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|Print List Price:||£11.95|
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Toru: Wayfarer Returns (Sakura Steam Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
I look forward to more books in the series.
That cover is awesome and I love both steampunk and stories of feudal Japan. Unfortunately, this book failed on both fronts. It's not really steampunk, despite a couple dirigibles and it's only Japanese in title.
While it's set in Japan and uses Japanese words and talks about Japanese society, all of the characters are essentially westernized. For example, Toru talks about being uncomfortable with the loud brash American women. However, the only prominent female character we're given is...you guessed it, loud and brash. She troops around in men's clothing, often found signing bawdy drinking songs with the blacksmith and fighting with a <i>naginata</i>. Hardly the paragon of demureness we're told to expect. People talk outside their station, are more direct than should be, etc. We're told about Japan, but not provided a Japanese story.
Further, the books presents as if in praise Japanese culture, but the whole plot hinges on the westernization of the country and destruction of their age-old way of life. Everything from the environment, to the social hierarchy, to women's place in society is challenged and discarded in exchange for a western style. They even chose western uniform styles for their military. This basically subtly shows the old to be it to be less ideal than what it is becoming, therefore the East is shown to pale in comparison to the West, which I believe goes against everything the book claims to be trying to do.
Outside of the heavy ethnocentrism of it, the plot simply stretches believability and credulity too far.Read more ›
I cannot recommend this story enough. The plot and pacing were awesome, the writing was fantastic, and the story itself was something that just— surrounded me. Stephanie R. Sorensen is a great author, and I look forward to what she will put out in the future! I was given a copy of this most excellent story in exchange for an honest review.
With her steampunk approach, Sorensen will remedy to that and change the course of history. At least in this book.
Just as in a cyberpunk novel, machinery, far for being left in the background, is quite the character. Consisting mostly of trains and dirigibles (“dirijibis”) here, it could have taken over the entire novel. But Sorensen shows her ability and sense of balance by placing vibrant and youthful characters to enliven this epopee of the machine.
Tōru, a young man of mysterious origin for everyone in the novel—but not for the reader, is responsible for this modernization. Rescued from waters by Americans, he spends several years in their country and learns their way. Like Moses, he returns to the promised land, Japan, only to meet adversity when he proposes changes through technological progress.
But changes are inevitable. This clash between modernity and tradition, between the machine and the samouraï, comes here in a clear, charming prose, and not without humor.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
We are proud to announce that TORU by Stephanie R. Sorensen is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!Published 6 months ago by indieBRAG
Toru: Wayfarer Returns was a classic example of "do not judge a book by its cover" but for all the wrong reasons. The cover is amazing. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Cards Fan
This novel had a fun mix of alternative history, steampunk, and Samurai and appealed to me from the moment I read the blurb for it. Read morePublished 10 months ago by R. Clarke
Toru: Wayfarer Returns (Sakura Steam Series Book 1)
Starting with the stunning cover page, and the stylized inner pages, Toru: The Wayfarer Returns invites the reader to delve... Read more
He appears on the scene as a humble Japanese fisherman who had been shipwrecked and rescued by an American sea-going vessel. Read morePublished 11 months ago by robby charters
Who ever realised that a sewing machine could be so important to a steampunk revolution? Well in Japan in 1852, to Toru and his efforts to drag his nation into a world filled with... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Nicole
Toru: Wayfarer Returns by Stephanie R. Sorensen is in some ways hard to categorize. It’s this amazing reimagining of 19th century Japan and the events leading up to the end of its... Read morePublished 13 months ago by A.J.
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