Book Review of The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino

Posted February 21, 2013 by Kara in Uncategorized / 12 Comments

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Description from Goodreads:  In a place like no other, on a mystical island in the shape of tear drop, two sisters are born into a family of oracles. Beautiful Kamikuu is admired far and wide; Namima, small but headstrong, learns to live in her older sister’s shadow. On her sixth birthday, Kamikuu is chosen as the next Oracle, while Namima is forced to become the goddess of darkness, destined to spend eternity guiding the spirits of the deceased to the underworld. As the sisters serve opposite fates, so begins a journey that will take Namima from her first experience of love to scalding betrayal. Caught in an elaborate web of deceit, she travels from the land of the living to the Realm of the Dead and back again seeking vengeance and ultimate closure.

Natsuo Kirino turns her hand to an exquisitely dark tale, masterfully reinventing the Japanese creation myth of Izanami and Izanaki. A fantastical tour-de-force, The Goddess Chronicle is a tale as old as the earth about sibling rivalry, ferocious love, and bittersweet revenge.

Review: The story started on the right foot. The story is based on the Japanese mythology of the two gods Izanagi and Izanami. (If you are unfamiliar with the mythos of Japan, Google is your friend). The characters and the world building seemed to jump right off the page. The Goddess Chronicle had a great start. The story is based on the Japanese mythology of the two gods Izanagi and Izanami. (If you are unfamiliar with the mythos of Japan, Google is your friend). The contrast between the beautiful landscape and the cruel factors of the meaning of life built a hell on earth disguised as paradise complex. The voice of Namima was instantly delightful and heartbreaking, and her story encompassed a touching and surprising turn of events. Kirino created a wonderful backdrop to a tragic story of the fight against the depths of the human nature, the treatment of females, and the overall unfairness of life.

Then the story switched the POV and completely grinded to a halt.

This story is a translation of the original tale, but it seemed that the second part of the book lost the overall flow and seemed to fizzle out into a tangled mess that seemed to have no direction or purpose. The ending did create a closure for the ancient tale, but shifting gears right in the middle the entire story tended to make the book lose steam. The entire flow lost the charm of Namima’s spin on her life and the ironic culture of her island and the customs of her home. The story switched over to another tale, which does tie into the first part. Insta-love, and a general sense that some of the finer details left to glossing over with false supporting secondary strand seemed to sink the story towards the end.

The Goddess Chronicle isn’t a horrible story, and the tale is a new insight into death, life and the delicate balance that exist between the two details of life. If you love Japanese mythology, then this story is right up your alley.

3/5 Dragons

12 responses to “Book Review of The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino

  1. Too bad this one started off so good for you and then lost its footing. I hate it when that happens. This doesn’t seem like the kind of book that I would read so I’ll be staying away from it but happy to read your thoughts nonetheless!

  2. Amy

    This sounds interesting, but it’s too bad that it went downhill for you. I don’t think it’s one I would pick up. Thanks for the great review.

    • Oh, crap. I guess I should have mentioned something about the cover. 🙁

      I seem to be having the Fizzle Out issues lately. I hope it doesn’t continue.

  3. It’s too bad that this one didn’t end up being that great, but I’m still intrigued. I love Japanese mythology but it’s not a very common thing to see. I don’t think I’ll read it, which is a shame. Lovely review!

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