Worth It Wednesdays is a weekly post where I feature my favorite YA titles. Find out more about it here!
Author: Jay Kristoff
Goodreads Description: 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.
But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.
Why it’s worth it: If you know a thing about me, than it is probably already clear why this book made my Top 10 Series I NEED to Finish. For one thing, just look at it. I got an ARC of this book, originally, but I would gladly spend money to own a copy of this cover. LOOK AT IT.
Alright, listen.I admit that my original ARC review was extremely confused. I gave it four stars, but I spent a lot of times talking about the negatives. I don’t know why–I can almost sense that something else was happening to my emotional state why I was reading it. Trust me, that original emphasis does not hold up on subsequent readings.
Jay Kristoff is a fabulous writer. Just. His writing is beautiful and wonderful and of a caliber not often appreciated enough in young adult writing.I would read a menu or instruction manual written by him and it would be amazing.
Also, his world. This is one of the most amazing worlds I’ve ever encountered. Does it lean into some of my personal biases, i.e. Japanese inspiration and THUNDER TIGERS? You bet it does. Does that mean anything less than IT IS AMAZING? Absolutely not.
Oh yeah, by the way: THUNDER TIGER. Though I love Yukiko as a character, strong and fierce as she is, my heart forever belongs to the thunder tiger. His voice was so hilariously amazing that it made me legitimately sad that I did not have a friend like him. Okay, so no one really has a thunder-tiger but still.
So the beginning of this book is a little slow and the romance aspect is convoluted to say the least. IT IS WORTH IT. If you don’t believe me, just know that Taylor from Bibliomancy for Beginners also read and loved this series and we rarely agree on ANYTHING. It’s that good.
Read it if you’re looking for: fantastic writing, strong female characters, Japanese inspired mythology, steampunk, strong world building, action, adventure, THUNDER-TIGERS