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review 2020-05-13 13:58
Romantic, funny, amazing
Psychic Princess (Tong Ling Fei) - Tencent Animation & Comics

If you love an easygoing, full of humour, historical but also with some supernatural elements and a romance to die for manga/manhwa/manhua then this is the right one to pick up.

Short summary in my own words:


The female protagonist, Qian Yunxi, was raised on a Mt. Lin Yun because she has the ability to see the supernatural which is deemed bad and that it brings bad luck. She is the prime minister's daughter and although she is the older sister she is a concubine's daughter so she is not held up to such high standards as the second sister who is the legitimate wife's child. Prime minister wants more power so he is not on great terms with the royal family so when the order comes that his daughter must marry one of the princes he sends the daughter he doesn't care about. Qian Yunxi accepts this proposal because she wants to get off the mountain. Marriage goes through and on the first night the prince tells her she is not wanted and there is one other he considers to be good enough to be his wife. Qian is sent to the worst rundown part of the palace. But for Qian, this is not so bad. She, as a wife, has enough freedom and yet, she doesn't need to do her marital duties. She takes this situation as a positive and with a positive attitude and extreme bravery slowly changes the lives of everyone around here, as well as the cold prince's heart.

 


My thoughts:

In my opinion, this is almost as good as it gets in this genre of manga or if you will, manhua or manhwa (manga not produced in Japan). It is on point of everything it presents itself to be. It is very funny (I laughed my heart out in the scene where she throws a chicken she purchased at the market, just trust me on this one, go read please), it is very romantic, it is serious when it needs to be, the supernatural element enriches the whole plot, it doesn't shy away from the political discussions and we come to the most important part perhaps - the heroine - she is amazing.

The heroine is truly a heroine. She is independent, she is extremely intelligent and capable, she knows how to handle herself in most situations, she is not a damsel in distress, she is the one who often saves those around her, she kicks as% and she has a pure heart. I have not come across such a capable and well written heroine in a very long time.
The prince starts off as an unlikable tyrant-like-bastard who is cold, ruthless and cunning but unwilling to deal with anything that doesn't personally benefit him. As the story develops we actually see that that is just a front. He has much more layers and a lot of the things he has done can be interpreted differently with the right context. He grows significantly when around our capable heroine. He has a great aura about him and the way he handles situations makes me giggle and blush like a little girl. But he has his vulnerable side too and later on we learn that he is actually much more innocent than we could ever have imagined. Now that is great character writing, totally takes you by surprise.
There are many more other characters who are more or less important, and more or less developed but I believe it is better left for the actual reading experience now that the basics have been laid out.

The romance is the type that makes your heart skip a beat, you blush and you also wish you were the heroine. Prince is the possessive type and I really honestly love that. I know some people don't and that is okay. We are all different. I respect people who say they don't like even a little jealousy or possessiveness but for me that is absolutely amazing. The prince takes care of our heroine and he would go to the depths of hell for her. Since this is a fictional story I think it is safe to enjoy it and savour it. Boy, is this romance delightful.

The Chinese setting and the animation style is absolutely beautiful. I enjoyed every single page, every single image. It is different, it is unique and it is definitely worthy of reading and admiring.

For the final note. The anime that was made based on this manga is pretty much faithful to the manga, although there are differences. As always, manga has much more details, much more characters, a lot of the special moments between our hero and heroine that anime just cannot condense the same in a dozen episodes. If you are interested in this story I would definitely say go first with the manga and then enjoy the anime rendition.

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review 2020-05-13 12:40
Hono Housewares, a quick-growing vacuum flask supplier from China

As a quick-growing vacuum flask supplier from China, Hono has developed a wide range of innovative drinkware products, such as stainless steel water bottle, vacuum flask, hydro flask, coffee mug, insulated tumbler, coffee pot and food flask. And Hono is dedicated to providing food-safe and eco-friendly products that encourage a healthy lifestyle. Hono won a good reputation for quality control in its operation in the past years. And Hono aims to provide clients with quality, nice designs and reasonable prices. Not only providing products in this field, Hono also provides a complete solution and one-stop service to worldwide clients, including OEM/ODM development, prototypes, sourcing, inspection and logistic services.

