Todd Shimoda, illus. by L.J.C. Shimoda. Chin Music (, $22.50 (314p) ISBN 978-0-9844576-7-0
In Shimoda's eerie thriller (after Oh! A Mystery of Mono No Aware), a young Japanese doctor, Endo, is banished to Marui-jima, "a dust mote of an island," after he takes the blame for a patient's death. Although the government ordered the island's evacuation after a decade-long "earthquake swarm," its elderly inhabitants refuse to leave their home. On Marui-jima, Endo meets Aki, a seismologist who left his family in Tokyo to study the island's earthquakes and subduction zones, and Mari, a beautiful documentary filmmaker "dealing with demons." From Mari and Aki, Endo uncovers Marui-jima's past: a history of resentment between the local fishermen and the wealthy Furuta who bought them out to form his powerful fleet, an illicit "exchange" between Furuta and a fisherman's wife, and two deaths that remain unexplained 40 years later. As Endo and Mari grow closer, she shares with him the islanders' stories—as well as Aki's and her own. Shimoda skillfully weaves these tales into the narrative, revealing how past events "continue to affect the island, like aftershocks." Earthquakes are an apt metaphor for the social disruptions on the island, and Shimoda links modern earthquake science, ancient Japanese myths on the origin of earthquakes, and an unforgettable cast of characters to create a suspenseful, richly illustrated novel. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/28/2012
Release date: 05/01/2012
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-9844576-8-7
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