Category: Asia

Nov 19 2020

Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar

From the very first pages, I was completely blown away by how lovely the prose of this novel is! In all honesty, pretty phrasing isn’t high on my list when it comes to what makes a novel entertaining, but Shveta Thakrar’s beautiful descriptive writing, coupled with her gift for presenting absolutely natural dialog and emotion, …

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Nov 17 2020

These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights #1) by Chloe Gong

So there are some really good bits in Chloe Gong’s retelling of Romeo And Juliet, set in 1920s Shanghai and featuring the scions of two rival gang families needing to team up to defeat a supernatural threat to the city. First and foremost is the lived-in character of Juliette Cai, heir to the Scarlet Gang, …

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Sep 03 2020

Parachutes by Kelly Yang

I am absolutely wrung out after reading Parachutes by Kelly Yang. I cried — which is a given considering the subject matter — a lot — which is not. Ms Yang crams into one book so many of the traumas that I’ve either endured or been adjacent to by virtue of being or having been …

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Aug 27 2020

Black Wings Beating (Skybound #1) by Alex London

I’m really starting to question whether I should accept Netgalley invites for YA Fantasy from now on. The murder mysteries they’ve invited me to read have all been solid but too much of the YA has been middling to terrible. And yes, that includes Alex London’s Black Wings Beating, which at least has the advantages …

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Mar 23 2020

Girls Of Paper And Fire (Girls Of Paper And Fire #1) by Natasha Ngan

I unreservedly loved the first half of this book. I’ve had a problem recently with books claiming to represent the various of my identities and doing a pretty shitty job of it, so it was something of a relief to see how meticulous Natasha Ngan and the team behind Girls Of Paper And Fire were …

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Aug 24 2019

The Boxer Rebellion by Diana Preston

Boxer Rebellion

Distinguishing a warning that should be heeded from a host of false positives is a famously hard problem. The foreign community in Peking, as it was then generally called in the West, failed that test in the summer of 1900, costing many hundreds of lives. The Boxer Rebellion concentrates on the defense of the Legation …

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Aug 21 2019

Yikes

Son of Heaven

Sometimes speculative fiction is just a little too on the nose: The Republicans, coming to power …, wanted to do away with free trade. In a frenzy of nationalist rhetoric, they sought to replace globalization with protectionist tariffs. They wanted to pull up the economic drawbridge, just as their predecessors had after the Wall Street …

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Apr 17 2019

The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf

I finished this book in two compulsive sittings, and if I’m being perfectly honest, I think I would have liked it better if I hadn’t had to break concentration a little past the halfway mark to go do life stuff. Because The Weight Of Our Sky is the kind of book that grabs you by …

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Jan 16 2019

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix (Rise of the Empress #2) by Julie C. Dao

Wow, that was fucking terrible. I mean, I’d been warned that this book would not be as brilliant as its predecessor Forest Of A Thousand Lanterns, a book so good that I put it in my Top 10 of 2018, but a lot of the (valid) criticism is that the main character, Jade, is extremely …

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Jan 04 2019

The Devourers by Indra Das

So there are some books where you finish them and you’re all “Well, I guess that wasn’t for me” such as, in my most recent experience prior to this, Marlon James’ A Brief History Of Seven Killings (and have you heard, he’s coming out with a fantasy novel! Despite my tepid response to prior book, …

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