As always, Yoru Sumino has exceeded my expectations, and filles me with thought. I will not lie, the first half to 3/4 of this book was mind-numbingly boring. I was struggiling to read the story and it felt like an utter waste of time. But I was holding out for hope Sumino would throw in a twist or reveal some crucial information that would send the stort crashing into meaning. And they did exactly that. The ending of the book was a psychological study, and the themes discussed inighted me to think back on the nuances in the rest of the story. Discussions of ethics, values, ideals, and morality. The boring intro added to the later impact of the reveal, and felt amost necessary to connecting with the reader. I had to be let on to be open to listening and learning from its value. Of all of Sumino's novels, this was certainly the most challenging. But I am elated to report it was entirely worth it and my faith in Sumino's skill as an author has been once again reassured.