Lots of Chinese mythology themes in these two months! Broken up by some magic (and a random mental illness novel thrown it as my dad suggested it to me). Joined the two months as I was a super busy with work commitments and general life and only managed 6 books-shame.
- Book: Serpentine by Cindy Pon / @Cindypon
- Quick facts: Chinese MC, friendship, lesbian love, Chinese folklore themes.
- Thoughts: Really beautiful imagery throughout, from Zhen Ni’s family palace to the villages and forests that Skybright ventures to. I adore the description of Skybright’s Serpent form and how she learned to control her inner self. I felt that it was a real reflection of what all young women face as they hit puberty and go through the phases of becoming a ‘grown-up’. The love between Zhen Ni and Skybright was so touching , a real sisterly bond that was deeper than their social status. Skybright’s humour and strength was admirable and Kai Sen’s relentless quest for love and a better world was so beautiful.
- Book: All In The Mind – Alastair Campbell @campbellclaret
- Quick Facts: Depressive MC
- Thoughts: Raw, real and heart breaking. The story follows a physiatrist over the course of a weekend as he tries to help his patients whilst battling his own demons of depression. It really reminded me why depression was an important theme to involve in my own novel. Cried like a baby at the ending. I really liked the change in pace near the end which, although hard to read sometimes, was a great reflection of Martin’s mind.
- Book: The Graces – Laure Eve / @Laureeve
- Quick Facts: Coming of age, magic(!)
- Thoughts: River reminded me so much of myself as a child and how I always felt that I had some kind of connection with the natural world, (I’m glad to be off of my anxiety meds because obviously they’re holding me back from my full magical potential.)The story follows River’s journey to accepting the ‘weirdness’ her parents had tried to control and she realised that it was something to be proud of and be put to use rather than pretend it wasn’t a part of who she was. I really loved watching her realise that this front she put on to get in with The Graces wasn’t a front at all and she was pretty damn cool all along. Lots of multidimensional characters and no parts that bored me at all, real great pace and a generally great read.
- Book: Sacrifice – Cindy Pon / @Cindypon
- Quick Facts – As book one above but more demons (yay!)
- Thoughts: I was SO glad that there was a second act to this story, although Serpentine was a great read as a standalone book. Pon throws Skybright, Zhen Ni, Kai Sen and Stone into an even deeper and darker world than in Serpentine and they’re all pushed to find their place in the madness to protect themselves and those they love. I was glad to see Skybright really becoming the heroine and also Zhen Ni who had really grown since her heartbreak in Serpentine. As ever the descriptions of the world are stunning, from the Mountains of Heavenly Peace where the Gods dwell to Master Bei’s extravagant palace and what lies beneath. Some great travel sequences and fight scenes and although we lose a beloved character the ending left me satisfied (while still dying to know how Skybright fairs in her next adventure to break the deal that threatens the mortal world!)
- Book: Under A Painted Sky – Stacey Lee / @staceyleeauthor
- Quick Facts: Chinese MC, friendship, adventure
- Thoughts: It took me a long time to get into this book, 25 chapters in fact and I couldn’t quite work out why for a while. I think for me, the girls travelled faster than the story line, that being said the last 150 pages had me HOOKED and I really loved the ending. I loved how Sammy viewed the world through Chinese beliefs, myths and folktales and how she connected everyone with the animal of their birth year. A real story of love and friendship.
- Book: Dragon of The Lost Sea – Laurence Yep
- Quick Facts – DRAGONS, Chinese mythology, magic, sorcerers, more magic. Children’s book.
- Thoughts: I read this in a few hours and loved the story. Yep says he had originally based the story on a Chinese folktale about the Monkey King and a river spirit, with the now Main Characters being only minor ones added near the end of writing, but they quickly became more important and ended up leading the tale. Told from the POV of the Dragon Princess Shimmer and some chapters in the POV of orphan Thorn. I’m so glad this has THREE(!) sequels and I’ll likely treat myself to them in the next couple of months. Really great imagery and an interesting tale.
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