Sunday 17 March 2024

Book Review: Mysterious Setting by Abe Kazushige (Contemporary Fiction)

Title: Mysterious Setting
Author: Abe Kazushige
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Publication Date: 7 March 2024 (2006)
Pages: 224
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: ARC via Edelweiss

Shiori knows at heart that she's a troubadour. She may be completely tone-deaf, but she won't let that stop her living a life dedicated to music. Even when her dominant older sister, Nozomi, forces Shiori to accept that her wild singing provokes only revulsion, she decides to forge a career as a lyricist instead.

At eighteen, she moves to Tokyo to pursue her dream. Isolated and struggling in this unfamiliar city, Shiori seeks connection online, where her trusting outlook leaves her vulnerable to exploitation - with potentially explosive results.


Mysterious Setting was a fascinating read that I devoured in a single sitting. The initial premise of the story was interesting and I enjoyed getting to know Shiori as a character, but the tale then went off in a direction that took me completely by surprise, which was refreshing. Although it seems far-fetched looking back at it critically, in the moment of reading I was fully on board with everything that was happening in the story and 100% engaged. The text flowed beautifully, suggesting an excellent translation, and the prose was easy reading, which was why I could fly through the entire book in two hours. I would definitely read more by this author in the future, and I am giving this book 4.5 stars.

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

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