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The Gate of Sorrows

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3.82  ·  Rating details ·  112 ratings  ·  20 reviews
A series of murders shocks Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward, but Shigenori, a retired police detective, is instead obsessed with a gargoyle that seems to move. College freshman Kotaro launches a web-based investigation of the killer, and comes to find that answers may lie within an abandoned building in the center of Japan’s busiest neighborhood, and beyond the Gate of Sorrows. In th ...more
Kindle Edition, 600 pages
Published August 16th 2016 by Haikasoru (first published January 15th 2015)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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Serena W. Sorrell
Words we use, spoken, typed, thought, stay with us throughout our lives and become our karma. Good or bad the words are ours to bear.

That's the message in The Gate of Sorrows, a followup novel to Book of Heroes (recurring characters, but works as a standalone as well).

The message is profound and well presented throughout the body of the novel. In Miyabe's usual style you're in for a slow burning read that picks up at just the right times, and then eases off again to let you think, to make you f
...more
T. K. Elliott (Tiffany)
This is definitely Young Adult fiction - but it has a distinct lack of romance (let alone a love triangle featuring the protagonist) and a refreshingly low angst quotient. And at 600 pages or so, it's about twice as long as your typical YA novel. I found myself wondering whether this book was unusual, or whether that's just the way Japanese YA writers write. If the latter, Japanese Young Adults are very fortunate.

The Translation
I found the translation pretty good: there was only one instance in
...more
James
Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, japan
It's hard to classify this novel, it's not your typical urban fantasy, it's more like a coming of age novel (minus large helpings of teen angst) mixed in with a detective novel along with a classic heroic journey. College student Kotaro is drifting a bit when a mentor recommends becoming a cyber patroller, he starts investigating various internet crimes, murders occur and a friend goes missing. A retired detective makes an appearance and together they meet a beasty with its own agenda. It was a ...more
Eustacia Tan
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Brave Stories years ago and really enjoyed it, but as is quite usual for me, never really bothered to check if Miyuki Miyabe wrote anything else. So imagine my surprise when I found out that she’s got tons of other books, including The Gate of Sorrows.

The Gate of Sorrows stars university student Kotaro. He works part-time at a cyber security firm, and when a colleague of his disappears after looking into a string of disappearances in Tokyo, he gets pulled into a strange world where storie
...more
Ugoki
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elana
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Asian horror because it is not as moralistic as its Western counterpart. No black-and-white good and evil; no innocent victims and monstrous victimizers; no Puritanical punishment of sexy women in the name of “family values”. Asian horror is quietly creepy rather than physically shocking. And it is also wildly imaginative. This novel is a perfect example. It is not even horror, exactly, but a wild mix of detective story, allegory, fantasy and metafiction, with monsters, demons, gargoyles ...more
Esme
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was pretty different, I'm not a huge fan of urban fantasy, but I'm trying to pick up new things this year, and a translated book from a female Japanese fantasy author sounded too good to pass up, and I was not left unsatisfied.

It does sort of lean YA, but not glaringly so, and that's because this is actually the second book set in this world, bUT a stand alone - the first book was YA, and this one was supposed to be more adult in tone.
Caroline
An excellent reality-based crime novel with an expertly done layer of magical realism on top.

Note: The Book of Heroes should be read BEFORE this one as this book will completely spoil that one.
...more
Elizabeth Rose
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful kick to the gut with words. I loved every single page of this book- the characters, the setting, the world, the philosophy... I can't wait to delve into more of Miyabe's work!
Rachelle
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great murder mystery thriller with a splash of fantasy. It was a spellbinding read from start to finish, kept turning the pages.
More Bedside Books
Oct 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: wit, japanese-novels
Prolific Japanese author Miyabe Miyuki is known for writing in many genres. Her previous fantasy novel The Book of Heroes is a story about stories. In the connected and more mature The Gate of Sorrows readers likewise are given in this large tome more than one tale through its characters.

College freshman Mishima Kotaro is gaining work experience at a tech company that monitors the web for criminal or other harmful activity. Unlike most of his colleagues who have backgrounds in applicable areas
...more
Pamela Okano
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, japan
I'd give this 4.5 stars. Japanese author Miyuki Miyabe writes a lot of mysteries, but this one is different because it blends fantasy fiction into a whodunnit. Normally I would shy away from such books, but Miyabe (with excellent translation by Jim Hubbert) does it very well indeed. Someone murders the popular founder/CEO of a web monitoring company. Is it the apparent serial killer who has been murdering others and chopping off body parts? Meanwhile, an elderly woman dies after reporting seeing ...more
Nicole
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 ⭐️’s.
Not sure if it’s because I took so long to read it or it wasn’t as ~fantasy~ as I would like it, but overall I thought the Gate of Sorrows was just okay.
The characters were basic, the concept was cool but laid more in the contemporary setting, however the translation was great and not as clunky as I thought it my be.
Cindy N. Custodio
3 1/2 stars
Nara
Apr 21, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dropped
I didnt finish. Literally cant with the sexist undertone and dumb narrative. idk maybe bc its the translation
Kim
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
The danger of obsessions.

