Sara's Reviews > Stormdancer

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
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3.75 out of 5

Another one of those fantasy series I've been meaning to check out for ages. I finally made STORMDANCER a priority recently; and while certain aspects grated on me, the rest of it pretty much blew my mind. :)

THE GEMS...:
- The worldbuilding. Oh. My. Goodness. The Japanese influences and mythology are stunning, and the fact that the world is on the brink of (human-induced) environmental disaster is a clever twist.
- The protagonist. Yukiko is a great addition to the "kick-ass leading lady" club without being too tough. She empathizes with the suffering (people as well as creatures) and appreciates what's left of her dying world's natural beauty. And while her anger toward her father over his shortcomings is justified, her love for him and desire to feel loved by him is clearly evident.
- BURUU!! Words can't adequately express how much I adore that thunder tiger. He's easily my favorite character in the book.
- Yukiko and Buruu's bond. I have a soft spot for human-animal relationships, so seeing one play out in a fantasy / steampunk environment was a real treat. Their "shared mind" as stormdancer and mount brought a unique depth to their dynamics.
- The plot. The civil unrest and rebellion against the Shogun / government bears shades of The Hunger Games and Divergent while wielding its own personality, especially due to the pollution / environment angle.
- Constant suspense. I never quite knew which supporting characters could be trusted, so I was constantly worried about Yukiko's and Buruu's safety and whether they were allied with the right people. And I like it when a book keeps me on the edge of my seat for that reason.
- I almost cried near the end. Books always deserve bonus points for tugging at one's heartstrings.

... AND THE THORNS:
- The flowery, overdescriptive writing and uneven pacing. As lovely and vivid as it is at times, Kristoff's writing style made the first 25% of the story feel like a slog and slowed things down in spots later on. I liked the story enough that I didn't want to give up, though, so I pushed myself to get through those first several chapters and was later rewarded for it.
- Yukiko's "relationship" with Hiro. Too insta-love / insta-lust for my tastes, but how it ended was gruesomely satisfying.

IN SHORT:

A thrilling, wildly imaginative tale that walks on the dark and violent side of steampunk fantasy. Even though I wasn't crazy about the pace or the overabundant details at times, I was riveted by the world, the story, and the characters enough that I kept reading. Now I can't wait to read its sequel KINSLAYER and discover how Yukiko's and Buruu's rebellion continues.
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Reading Progress

November 25, 2014 – Shelved
November 25, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
August 27, 2016 – Started Reading
August 28, 2016 –
page 47
14.51% "Talk about world-building. Wow. I knew about the Japanese, steampunk, and civil unrest bits, but somehow missed that the world was also heavily polluted. That gives the story a whole other sense of urgency.\n\nThe only thing I'm not crazy about right now? The flowery writing and super-long descriptions. I know Kristoff is explaining a fictional world to us, but it gets a bit much after a while."
August 29, 2016 –
page 86
26.54% "Something tells me that thunder tiger isn't going to stay on the ship very long..."
August 31, 2016 –
page 151
46.6% "Still not digging the flowery writing too much. My mind keeps wanting to skip over the long paragraphs. But OMG do I love Buruu. He's already my favorite character. :D"
September 1, 2016 –
page 205
63.27% "I wonder if Jay Kristoff's familiar with the band Devilskin. The past couple chapters of Stormdancer (or the underlying ideas in those chapters) reminded of their song "Start A Revolution." \n\nAnyways. BURUU. :D"
September 2, 2016 –
page 259
79.94% "Not sure if I trust certain Hiro and Lady Aisha, to be honest..."
September 4, 2016 – Finished Reading
September 6, 2016 – Shelved as: action-packed
September 6, 2016 – Shelved as: books-that-made-me-cry
September 6, 2016 – Shelved as: creature-love
September 6, 2016 – Shelved as: dystopian
September 6, 2016 – Shelved as: fantasy
September 6, 2016 – Shelved as: female-protagonists
September 6, 2016 – Shelved as: great-friendships
September 6, 2016 – Shelved as: spirits-and-demons
September 6, 2016 – Shelved as: steampunk
September 6, 2016 – Shelved as: world-building-love

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

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Sarah Sanborn Probably my all time favorite steampunk series! Though I had some issues with the first book, but they only get better as you go along! :D


Sara Sarah wrote: "Probably my all time favorite steampunk series! Though I had some issues with the first book, but they only get better as you go along! :D"

Nice! :) I'm hoping to finally get to the first book this year. Fingers crossed!


Sarah Sanborn Glad you liked it. I remember having some issues with the first book, but really loving the series.


message 4: by Molly (new) - added it

Molly Mortensen You almost cried? That's not a good thing in my opinion. Someone didn't die, did they?


Sara Molly wrote: "You almost cried? That's not a good thing in my opinion. Someone didn't die, did they?"

This is going to sound a little vague... but something toward the end was written in a way that, because I was so invested in the characters, it made me a little emotional. That's all I will say in an effort to avoid spoilers... but I can get more specific if you'd like me to.


message 6: by Molly (new) - added it

Molly Mortensen Sara wrote: "Molly wrote: "You almost cried? That's not a good thing in my opinion. Someone didn't die, did they?"

This is going to sound a little vague... but something toward the end was written in a way tha..."


Thank you. I understand. As long as no one dies, I'm good. (I was worried about the Griffin)


Sara Molly wrote: "Sara wrote: "Molly wrote: "You almost cried? That's not a good thing in my opinion. Someone didn't die, did they?"

This is going to sound a little vague... but something toward the end was written..."


If Buruu died in Book #1, I have a feeling the series would've lost its allure for most readers. So no, you don't need to worry about the thunder tiger. ;)


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