With thanks to @lovebookstours and @ryutakeshi.official (author) for the free copy of ‘Shadow Shinjuku’ in exchange for my honest review.
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 both a noir crime thriller and urban fantasy. It’s 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.
This urban fantasy thriller is set against the nightlife subculture of Tokyo, and the outsiders who call its streets home. It follows Sato, a loner bodyguard in an organised crime gang, who goes through life-changing experiences enhanced by the power of his dreams, the people he meets and magic.
The author uses internal monologue and flashbacks very well to create a story that is quite philosophical, and provides some insight into culture and myth and how they blend into Tokyo today. These elements combine well to help the plot flow, making this an engaging read.
I would recommend this book to anybody interested in Japanese culture, and for those who love manga and anime.