Book Reviews

Review: Kojiki by Keith Yatsuhasi

Kojiki is a fantasy action story which reveals a spiritual dimension and a war that is not only about betrayal, but will decide the fate of the world. The sheer cast of characters and mythology can be confusing at the beginning, and the ceaseless battles tiring by the end, but the whole book is an interesting blend of the spiritual and the real.

Being told only to use her camera to find a special gate in Tokyo, Keiko is more than a little lost. However, her father’s quest results in the uncovering of not only her future, but her father’s past. Keiko discovers that all is not what it seems, as the mystical gate turns out to be a boundary to another spiritual dimension and her tour guide, a kami tasked with keeping the world safe from threats: including its newest, a spirit whose power has broken his mind.

Kojiki is an interesting story that uncovers a whole false sense of reality. It questions the origin myths we have heard of to reveal a whole level of spiritual interactions beneath the surface. We are plunged headfirst into action and the pace never really lets up. There are, at the beginning, many characters we are introduced to. This can be quite confusing to remember who everyone is and what their history together is. Additionally, the past actions and events are narrated to us in a way that feels almost like information overload. There are all these old alliances and betrayals that can be challenging to remember.The pacing is a little start and stop as a lot of the novel actually deals with past events.

The characters were interesting and their whole backstories are complex. However, I wish we had gotten more time to know Keiko and Yiu, but most of the plot actually relates to older events that have lead up to today. We get to know the older spirits more extensively, but only a few in a way that displays their vulnerability. In all I was not impressed by their characterization, feeling it a little flat. But I have high hopes for the second, as I hope it features Keiko and Yiu more!

At times Kojiki was overwhelming, as I got a little tired of all the battles, but overall it was an interesting book, but more middle of the road for me. Ultimately my feelings on this book are a bit confused. I am not a huge action or battle scene person. I prefer character development and more soul searching so I wish there had been more exploration of Keiko. However I am looking forward to the next book. It is clear from the first that the foundations are being laid for a series, and I think the following book has a lot of promise. If you are  fan of Japanese myths, spiritual worlds, or liked Doctor Strange, try this book out.

You can pick up a copy on Amazon and add it to Goodreads.

Let’s Discuss: Would you want to know if there was an spiritual war going on under the surface of this reality?

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If you liked this review, you might enjoy my review of Winter Tide.

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