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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Keeper of Dragonflies: And Other Twisted Tales of Japan is a work of fiction penned by author Thomas Noah Wood in the short story collection, cross-cultural writing, and romance subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience owing to some sexual scenes and references as well as the use of strong language. Delivering unusual love stories from some of the darker and edgier walks of life, these tales all have a central theme of East meeting West as the often traditionally-minded world of Japanese culture meets the simplicity and easy-going nature of American country living. There are twelve stories in all with a wide range of themes covered.
Author Thomas Noah Wood delivers fantastically interesting ideas and unusual social dynamics in this collection that will be sure to please fans of culture clash, character-driven fiction, and spicy romantic dramas. There’s an interesting theme of displacement throughout the tales as different pairings clash and try to come to some kind of settlement, and this is mirrored wonderfully by the physical atmosphere of the work and the cinematically described settings. It’s clear that the author is well-researched in both the cultures he melds together, which makes for some educational reading too for anyone curious to learn more about Japan. For me, ‘Moon Girl’ was a personal favorite with its direct dialogue and surprising turns. Overall, I would highly recommend The Keeper of Dragonflies: And Other Twisted Tales of Japan for fans of varied story anthologies that will keep you entertained and enriched throughout.