Hey all, Dani here.
Well I feel like quite a prolific blogger already for the week/new year. I ended my 2019 with two posts each day and so far I’ve managed to have posts ready for the first handful of days in 2020, so that’s pretty good. But I still have quite a ways to go, and there are so many backlist reviews I need to write up.
Anyway, today I have a review that isn’t quite yet on the backlist considering I just read the book last month. Let’s get started.
Genie Lo is one among droves of Ivy-hopeful overachievers in her sleepy Bay Area suburb. When she’s not crushing it at volleyball, Genie is typically working on how to crack the elusive Harvard entry code. But when her hometown comes under siege from hellspawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are dramatically rearranged. Enter Quentin Sun, a mysterious new kid who becomes Genie’s guide to battling demons. While Genie knows Quentin only as an attractive transfer student, in another reality he is Sun Wukong, the mythological Monkey King incarnate. Suddenly, acing the SATs is the least of Genie’s worries.
This epic debut draws from Chinese mythology, features a larger-than-life heroine, and perfectly balances the realities of Genie’s grounded Bay Area life with the absurd supernatural world she finds herself commanding.
Rating: 4 stars
So I read F.C. Yee’s newest release, The Rise of Kyoshi, last year and absolutely loved it. Not only was it set in the world of “Avatar: the Last Airbender,” but the writing was also done quite well. Plus this is another one of those books where it sounded just okay and the cover did not help to sell me on the book at all. Then this beautiful cover redesign happened (probably in anticipation of the release of the sequel later in January). So new cover design plus me wanting to try more books that feature other myths and cultures, and I felt like it was time to pick up this book.
It was good. Genie is a smart and capable young woman. Also, the handling of the supernatural world in the Bay Area setting was rather intriguing. I liked following Genie’s journey as she learned more about everything and had to adapt and figure out how to fight the demons.
Honestly my problem was with Quentin. I don’t know enough about Sun Wukong to comment fully about him, but his Quentin persona just felt incredibly immature and annoying to me. After just the first few chapters of having him in the story I wanted to put the book down, which is unfortunate.
If you feel the same way as me when you pick up this book, push through the beginning stages; I do feel like it gets better as the story continues. Plus, with the way the book ended, I’m very curious to see what will happen in the sequel novel. So that’s always a plus. I do enjoy a good story that leaves you wanting to read more.
Where to Get a Copy
You can also check with your local library.