Review: Catfish Rolling by Clara Kumagai

Title: Catfish Rolling

Author: Clara Kumagai

Magic-realism blends with Japanese myth and legend in an original story about grief, memory, time and an earthquake that shook a nation.

There’s a catfish under the islands of Japan and when it rolls the land rises and falls.

Sora hates the catfish whose rolling caused an earthquake so powerful it cracked time itself. It destroyed her home and took her mother. Now Sora and her scientist father live close to the zones – the wild and abandoned places where time runs faster or slower than normal. Sora is sensitive to the shifts, and her father recruits her help in exploring these liminal spaces.

But it’s dangerous there – and as she strays further inside in search of her mother, she finds that time distorts, memories fracture and shadows, a glimmer of things not entirely human, linger. After Sora’s father goes missing, she has no choice but to venture into uncharted spaces within the time zones to find him, her mother and perhaps even the catfish itself…

This book is beautiful inside and out!

I don’t think I’ve ever read something as unique as this before and from a debut author, it is so amazing!

Set in Japan, an event happened where lots of people were lost and time now behaves weirdly in different areas. Years later, Sora and her Dad still live by the effected area, still quite overcome with loss and grief, one holding on to all those memories and one desperately trying not to.

It was full of Japanese mythology, it was emotional and thought provoking. The world building was absolutely fabulous and the elements of time and the zones were mind boggling and so fascinating!

Honestly the contents of this book is something that I will be thinking about for ages. You know, one of those reads where you can be immersed in something else and a part of the book pops in your head and it’s all you can think about, trying to puzzle it out!


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