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Book Review: The Cat and the City

The Cat and the City by Nick Bradley

Everything about this book appealed to me. My family are huge animal-lovers, and we all have a particular soft spot for cats. I would also love to visit Japan someday – the culture, the language, the scenery… It’s all so beautiful!
So I’m sure you’ve realised by now that this book is centred around a cat, and set in Japan. It’s quite hard to explain the book properly, as it’s a collection of separate narratives that all connect in various ways. And every person’s story features a particular cat, too.
Every character and narrative was extremely unique which I loved – from a renowned tattooist to a translator from America, to a homeless man living on the streets of Tokyo. There was also a large amount of Japanese terminology and cultural references. Some of it I wasn’t actually familiar with, and I have no existing personal knowledge or experience to compare it to, but it felt authentic to me.
One small complaint I have is that I didn’t find the passage of time particularly clear – were these stories taking place simultaneously, or in sequence? Or was there a longer length of time between each? The further I read, the more it kind of made sense to me, but I was a bit confused for quite a while.

Thank you to the author/publisher for accepting my request to read and review this book

This was a really interesting book, with some really lovely moments. There was also a slightly eerie, almost paranormal atmosphere following the cat, which I really loved!

Overall, I’m giving this book 4 out of 5 stars. Perhaps, if/when I ever get to visit Japan and learn more about the culture, I’ll read this book again and be able to appreciate it even more!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Book Review: Dark Fantasy Stories

Dark Fantasy Stories (Illustrated) by S.S. WolffA huge thanks to Hidden Gems for providing me with the opportunity to read this anthology!

I haven’t read a huge amount of anthologies but am becoming increasingly fond of them. I like having a collection of similar but unique stories all in one place. I was under the impression that these would be quite creepy/scary stories, but they were only slightly ‘dark’ in my opinion. They all had fantasy elements, as the title would suggest, and were all rather good.

Of course, as it’s an anthology, I’m not really reviewing the individual authors’ writing. Instead, I’m going to focus on the editing and the selection of the stories included. The chouces are definitely quite unique, all fantasy tales with supernatural elements. There were some that I especially enjoyed, and some I was not quite so fond of. Overall, I think there was a pretty good range of stories.

As for the editing, I did notice some strange mistakes. There was misplaced punctuation, for example, and I saw a few letters replaced by ‘lookalikes’ – such as replaced by rn. As the copy I own is a review copy, it is possible that the mistakes I noticed were edited out in the final publication, though.

It was a rather short book, which can be seen as both a good and bad thing. 3.5 stars.