

Shiny! I want!


message 42: by Kate (new) - added it

Kate Copeseeley Wow! So pretty!!! Hopefully the US is kick ass, too!


Steph Sinclair Kate C. wrote: "Wow! So pretty!!! Hopefully the US is kick ass, too!"

It simply must be! There is a giveaway up on The Story Siren for a signed finished copy! :)


message 44: by Kate (new) - added it

Kate Copeseeley Cool! I never win giveaways, though. haha


Steph Sinclair Kate C. wrote: "Cool! I never win giveaways, though. haha"

Me either! Lol.


message 46: by Jay (new) - added it

Jay Kristoff Thanks for the cover love, peoples. So glad you like it :)


message 47: by [deleted user] (new)

Soooooooooo, when exactly will these ARC's be given away?? Not to sound obsessed or anything :)


message 48: by Jay (last edited Mar 27, 2012 10:01PM) (new) - added it

Jay Kristoff Ally wrote: "Soooooooooo, when exactly will these ARC's be given away?? Not to sound obsessed or anything :)"

The 1,000 tbr winner got announced last week, iirc. The giveaway on the Story Siren is still going on - that's for a signed hardback though, not an ARC. :D

Gogo! march like zombieeeeees!


message 49: by Alicia (new) - added it

Alicia Jay wrote: "If you want a sneak preview before September, I'll accept payment in firstborn children."

Where should I send it? :-|


message 50: by Jay (new) - added it

Jay Kristoff Alicia wrote: "Jay wrote: "Where should I send it? :-|"

Just address it to the Melbourne GPO. There's only a few of us living down here. Someone'll pick it up for me. You might wanna put some airholes in the box, and maybe include a cookie or something. The post is pretty slow around here.


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