Author: David Kudler
ARC received through NetGalley.
The first thing that drew me to Risuko was that beautiful cover. I literally could not resist founding out more about this book once I saw it. The plot seemed pretty interesting enough so I decided to give this a try. The book is actually geared more towards Middle Grade readers than Young Adults, but besides that, I found it all together enjoyable. I don’t know much about Japanese culture or history so it was very interesting for me to read and learn.
The first part of the book was a bit slow, but picked up and was considerably better in the latter half. A lot of the book is focused on Risuko doing menial tasks, and while it was honestly a little boring at times, I think it served a purpose. The author is clearly building towards other books, and I believe the small, inconsequential chores we were reading about will later become important to her training and her character development. One thing I really liked was the struggle between Risuko’s new role as a kunoichi and her personal mantra to “do no harm”. As the books continue, there will be a internal struggle for her to resolve. I also have to say that although I typically don’t care for storylines about side characters, I found myself loving the tension between Mieko and Masugu. From the beginning, I wanted to know more about what was going on! What’s the story there? Tell me more!
I do wish the book had more action in it. A book about young ladies learning to fight for a war? Yes, please! But I’m sure this book was just a premise to the next, in which I hope is more fast paced with more action. If I was younger, I probably would have rated the book higher. I do think Risuko will be a big hit with other people and a young audience!