(Goodreads) A DYING LAND
The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever.
AN IMPOSSIBLE QUEST
The hunters of Shima's imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger – a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.
A HIDDEN GIFT
Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.
The Short Story? - There are not enough words to describe how extraordinary this debut is. Let's leave it at it's got a "wow-factor"that puts other books of the YA genre to shame! Kristoff is one hell of a talented writer and the more you read, the more you crave. Absolutely beautiful world-building and characterisation. Kristoff refreshingly original debut brings back the good old YA where loyalty and saving the world was more important than kissing boys! Two thumbs up for Stormdancer!
The Long Story? - Upon finishing Stormdancer, two words kept flashing in my head - MIND BLOWN. With such a competitive YA market, he has managed to write a unique novel that appeals both male and female readers! Some of the most beautiful world-building I've ever read, Kristoff's strong narrative voice and excellent use of language has painted a vivid picture of his "japanese steampunk" inspired dystopian society in my head. It's not a world I want to find myself in but it's a world that has been beautifully built. The plot was also a surprise to me because in all honesty, "Aussie Author" and "Japanese Steampunk" was all I needed to hear - I got a lot more than I bargained for. Stormdancer had a little bit of everything, action, danger, romance, excitement, fear, loss and hope, I don't know how Kristoff did it but there is definitely something in this novel for everyone. Remarkable debut that will definitely appeal to YA readers, you're looking at one of the best 2012 YA Debuts I've read yet :)
More than anything, Stormdancer is about the unlikely friendship between a girl and a griffin and the characterisation focuses very heavily on them both. Yukiko is a badass with enough badass-ness to rival yours truly. A kind heart, a fierce attitude ( she doesn't take nonsense) and some dangerous fighting skills, I couldn't have asked for a better heroine for a novel like this. Buruu completely stole my heart, it doesn't matter that he's not human because he's still the most attractive male in Stormdancer ( not literally, he's one hell of a sexy griffin!). Buruu protectiveness over Yukiko and his loyalty to her is absolutely heart-warming! The companionship betweenYukiko and Buruu completely dominate the novel and it's through this friendship that we see change for the better for them both! Of course, there are actual boys in this novel, a gorgeous one called Hiro and a undeniable sweet one called Kin, I gave a little piece of my heart to both but my love for Buruu over powers everything <3
In a nutshell, writing this review has given me a headache. There is so much I want to say but then this part of me screams "NO. DON'T SPOIL IT" so I leave you with the vague but hopefully persuasive review! Kristoff has written a phenomenal debut that I truly hope all of you get the chance to read. Did I mention beautiful world-building? A badass heroine? A mighty griffin? and lot's of action? Because you'll find them all in Stormdancer!
What's it Worth? - Break Out Your Piggybank ( and pre-order a copy!)
Badass Bookie xx
Disclaimer: This is a honest review. My opinion wasn't swayed by my friendship with Jay or the 100 million dollars he promised me. For you guys, I turned down money to live a life in poverty. Peace.