Title: Samurais of Fukushima
Author: Hugo Lawrence Imants Cukurs
Date Published: Published July 10th 2018
Genre: Fantasy Horror
It is a bloody journey where two samurais with a devastating past, a Viking, a geisha and a group of survivors try surviving in a zombie apocalypse. They will cross Feudal Japan, leaving Fukushima to Niigata in search of one last hope, facing betrayals, deadly traps, great battles, many losses and hundreds of zombies. No one is safe on this journey, where zombies are not always the worst threat.
Firstly, thank you to the author for sending me an ebook copy in exchange for an honest review.
This book is set in Feudal Japan during a zombie apocalypse. It has a large cast of characters each with their own intriguing and well thought through histories.
I don’t often read apocalypse books however the book read very much like I would expect a movie to go so it fitted well with my expectations of the genre. Not only do you have the excitement and horror of the apocalypse, but an important aspect was how the group interacted. The author gives us an insight into each of the character's backstories and how some of their pasts have a huge impact on their presents. I enjoyed learning about each character and thought this was well written and thoughtfully placed within the story so that it flowed well and wasn’t jarring.
I believe this book was originally written in Portuguese and has been translated into English. The translation was done well, however, there were a few instances of notable mistakes in translation. Aside from that, I think that perhaps the story would have had more shock/ surprise and garnered more emotion in its original language. There was some disjointedness throughout between the events and the emotion, it often fell a little flat and didn’t make me that sad when it should have. The dialogue had a massive amount of exclamation marks that I struggled with and didn’t flow as the normal conversation would, it often showed people changing their minds immediately or doing a lot of exclaiming.
However, the story was still intriguing and had some twists I wasn’t expecting. I got to know the characters better as the story progressed, and I certainly wanted them to succeed on their journey after everything they’d been through.
As it’s a zombie apocalypse you can expect many attacks as well as some focus on the consequences of the attacks. The book explores the characters’ need to push forward for a better life whilst they also dealt with the impact of losing members of their group. There were a large number of characters involved but fortunately, the author managed to keep them separated so that I rarely confused them. The author didn’t hold back on killing off loved characters, but this felt very true to the genre. I don’t usually read this genre, but it was a light enjoyable read, though I imagine it would have a greater emotional impact in its original language. I enjoyed the setting of Japan and was pleased to see some cultural aspects from the setting come into play.
Overall, their journey was long, difficult, and filled with loss. The end was certainly not what I had envisioned but fitted it well and was great to see some more backstory’s linking in. I always love an epilogue showing how the characters got on after the end so that was a wonderful addition to the story. It was an easy read and had lots of twists I hadn’t expected, as well as good pacing that kept the story moving forward, though I was missing the emotional connection and struggled with the unrealistic dialogue.
Rating: 2.5 Stars