Review Detail

2.8 3
Young Adult Fiction 3922
A Fast-Moving Adventure
Overall rating
Writing Style
TOKYO HEIST promises a mystery that spans two continents, with plenty of danger and intrigue, and it delivers. I really enjoyed the way art, Manga, and Japanese culture are woven into the fabric of the story. I learned so many interesting things about all three. Having a narrator who turns the people she meets into Manga characters and sees every detail through an artist's eye was refreshing and different. I thought the worldbuilding was flawless.

The plot and character development left me wanting more, however. I saw all but one plot twist coming (But to be fair, the one plot twist I didn't see coming was really awesome!), and the characters never felt fully developed to me. They came close, especially in the context of Violet's relationship with her dad, but it never got beyond the narrator telling me how she felt and moving on quickly instead of showing me the emotion and weaving it throughout the narrative. There were also a few instances when something dangerous and clearly important happened and Violet inexplicably chose not to tell an adult. Given the high level of danger surrounding her dad and herself, I found that hard to believe.

However, I don't necessarily think any of those things are detrimental to the story itself. This reads like the next step up from tween and chapter book mysteries. Fans of Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and other intrepid female sleuth series will love this. Fans of Manga will love it, too. It fits nicely as a stepping stone between younger mystery series and the more hard-boiled adult series waiting for the reader in a few years. I will absolutely recommend this to my own kids, and I look forward to the next book from Ms. Renn.
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