I did not read The Book of Heroes before this book, which did not hinder me from understanding the plot of The Gate of Sorrows, but might have made the sudden appearance of a certain character or two more understandable. This is the story about college student Kotaro who investigates after a coworker investigating the disappearance of several homeless people disappears himself. Along the way he meets a retired detective investigating a gargoyle that moves and a little gi
...more
Meg Hendry
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Gate of Sorrows by Miyuki Miyabe, is as good as the first book, The Book of Heroes. The Gate of Sorrows followed different characters, with an appearance of characters from the first book. The two books are very different from each other, but both are good. The Gate of Sorrows is a good mystery. It’s much darker than the first book. An adult book rather than young adult. The book was long, but didn’t drag. The story kept moving and both points of view were good. As with the first book, all o ...more
Jon Chaisson
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Miyabe follows up her YA story 'The Book of Heroes' with an adult sort-of sequel. It's a much darker and more sinister affair, but just as mindbending and gripping. [Note: Yuriko from the first book does make an appearance here as a secondary character.]
Francine Chu
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really original plot; Miyabe weaves the ordinary with fantasy to lure unsuspecting readers
Johnny Guerrero
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this novel was good but not as good as the first one was
Rachel
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Nov 17, 2017
flum
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Feb 13, 2017
Kristina
rated it it was amazing
Nov 30, 2016
Ro
rated it it was ok
May 16, 2017
Suzan Eaton
rated it really liked it
May 03, 2018
Mina
rated it really liked it
Aug 04, 2017
Mackenzie Gorman
rated it really liked it
Mar 27, 2018
Pia
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Mar 30, 2017
Noelle
rated it it was ok
Apr 26, 2020
Shannon Donahue
rated it liked it
Jun 06, 2019
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See also 宮部 みゆき.宮部美幸

Miyuki Miyabe (宮部みゆき Miyabe Miyuki) is a popular contemporary Japanese author active in a number of genres including science fiction, mystery fiction, historical fiction, social commentary, and juvenile fiction.
Miyabe started writing novels at the age of 23. She has been a prolific writer, publishing dozens of novels and winning many major literary prizes, including the Yamamo
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174 likes · 45 comments
“I have friends like that—very straightforward and responsible, good at what they do, good home life. But they get stressed, and they blow off steam by posting aggressive comments on the web. Their web personality is different from their real personality. They keep them separate. They just laugh and say it’s okay to write whatever you can’t say in the real world, no matter how critical or negative it is. That does seem to be one purpose of the Internet for a lot of people.”

Kotaro nodded.

“But I think my friends are wrong. Their posts will never disappear. They think they’re just putting opinions out there. They don’t use real names. They say what they think. They assume no one pays attention for more than a few moments. That’s a big mistake.”

“Most of what goes on the net, stays on the net—somewhere.”

“That’s not what I mean. No matter how carefully they choose their words, whatever they say, the words they use stay inside them. Everything is cumulative. Words don’t ‘disappear.’

“Maybe they post a comment saying a certain actress should just die. They think they’ve blown off steam by criticizing someone no one likes anyway. But those words—’I hope she dies’—stay inside the writer, along with the feeling that it’s acceptable to write things like that. All that negativity accumulates, and someday the weight of it will change the writer.

“That’s what words do. However they’re expressed, there’s no way people can separate their words from themselves. They can’t escape the influence of their own thoughts. They can divide their comments among different handles and successfully hide their identity, but they can’t hide from themselves. They know who they are. You can’t run from yourself.”

Mom would say, “What goes around, comes around.”

“So be careful, Kotaro. If the real world is stressing you out, deal with your stress in the real world, no matter how dumb you think it makes you look. Okay?”
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“Above a certain size and level of prosperity, regional cities in Japan look alike. To discover what makes each one different, one has to sample the food and the sake, and stay long enough to see the patterns of life under the surface. Otherwise it can be hard to tell them apart. Wealth tends to smooth out the differences in the way people live. Life becomes standardized.

Only in nature, in the mountains and valleys beyond the hand of man, are the real differences, the real uniqueness, preserved. There is something about the air in Hokkaido, a kind of richness that will never change. For better or worse, the only thing that really changes is people.”
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