China

Chinese Dragons and Romance in “Dragons of Heaven”

dragons of heavenThe Dragons of Heaven, by Alyc Helms Angry Robot: June 2nd, 2015 (Fantasy)*

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The view was nice, but the food was bad (meh)**

In The Dragons of Heaven, Missy Masters is trying to live up to her grandfather’s legacy as Mr. Masters, one of the original superheroes of the mid-twentieth century. We are introduced to her present-day struggles to be taken seriously and to defeat a Chinatown crime boss in San Francisco. The narrative is split between the present-day and some time in Missy’s past. It’s also split between San Francisco and China. In one plot line, Missy is a superheroine fighting crime when mysterious magical walls spring up around all Chinatowns in the world, and around China itself. This launches Missy into the world-saving business, as she is the only person who can dissolve the walls. In the other, she travels to China to learn from a Dragon and become a better superheroine. (more…)

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Joint Review: Gunpowder Alchemy

22837890Gunpowder Alchemy by Jeannie Lin (The Gunpowder Chronicles #1)
InterMix: November 18, 2014 (Steampunk)*

In 1842, the gunpowder might of China’s Qing Dynasty fell to Britain’s steam engines. Furious, the Emperor ordered the death of his engineers—and killed China’s best chance of fighting back…

Since her father’s execution eight years ago, Jin Soling kept her family from falling into poverty. But her meager savings are running out, leaving her with no choice but to sell the last of her father’s possessions—her last memento of him.

Only, while attempting to find a buyer, Soling is caught and brought before the Crown Prince. Unlike his father, the Emperor, the Prince knows that the only chance of expelling the English invaders is to once again unite China’s cleverest minds to create fantastic weapons. He also realizes that Soling is the one person who could convince her father’s former allies—many who have turned rebel—to once again work for the Empire. He promises to restore her family name if she’ll help him in his cause.

But after the betrayal of her family all those years ago, Soling is unsure if she can trust anyone in the Forbidden City—even if her heart is longing to believe in the engineer with a hidden past who was once meant to be her husband… (more…)