Motif By Tanya

Book Review: Tokyo Firewall by Elizabeth Wilkerson

Contrafish Media, LLC
Published Nov. 13, 2018
343 Pages

Tokyo, the ‘90s. When Alison Crane quit her environmental law practice and followed her hotshot investment banker boyfriend to Japan, she thought they’d only grow closer. But jobless and broke, Alison sits home alone all day-—and most nights—isolated by culture shock, wobbly language skills, and her boyfriend’s ambitions. Desperate for company, she ventures onto the only avenue she has left—the brand-new digital frontier.

Inside the confusing web of cyber chat rooms, Alison is approached by a charming Japanese man, and the two regularly meet online. However, her digital safe haven soon becomes a virtual nightmare when a troll who despises foreigners taunts her with escalating threats of violence. As her predator’s attacks intensify, Alison must parlay her legal smarts and budding computer skills to stand her ground, or she’ll lose her only source of freedom. And maybe her life...- Goodreads

This book was okay. There was and still is a lot of potential for this to be great but overall it was okay.

What made the book okay was Alison really. I understand that this is the ’90s but how this girl was able to do anything on her own as an adult blew my mind. She was extremely naive, no real common sense and didn’t have any ambition to learn the culture or do her own thing. Yeah, she got a computer and joining a chat opened her world, HOWEVER, she had no back bone and it was a bit tough to read.

What I did like about this book was a deep dive into Japan’s dislike for foreign people as well as the racism Black people can’t seem to escape. It was a huge focal point in the novel and Wilkerson did a great job of using it to push the novel. Another thing I liked was the romance and the twist that I have no idea how I missed. Wilkerson sets you up for the obvious and then is like “YOU WOULD HAVE THOUGHT” It was actually done really well and I was surprised.

The overall novel is slow. Not a whole lot goes on and Alison does a whole lot of whining. However, I like where the author was going with this. The ’90s for Black people was something and I sure it was something more being in a different country.

The ending wasn’t the best. It could have been way stronger but I don’t regret taking the time to read this book. As mentioned earlier, its okay. It could have been better.

2 Pickles

2 comments

  1. Monica Reeds

    I’m sorry that you didn’t like it as much as did, but I agree with all of your points. I did want to give Alison a little shake and tell her to wake up-especially in her personal relationship. Great review!

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