 

If you are interested in China vacuum flasks and custom water bottle and want to know more information about Hono, you may visit Hono's website: https://honogo.com.​

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review 2020-05-03 07:04
Review: Has China Won? by Kishore Mahbubani
Has China Won?: The Chinese Challenge to American Primacy - Kishore Mahbubani

***Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you NetGalley and Public Affairs!***

 

I stopped reading this book about 150 pages in, roughly halfway. I make an effort to not put down a book less than halfway through in order to be fair. Sometimes things start to look up after a rocky beginning. To be clear, I did not put this book away because it was poorly written. Indeed, it was excellently written. But I felt like the author has gotten it wrong when it came to his starting thesis. And unfortunately, if your starting thesis is incorrect, then some or all of your conclusions probably will be too.

 

The author has a very big bias in favor of China. This was evident throughout the Introduction when he basically said that China is the victim of cultural misunderstanding and that America was mostly afraid of powerful “yellow” people (his words, not mine) and mistakenly thinks that all Communism is the same as the Soviet Union was. But I carried on in spite of this obvious bias because the next two chapters were about the biggest mistakes so far that each of the world superpowers has made. I thought, maybe here is where we get a more evenhanded approach.

 

Unfortunately we did not. According to the author, China’s biggest mistake is that it gives too much power to local governments and Beijing is largely powerless to control them. For example, the author mentions that businesses are very wary of working in China because they feel that China takes advantage of them and threatens them with access to the Chinese market if they don’t comply to outrageous. His example is a business that states they had a contract with a Chinese company that they would utilize their services for a set number of years and then buy the company outright for X price at the end of that period. When that date came the company refused to sell. The business petitioned to the courts in Beijing and were told “well pay them more money then and buy the business”. The author attributes this to a lack of centralized leadership. That is blatantly false and biased. That is called extortion. If the courts had said “Sorry, this is an issue with the local jurisdiction” that would prove the author’s point. But they acted like a mob enforcer “Pay more money, then they’ll sell.” The author gives this kind of leniency to the Chinese government over and over again.

 

And still, I continued. I thought that perhaps when the author was describing the largest mistake by America that we would see the same leniency. We did not. The author spends the entire chapter demonizing President Trump and demonizing businesses for blaming it on American war culture. And then throwing in some demonization of America’s lack of social justice for good measure. Americans just want to believe that all Communism is bad, so that’s why we demonize China. Again, this is a flawed premise. The Chinese Communist Party is bad. They have upwards of 1.5 million people imprisoned in labor camps, another half million in re-education centers. Stories abound from survivors of these camps of the rampant abuse and rape that goes on. Defectors from the CCP are executed silently and immediately, potentially thousands of people per year. The CCP has  launched genocidal massacres on Tibetans, Buddhists, Christians and Muslims within the past decade. Don’t try and blow that particular sunshine about good Communism up my behind, thanks all the same!

 

In the end, this author thinks China is a great place and America is inherently racist with a psycho for a President. To me, that indicates that all conclusions that he draws will be flawed. So while the author asks a lot of interesting questions, the answers will likely be unsatisfying.

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review 2020-04-11 03:54
A splendid second installment
China Rich Girlfriend - Kevin Kwan

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this, even more so than the first book, to be honest. Kwan's satirical style is as fun and funny as ever in poking fun of the mega rich - in this case, China rich! - but there's also a fleshing out of relationships and the introduction of new characters that is thoughtfully explored and I'm very excited to read the next book! 

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review 2020-03-23 11:22
Bone China
Bone China - Laura Purcell

by Laura Purcell

 

This started out with two of my personal cardinal sins: a list of characters, something I always skip past because it's meaningless until they have context in the story, and present tense writing. Having said that, the first chapter was very effective that way and would have made a great prologue. Dickens used to write the occasional present tense chapter to put immediacy into a segment of a story, but it doesn't work to do a whole book in present tense.

 

It starts out with a woman running from something, riding in an old time coach and wearing a dress that gives the impression of a lady, when she is not. An accident leads to her helping an injured man, remonstrating with herself for drawing attention so that people will remember her.

 

This is where I'm glad I skipped the character list. Learning who this woman is and what she's running from gives me a reason to continue! She has had some form of medical training, which makes her stand out as a woman healer in an older era when such things were uncommon.

 

We get a flashback of her history that explains where the dress came from and that her mother was a midwife. This is told in past tense and I found myself very interested in her story. A lot is put into her psychological make-up and motivations to develop a clear picture of the character.

 

There's a strong element of Cornish Pixie lore (though it should be Piskies there) to add a creepy element. The story behind the delicate blue and white china comes out by the end and the significance becomes clear.

 

I have mixed feelings about the end, but the story as a whole did keep my attention and had just that hint of Horror to make it fit firmly in the Gothic category.

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