japan

C+
The Gilded Fan

Every so often a book comes along that seems like it’ll just pull you in…and it doesn’t. You open it up, read the first few pages or chapters, and then look at your TBR pile and go, “Nah. I’ve got plenty of other things to read that actually interest me.” It’s not that this book is bad ...

B
The Scarlet Kimono

There was a thread on the message boards a while ago asking “Where have all the historical sagas gone?” Well, I’ve found one, and it’s pretty darn good. The Scarlet Kimono is a sweeping adventure story in the mold of 1970s and 80s sagas. It has a lot of what I liked about those books, but av ...

B+
Ink

I chose to review the young adult paranormal Ink because of its unusual setting – Japan. Indeed, author Amanda Sun does a fabulous job evoking the feeling of being in an environment and culture wholly unlike my own. And while the paranormal aspect sometimes confused me, overall I really enjoyed th ...

B+
Fire and Ice

We first met Reno in Ice Blue, introduced as Takashi O’Brien’s punk Japanese cousin, complete with piercings, tattoos, and bright red, waist-length hair. While I was amused at the bits of comedic relief he provided in both that book and Ice Storm, I wasn’t sure how Ms. Stuart could transform h ...

B-
Ice Blue

Oddly enough, although I thought Ice Blue suffered from a number of problems, I enjoyed it nonetheless. The third in Anne Stuart's Ice series, it's not as good as the first book, Black Ice, but much better than the second, Cold As Ice. It's kind of a mess, but an agreeable one. When Summer Hawtho ...

A
Memoirs of a Geisha

Once in awhile there comes a story so completely transporting that, from the exhilarating experience of reading it, you emerge almost wordless. A review cannot fully describe what is indescribably beautiful. But I will say this: Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha is among the handful of works that ...