Friday, May 15, 2009
Book Review: SILVER PHOENIX by Cindy Pon
I was going to post this yesterday, but instead I played hooky and went and watched the new STAR TREK! Needless to say, I was spasming with waves of geek pleasure as the credits were rolling, so please go see it if you remotely like Star Trek. IT ROCKS!
ANYWAY, now that my tangent is over, I wanted to tell you about this highly enjoyable book I read: SILVER PHOENIX by Cindy Pon :).
Here is the book trailer (it's gorgeous!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihJ1xy009bk.
This book is a sweeping epic fantasy set in a China-like world. A young girl goes in search of her missing father at the imperial palace, but faces dozens of monsters and demons along the way, trying to stop her. As the mystery unfolds, we learn things are definitely not what they seem, and the threat is very real for our heroine, Ai Ling.
Apparently, Cindy Pon originally wrote this novel for adults and then it becamse YA during the publishing process. This means that even though it's YA there are some risque and dark moments, which I really enjoyed. It has one of the most messed-up monsters I've ever read about (which is saying something!), and breaks the mold of the usual suspects in fantasy novels. The monsters are rooted in Chinese mythology, which makes everything fascinating and new for those of us who are used to more British-inspired fantasy. Yes, there was a dragon, but even this was made new because it was an awesome serpent-like blue-and-green sea dragon, like you see in old silk paintings.
Also, the main hero, Chen Yong, is smokin' hot and sexy, and doesn't even know it, which, of course, makes him all the more delightful. The book ends well, and I felt myself pretty emotional on the last page, absolutely desperate for more. If you can hear me, Cindy, there better be a sequel!
There was an odd moment in the middle of the book where we learned the "real" conflict where I sat up in my bubble bath and went "Wait, what?" However, even though the twist may seem out of place in the moment, it resolves itself into a truly enjoyable read. After the first few chapters, I couldn't put it down.
My favorite part, I'm ashamed to admit, were Cindy's descriptions of the food. Ai Ling is like me in that she loves a good meal, and by the end I was desperate for some Chinese food like you wouldn't believe. I grabbed my husband and told him that I needed some noodles and buns with pork filling STAT. So yes, I'm sure this book will be responsible for me eating out a lot in the near future.
I definitely recommend this book, so go to Amazon and help support a debut author!
Have any of you read it? I'd love to know what you thought.