Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Book Review: Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Release Date: September 18, 2012
Author: Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Length: 336 pages
Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher!

"Griffins are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shogun, they fear that their lives are over. Everyone knows what happens to those who fail him, no matter how hopeless the task.

But the mission proves far less impossible, and far more deadly, than anyone expects – and soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country's last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled griffin for company. But trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and Buruu soon discover a friendship that neither of them expected.

Meanwhile, the country around them verges on the brink of collapse. A toxic fuel is slowly choking the land; the omnipotent, machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure; and the Shogun cares about nothing but his own dominion. Yukiko has always been uneasy in the shadow of power, when she learns the awful truth of what the Shogun has done, both to her country and to her own family she's determined to do something about it.

Returning to the city, Yukiko and Buruu plan to make the Shogun pay for his crimes – but what can one girl and a flightless griffin do against the might of an empire?"


Characters: Yukiko, the sixteen year old girl from the Kitsune clan of Kigen and her father Masaru are told to go find a griffin, or thunder tiger, for the Shogun. However, our protagonist is sure that this mission would be her demise. Yukiko starts off as some what of a tough and brooding girl, but throughout the book she grows into an awesome badass. She eventually finds herself stranded from her father, who she begrudges for leaving her mother for another woman, and the rest of her airship crew. She finds herself in the company of Buruu, a griffin who she can communicate with. Honestly, I loved Buruu the most he was such an awesome charater, his very description made me long for him to be real. Yukiko and Buruu grow closer throughout their time together and they form a formidable bond.

Romance: So, I found the romance to be a tad predictable and cheesy, mainly because Yukiko literally gets the guy of her dreams. Hiro, is a sea-green eyed samurai that Yukiko dreams about eventually proves to be real. I was put off by the romance from the start, especially since Hiro's character never really develops through the book. Yukiko does have another admirer named Kin, who's a sweet and funny boy, but Yukiko never returns his affection which kind of disappointed me a little, because I would have loved to see a more concrete love triangle show up.

Predictability: No matter how predictable this book could get, the way everything was written made what I already suspected feel completely unknown. I was thoroughly shocked time and again, even if I was ready for that exact thing to happen. I love how easily Mr. Kristoff seems to weave his tale with beautiful thread, in unsuspecting patterns. 

Ending: So, this was a first for me. I felt that even if there were no other installments in this series, which there will be, it's a trilogy, I felt like this could have also been a stand alone book. There was no cliffhanger, and no gut wrenching twist, but at the same time I was satisfied I was also screaming internally for the next title to come out. Also, just a note/hint Mr. Kristoff has made it known that he does not believe in happy endings.

Overall, I give this title 5 out of 5 stars, from the detailed world building which I cannot quite articulate, it is that good, to the blend of fantasy and reality. I was left utterly speechless, yet begging for more. Pick this up as soon as it comes out you won't regret it.

I'm sorry for not reviewing Amber House on Saturday like I said I would, I had just started my review of it when I noticed that I had written down the release date wrong, thus throwing off my review order. However, because of my mistake I've added another review to the lineup, it's one that a few of you have requested and it's been lying on my shelf for months calling out for me to read it. So just sit tight and wait, that one will be coming next week. Don't forget to follow me by E-mail using the tool in the sidebar or on Twitter @FlyeZachary93. Also! Be sure to check out my other reviews easier, using my Book Review Index tab. 

Up Next: The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron


  1. I really wanted to read this book. It looks different!

  2. I'm so glad I read your review for this. I'd read other glowing reviews before but your thoughts on the characters and the thrilling unpredictability did me in! Hopefully I'll get to read this one soon :)

  3. This was one of the best book I read last year-completely blew me away. Loved everything about it right down to the cover. Can't wait for Kinslayer to come out!

  4. I want to read this and Kinslayer soooo bad. I love its world and asian theme books in general, so I'm pretty sure I'll love them both. Thank you for the wonderful review!