Note: I reviewed this book through a NetGalley advanced reader copy. It will be published in December.
Although this book is geared toward a young adult audience, as the main character, Rintaro Natsuki, is a high school student, book lovers of all ages will enjoy this story. There’s a paranormal theme as well as a sweet romance, and it all takes place during the holiday season.
Rintaro’s grandfather has died leaving him a used bookstore. As he is grieving for his grandfather and contemplating his move to his aunt’s house, Rintaro is visited by a talking tabby cat who requests his help saving books. Thus follows Rintaro’s adventures into three labyrinths that appear in the back of the bookstore. After solving the mystery of the first labyrinth, Rintaro’s friend, Sayo, the school rep who has been bringing him makeup work after he’s missed classes, is able to see the cat who reappears and asks for help in the second labyrinth.
As Rintaro becomes more involved with Sayo, the cat named Tiger begins to make comments that they could be girlfiend and boyfriend. Working together, Sayo and Rintaro solve two other labyrinths and save more books. The stories behind these adventures will make sense to booklovers who know that in today’s society, print books and classics are less in demand than digital, commercial reads. Rintaro’s love of books increases as he solves each labyrinth’s dilemma.
The final labyrinth has Rintaro facing his feelings for Sayo and realizing the true worth of books and how they connect people. A story that can be read on several levels. Book and cat lovers will enjoy it very much.