Review: ‘Half World’ by Hiromi Goto

Review: ‘Half World’ by Hiromi GotoHalf World by Hiromi Goto
Series: Half World #1
Published by Razorbill Canada on January 30th, 2009
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Pages: 233
Format: Paperback
Source: won
Melanie Tamaki is human—but her parents aren’t. They are from Half World, a Limbo between our world and the afterlife, and her father is still there. When her mother disappears, Melanie must follow her to Half World—and neither of them may return alive.

Imagine Coraline as filmed by the Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki (Howl’s Moving Castle), or Neil Gaiman collaborating with Charles de Lint. Half World is vivid, visceral, unforgettable, a combination of prose and images that will haunt you.

The Book DepositoryChapters/IndigoGood Reads


Melanie is seen as a chubby, slow witted, bookworm who lives in the poor section with her mother. One day she she comes home and finds her mother has disappeared. She gets a phone call from a man on the phone telling her to go through a door in a tunnel so she can save her mother who is being held by him. Her mother is in another Realm called Half World. With help from her friend Mrs. Wei she for through the door and into Half World. Melanie finds herself in a world devoid of colour trying to find her mother in the process.

Melanie encounters people with animal body such as a woman with eels for arms, and a man with a bird’s head. Talk about not being in the Flesh World anymore! Her strength and tenacity to get back home was admirable and I quite liked her character. In the end she believes in herself. She reunited the realms without using evil means.

The illustrations sprinkled within the chapters are beautiful made the story more enjoyable. I love seeing some of the scenes brought to life. Any person reading Half World will love this quick simple fantasy and will want more! Luckily there’s a sequel 🙂

The book drew me in right from the beginning. A clear goal, a little bit of adventure, and a need for the main character to prove to herself she is different and can overcome her problems. This felt similar fo the movie Spirited Away so if you ever have the chance, go check it out!


There are never guarantees in Life. But for those who strive, who dream and believe, live with an open heart, and dare to love, it is aost certain that joy will come to you. (205)




1 Comment

  1. Sam @ Realm of Fiction

    March 19, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    I love Spirited Away! this sounds like a fun book to check out. 🙂 Thanks for drawing it to my attention!

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