I have always been a fan of anything to do with Vampires and thought it would be interesting to read about one in Japan during the age of the Samurai. The book begins in Modern day Japan where an American professor gets drawn into the main characters world and eventually becomes his scribe as he reveals the details of his life.
The story is told in an auto-biographical style that works pretty well putting the reader in Shins head. Seeing the action unfold through the vampires eyes was unusual but it gave me a sense of sympathy for Shin even though he is basically a serial killer. After trying to track down his wife and kids after being turned into a vampire Shin tries to live a normal life but that is hard to do when you require human blood to survive. Shin eventually builds a huge commercial empire but along the way meets various strange and interesting characters that for the most part want to kill him.
Some of the best scenes are towards the end of the book when Shin fights a Samurai and turns a dying friend into a vampire. The friend leaves Japan for a century but when he
returns Japan is at war with America. The two of them decide to influence the outcome of the war. I enjoyed this part the most. The last 30 pages go by very fast.
I enjoyed the book. It is well-written and fast paced with lots of interesting characters. It was difficult for a while to decide whether I should like Shin or not but by the end of the book I thought he was fairly cool. There is also a lot of stuff about Japan in the book so the backdrop was more interesting than the typical castle in the forest plot.
Over all a very entertaining book.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)