I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I stayed up until 3 AM reading, and only quit then because I knew I had to get up in a few hours.
The world was interesting, and I especially liked the relationship between Yukiko and Buruu. I will read the next book in the series, and I'm looking forward to it.
That being said (you knew there was a "but" coming, right?), I had quite a few nitpicks with the book.
The first few chapters drag
. They are buried in a festering pit of infodumps. Being based in some quasi-Japanese setting, the terms are unfamiliar and take quite a while to get used to, and they are introduced at a breakneck speed in the first few chapters.
The writing ranges from "lush" to "I skimmed it just to figure out when the action was going to start again." Lots and lots of overly verbose description here.
The book is set in a mythical land called not-Japan (I forgot what it was actually called). But it draws heavily from Japaneses folklore and language--sometimes well, sometimes really, really poorly. I tried to remember it was fiction and let it go.
Yukiko is 16. For 95% of the book, she reads more like she's 25. I'm not sure if she was made younger so they could market it as YA or what, but it was jarring.