Book Review: Jade Legacy by Fonda Lee – A Satisfying and Phenomenal Conclusion to a God-Tiered Series; a Story about Life, Love, Death, and the Legacy We Leave Behind

Synopsis:

Jade, the mysterious and magical substance once exclusive to the Green Bone warriors of Kekon, is now known and coveted throughout the world. Everyone wants access to the supernatural abilities it provides, from traditional forces such as governments, mercenaries, and criminal kingpins, to modern players, including doctors, athletes, and movie studios. As the struggle over the control of jade grows ever larger and more deadly, the Kaul family, and the ancient ways of the Kekonese Green Bones, will never be the same.

The Kauls have been battered by war and tragedy. They are plagued by resentments and old wounds as their adversaries are on the ascent and their country is riven by dangerous factions and foreign interference that could destroy the Green Bone way of life altogether. As a new generation arises, the clan’s growing empire is in danger of coming apart.

The clan must discern allies from enemies, set aside aside bloody rivalries, and make terrible sacrifices… but even the unbreakable bonds of blood and loyalty may not be enough to ensure the survival of the Green Bone clans and the nation they are sworn to protect.

I received a digital advanced readers copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book review contains minor non-explicit spoilers to Jade City.

It’s been four years since Jade City by Fonda Lee released. Four years since I fell unequivocally in love with the gangster urban fantasy series with wuxia elements, set in an Asian-inspired island called Kekon where fearsome Green Bones warriors and their creed ruled. Jade City explored family and honour and how the blood feud between the No Peak Clan and their rival, the Mountain Clan, began. It became my favourite book of all time.

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Book Review: In the Watchful City by S. Qiouyi Lu – A Transcendent Bio-Cyberpunk Novella of Queer Asian-Influenced Stories that Explore and Reclaim Diaspora, Identity, and Gender

Synopsis:

The city of Ora uses a complex living network called the Gleaming to surveil its inhabitants and maintain harmony. Anima is one of the cloistered extrasensory humans tasked with watching over Ora’s citizens. Although ær world is restricted to what æ can see and experience through the Gleaming, Anima takes pride and comfort in keeping Ora safe from all harm.

All that changes when a mysterious visitor enters the city carrying a cabinet of curiosities from around the world, with a story attached to each item. As Anima’s world expands beyond the borders of Ora to places—and possibilities—æ never before imagined to exist, æ finds ærself asking a question that throws into doubt ær entire purpose: What good is a city if it can’t protect its people?

I received a digital advanced readers copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

If I had to describe In the Watchful City in a word, it would be ‘transcendent’. In the Watchful City is unlike anything I have read before; this novella pushes the boundaries of science-fiction/fantasy, highlighting that there are no limits or restraints in meaningful storytelling that interweaves themes of diaspora, power, gender, and transformation. The power of In the Watchful City is that it feels – and perhaps is – a story that feels so deeply and unapologetically personal.

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Our Friend is Here! An Interview with C.B. Lee, Author of A Clash of Steel – On the Lessons Each Book Taught Her, Love for Pirate Stories, and Joyous Queer Love

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Pride Month is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond, where during the month of June, queer authors and bookish content creators are invited to celebrate being queer, queer books, and their experiences of being a queer reader. Find the introduction post for Pride Month at The Quiet Pond here.

It’s now the end of Pride and I have the delight of hosting our last guest for Pride Month this year. Today’s guest is, what I would consider, a favourite of The Quiet Pond. Her books make frequent appearances in our book recommendation posts, I had the privilege of hosting the blog tour for her most recent Sidekick Squad book, and I even had the honour of hosting the cover reveal for her upcoming YA, A Clash of Steel! Indeed, today’s guest is none other than the incredible C.B. Lee, author of hopeful and fulfilling queer literature, and I get to share my interview with her today!

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Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Author of The Mermaid, The Witch and the Sea – On Queer Coming of Age Stories, Tackling Rape Culture with Werewolves, & (Many) Book Recs

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Pride Month is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond, where during the month of June, queer authors and bookish content creators are invited to celebrate being queer, queer books, and their experiences of being a queer reader. Find the introduction post for Pride Month at The Quiet Pond here.

So many queer stories are about self-discovery, about coming home to yourself; in young adult books, especially, queer realisation and fulfillment are also often tied to coming-of-age narratives. Being a teenager is a wonderful, volatile, and beautiful thing, and as someone who had her “gay awakening” (so to speak) at the tail end of my teens, I’m always so grateful for stories that shine a light into that awkward and revealing experience of finally beginning to figure out who you are—and, if you’re lucky, who you love. I am therefore delighted to be welcoming Maggie Tokuda-Hall to the Pond today to talk about her wonderful fantasy books about queer teens figuring themselves out!

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Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Zoe Hana Mikuta, Author of Gearbreakers – On the World through the Eyes of a Young Writer, Mecha Sci-Fi and ‘Quiet’ Romances

Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Zoe Hana Mikuta, Author of Gearbreakers – On the World through the Eyes of a Young Writer, Mecha Sci-Fi and ‘Quiet’ Romances

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Pride Month is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond, where during the month of June, queer authors and bookish content creators are invited to celebrate being queer, queer books, and their experiences of being a queer reader. Find the introduction post for Pride Month at The Quiet Pond here.

Having grown up and enamoured by mecha stories – whether it be Gundam or Suisei no Gargantia or Pacific Rim – say the word ‘mecha’ and I’ll likely come running. So when I first heard about Gearbreakers, and later had the opportunity to read it early, I was delighted and excited. I had expected Gearbreakers to be a story full of mecha battles and action, a story led by two strong-willed girls. Although the book does have parts of this, at the center of Gearbreakers is a tender and bittersweet heart – which is what drew me in and resonated with me.

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