So, I forgot that I hadn’t reviewed this yet so you all are getting a ton of reviews and less fantasy/sci-fi news. However, if you want more of that, all you have to do is let me know. I could read and review all the time personally. Anyways, here’s what this book is about:
Moving from China’s Opium Wars of the mid-19th century to the California gold rush and the taming of the Wild West, this epic historical fantasy follows the quest for an ancient Chinese dragon lost in a strange new world. A neglected orphan, an angry monk, and a sinister Englishman come together in a clash of wills and cultures that could change the future for the better—or for much, much worse.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book; it’s cover was misleading. I thought I would be bored out of my mind, but I wasn’t. It did, however, move slowly at points. Basically, the story opens much like Memoirs of a Geisha and has a very historical feel to it. However, you get hints of the mysticism of Asia, but still it is pretty historical. The characters are frustrating at times, and the only thing that will keep you moving are the parts about the female orphan named Chi-yen. She is what keeps the story slightly interesting. When the other characters finally get off their butts, you think that it is going to pick up. There’s a dragon, after all. But no, instead there is a ginormous time lapse in which you miss most of the character development. Basically, you miss the most interesting part, and then it picks up only to end quickly.
To be completely honest, this reads like a first draft (I think I might have said that about another book as well, but it’s true). This could have been a much more interesting read, but the authors seemed to be scared of making it too long, or something. And with the main character being 12 or 13 for most of the book, it’s hard to tell if it is meant for teens or adults. There are parts that seem pretty hardcore for YA novel, but still there’s this young voice. -sigh- I hope that they were just trying to build up for the sequel by giving a lot of back story. Maybe it’s like a prequel. I’m not sure. Needless to say, I definitely had mixed feelings about this story, but if you like lots of history with your fantasy, this might be for you.. if you are 13.