Saturday 28 August 2021

Book Review: Shadow Shinjuku by Takeshi Ryu (Fantasy)

Title: Shadow Shinjuku
Author: Takeshi Ryu
Publisher: Purple Crow Press
Publication Date: 23 July 2021
Pages: 275
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: Fantasy
Source: ARC via NetGalley

The streets of Tokyo are different at night. There is darkness behind the glitter and the neon lights, and people who prefer to stay in the shadows, to dwell in the underworld – whores, gangsters, the homeless, the lost. People like Sato. He’s part of this world, he always has been, but a feeling of change is lingering in the heavy air of the bustling city. A feeling brought to life by fateful encounters of solitary souls.

Shadow Shinjuku is a dark, yet magical journey into the depths of Tokyo’s nightlife and the depths of the human soul. Ryu Takeshi’s first novel is a unique and mesmerizing blend of the imagery of Japanese animation and film, the colors and details of street photography, and the mystical lyricism of soulful music. But above everything, it is a gripping story that doesn’t let go.


Shadow Shinjuku was a book it took me a little while to get into. For the first third I wasn't sure what to make of it, but then the story really took off and I became more deeply involved with the characters and the action. I've gone with 'fantasy' as the genre in my note above; however, it's hard to decide how to class this story as it's a blend of gangster drama with elements of fantasy/magical realism woven through. It was once the fantastical elements started to come to the fore that the book engaged me, as, from that point onwards, I was interested to see how events would play out. Shadow Shinjuku certainly offers something a little different and it's worth persevering through the opening sections to get to the main thrust of the story. I would read more from this author in the future, and this book gets 3.5 stars from me, which I will round up to a four.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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