Rating: 2 stars out of 5
It’s 2035 and Kei is a half-Japanese, half-American asthmatic forced to relocate to Vancouver in order to breathe. Despite the difficulties that being in Japan entails, Kei goes back time and again to spend time with Taka, best friend and confidante, and help him hunt illegal pornographers. But no matter how badly Kei wishes they could be together permanently, life seems determined to keep them apart.
I was so looking forward to this story from reading the blurb. It had so many things that intrigue me, a Japanese location with Japanese or half Japanese characters with unusual jobs, who exist in a dystopian world. Unfortunately the execution just didn’t pan out.
For starters, the narrative comes out as muddied instead of clearly defined. There is a weird intro about shooting a crow that really has nothing to do with the rest of the story, nothing about the world building is substantial other than the fact that there are pornographers still in existence (not a surprise) and that the air quality is bad, even worse if you have asthma. How is this supposed to be a reach when it already exists now? When there are people who need to wear masks in cities during yellow and red zone days? It happens around the world now from Arizona to China so to have this story located in 2035 makes little sense.
So already you have 2 marks against this story. Then you get to the characters. Kei and Taka, who have such a disjointed relationship that there is absolutely no chemistry between them and therefore no connection between them and the reader. I really couldn’t figure out why they wanted to stay together.
The best part of this story? The very last part which was cut short when the story ended. That’s when the author should have picked up and run with it, that whole concept was great. But no, that was the end of the story. Oh well.
Cover artist: Natasha Snow. Neat cover, nice design.
ebook, 40 pages
Published April 26th 2017 by Less Than Three Press