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text 2018-05-31 15:50
TBR Thursday
Jade City - Fonda Lee
Red Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson
Wizard's First Rule - Terry Goodkind
Dora Doralina - Rachel de Queiroz
The Bourne Identity - Robert Ludlum
Murder in Mesopotamia - Agatha Christie

My reading life is currently being run by library due dates.  I'm currently working on Macbeth by Jo Nesbø (due in 9 days) and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami (I've renewed it the maximum number of times) due in 12 days.

 

The author of Jade City will be at the When Words Collide conference in August, so I'm interested in reading her work.  Two more titles in my Science Fiction and Fantasy reading project, Red Mars and Wizard's First Rule

 

Dora, Doralina is an interlibrary loan which can't be renewed, so I've got to keep my eye on its due date too.

 

And of course, The Bourne Identity and Murder in Mesopotamia are part of the Summer of Spies

 

The weekend promises to be a busy one--I'm hoping to go out birding for one day of it.  And I have to clean and organize under my kitchen and bathroom sinks--the plumber is coming on Monday to inspect the shut-off valves & replace them if they're not working. 

 

I'm very pleased with the amount of housework that I've accomplished over the last couple of weeks.  Nothing like having outside impetus to get me moving (charities to donate to, visitors coming, plumbers booked).  Someday I may have everything under control again! 

 

Happy reading, friends!

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review 2018-03-19 03:49
Jade City by Fonda Lee - My Thoughts
Jade City (The Green Bone Saga) - Fonda Lee

I really have to start putting my thoughts down when I finish my books, not three days later! 

I really enjoyed this book, more than I thought I would, if I'm honest.  It's The Godfather meets Ninjas and Yakuza clans in a 1950's-ish time and on the Island of Kekon where jade is magical, giving enhanced abilities to some who are known as the Green Bone Warriors. 

I found the first maybe third of the book a little slow, as things got set up and we meet the main players, the Kaul family, as well as the a slew of secondary characters.  It's a typical clan type family, I guess, with the 'retired' grandfather who is having difficulty letting go of his power.  His three grandchildren, Lan, Hilo, Shae and the adopted Anden.  Lan, the eldest, is the new Pillar or head of the No Peak clan, Hilo is the Horn, the second-in-command.  Their sister, Shae, has been away from the island and the clan for a while and has been living without her jade.  Anden, the youngest, about to leave his teen years behind is a senior at the Academy, just about ready to graduate and take his jade as well as his position within the family. 

Once we begin to know all the characters and get somewhat of a handle on them, the story really kicks in.  We're talking murders, assassinations, stolen jade, government scandals, love affairs, clans heading to war and maybe even the total collapse of their island and way of life. 

The world-building is intricate and terrific and the characters, main, secondary and even the walk-ons are deftly drawn.  Once we get into things, the plot moves along quite nicely with twists and turns and surprises along the way.  Some good and some bad.  Some I saw coming, some I did not.

So, yes, this is one of those books where I wish I could write a decent review because I feel like I'm not doing it justice.  It's a terrific book and I can't wait for the second book to come out.

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review 2018-02-28 03:56
The advantages of reading blurbs:
Jade City (The Green Bone Saga) - Fonda Lee

You'll know it's not your genre before you start! Had I read it, I'd have run into the phrase " an epic saga reminiscent of The Godfather with magic and kungfu."  As it was, I went off a bunch of people reccing it, and just jumped right in, not wanting to be spoiled.

 

I was squiffy on this book because the first female character didn't show up for fifty pages (and was a mistress who was there entirely for a sex scene), and then I was squiffy on it because only one of five of the PoV characters was a woman, and it seemed like the length of the Bible between her scenes (while meanwhile all the male characters made free with gendered slurs), but that was picking up a tiny bit by the half way mark.

 

What finally finished me off was realising that I really just wanted all of the major characters to murder each other in the cleanest way possible, and the government to have to actually, you know, govern. Instead of handing everything everything off to wirefu maniacs and their gang wars. This realisation hit about when I figured out that this reminded me of nothing so much as The Hoods (made into a movie as Once Upon a Time in America). So it turns out that I don't like mafia stories? And setting them in a secondary world 1980s South East Asia doesn't make me like them more. Also, I didn't find that adding a very small amount of magic (basically making wirefu real) and then changing nothing else was the most innovative world building I'd ever run into.

 

DNF at the 50% mark.

 

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text 2018-02-25 16:46
Reading progress update: I've read 131 out of 552 pages.
Jade City (The Green Bone Saga) - Fonda Lee

Man, I'm really struggling with this one. There's a lot of politics and arguing about trade deals, which makes me happy, but the magic system isn't that interesting, and I don't care about most of the characters except for the one female PoV (out of five PoVs so far) who is someone's little sister and has shown up once. Maybe if I keep going it'll be amazing? IDK.

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text 2018-02-24 05:38
Reading progress update: I've read 54 out of 552 pages.
Jade City (The Green Bone Saga) - Fonda Lee

I'm this far in, and we've just met our first female character! She's someone's sexy sexy mistress. If this book hadn't comes so highly recced by people I trust, I'd be out by now.

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