Give me magic, gadgets, monsters, zombies, everything that seems impossible, and throw in some tough chicks with swords. That's the stuff.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Review: United States of Japan


Things I want from a summer read: action, fast-pace, action, intriguing world, action,well-rounded characters, and did I mention action?

Set in an alternate history where Japan and the AXIS powers won WWII, Imperial Japan controls the Western half of the former USA, criticism of the Emperor is a death sentence, and the George Wahingtons have been in rebellion since the end of the war, we follow two characters on a hunt for a missing general. 

Captain Beniko Ishimura is a censor, frequently passed over for promotion, but also knows more than anyone thinks he does. A complicated and tragic family history, a lackadaisical manner that belies his real intelligence, Ben is a survivor.

 Agent Akiko Tsukino is a member of the secret police, executing anyone who criticizes the emperor with extreme satisfaction. Unfortunately, she is a part of a government that would rather find a scapegoat than admit to any mistake or embarrassment. 

They are an extremely unlikely duo that does not meld into a buddy cop routine, but is no less fascinating to watch. So much tension all throughout, from external forces of the government, the shadowy criminal underworld, rebels, to Ben and Akiko's own motives and secrets.

Excellent pacing, lots of action. There is a mecha on the cover, and they are a part of the story, but leave any Pacific Rim dream battles aside for now, although the battles we do get left me thrilled.

The world is tech-filled, dangerous, and quite honestly, other than rooting for Ben and (some of the time) Akiko, I didn't really like the idea of a US ruled by either Imperial Japan or the George Washingtons. 

There is a conclusion, no cliffhangers, although much is left open. I'm glad for this. I will be on the lookout for more from Tieryas.

UNITED STATES OF JAPAN  Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Powell's | BAM | Indiebound

[received review copy]

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