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The Gate of Sorrows

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  13 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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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  86 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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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
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
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
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
Esmerelda Weatherwax
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.
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!
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.
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
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
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
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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
“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?”
“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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