Thursday, July 14, 2011

Jade Tiger, by Jenn Reese

Jade Tiger
Jade Tiger by Jenn Reese

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm being totally unfair, holding Jenn Reese to a higher standard. I put four stars so that I have room to upgrade to five stars for her not just well written stuff, like this novel, but her mind-bending, sear-into-memory, windows-into-alternate-realities that she creates. I first met Jenn at the Hidden City workshop, and read her short story about children in gangs organized by a beagle who must decide which species truly deserves their loyalty - yes, that was the premise, and it was one of the best short stories I've ever read. I still remember so much of it vividly, the masterful use of language and gritty detail.

The upshot? If it has Jenn Reese's name on it, read it, no matter what the blurb says. She can take quirky, unreal ideas and mold them into whole other worlds contained in a faceted gem. This book was well worth reading - action, romance, and archeology all rolled into one nonstop quest. Jenn is herself a martial artist and well versed in Chinese culture (take it from this half-Chinese person).

I'm eagerly awaiting her soon to be published series from Candlewick!

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