Thursday, April 13, 2017

Keith Yatsuhashi

Keith Yatsuhasi is inspired equally by The Lord of the Rings and Toho’s Godzilla movies. He is Director of the US Department of Commerce Export Assistance Centre in Providence, Rhode Island. A long time ago, in a world far, far away, Yatsuhasi was a champion figure skater.

Kokoro is his new novel.

Recently I asked Yatsuhasi about what he was reading. His reply:
I’m a binge reader; I go back and forth between Science Fiction/Fantasy, YA, (yes, YA), and thrillers. It depends on my mood more than anything else. This post catches me in the middle of a fantasy spree. The books I’m ready caught my eye because their blurbs were unique. I guess I was just ready for something new, and each of the books below delivered.

Nevernight: Jay Kristoff

This wild fantasy takes the familiar ‘character needs schooling/training’ trope and turns it into something completely crazy good. The ubiquitous school is not for wizards or super powers; it’s not for heroes of any kind. Nope. It’s for assassins. That’s right. Assassins. By definition, the main characters are killers, most are broken, and all are competing for the top spots in the school. That’s one bloody and usually deadly proposition. Unpredictable twists and turns abound, each as breathtaking as the last. Mr. Kristoff’s POV is essentially as a storyteller, a style I really like. It feels fresh but not, and it allows the author to add asides I find better than the typical info dump. I loved this book; it’s the best fantasy I’ve read in a very long time. I can’t wait for the second volume in this series.

Caraval: Stephanie Garber

I stood in line at BEA during my lunch break to pick up a ticket for a signed ARC of Caraval. My agent really wanted a copy; she represents YA and is a big fan of the genre. The buzz she’d heard about Caraval was good, so good it also landed in my to-be-read pile. The premise is enticing: a several-night-long game set against what feels like Rio’s carnival but set in a city similar to Venice. Rogues and intrigue are everywhere, as is magic. Said magic is subtle and atmospheric; it never gets in the way or overwhelms the goings on. The main characters are well drawn, their relationship building believably from a shaky start to alliance, to relationship. I expected no less, but Ms. Garber’s skill keeps the journey fresh. I wanted to savor the book, but ended up blowing through it. It’s good. Very good.

Under the Pendulum Sun: Jeannette Ng

My publisher announced signing Ms. Ng in early March. That announcement contained a blurb that caught my attention right away: UK missionaries sent into the Fae lands to convert the Fae to Christianity. How cool is that? I’m currently in the book’s early chapters, and the book’s everything I hoped it would be and then some. The writing is absolutely gorgeous, the idea of introducing a foreign religion fascinating and timely. I think about the book when I’m not reading, and as soon as I put it down, I can’t wait to pick it up again. It’s on hell of a ride. Under the Pendulum Sun will be available in October from Angry Robot Books.
Visit Keith Yatsuhasi's website.

My Book, The Movie: Kokoro.

--Marshal Zeringue