Books for Lunar New Year

Happy Year of the Goat!

Golden-New-Year-Goat-2015

In honor of Lunar New Year (BTW, I was born year of the Tiger) I wanted to share some Asian-inspired reads. I may be wrong but it seems to me that there aren’t that many mainstream books with an Asian influence. Here are some that I’ve read and enjoyed. Leave a comment and let me know of your favorite Asian-inspired or Asian-centric books or movies. Thanks for reading!

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. Probably the most well known of this article. The movie was fantastic also. It follows 4 women and their female children as they come of age and come to terms with their mothers. A fascinating story and so well done!

Eon & Eona by Alison Goodman. This short fantasy series is an amalgam of Asian inspired culture and superstitions. It also speaks to drug use, gender issues, chauvinism and women’s roles in any culture. The dragons are a bonus. Well written, inventive, and exciting.

Gilded by Christina Farley.  After her mother’s death, Korean-American Jae-Hwa returns to Seoul with her father only to discover she is hunted by a demigod to be his mistress. Farley portrayed Jae-Hwa as a typical teenager that discounted everything her family cautioned her against and, if I must say, was a tad annoying because of it. However I enjoyed the story a lot overall and really appreciated the glimpse of Seoul – it was like taking a vacation.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. The least “Asian” story of them all. Park is half Korean in middle America during the 80’s. This love story is a must read for anyone who grew up in the era of big hair and power ballard or for fans of realistic YA. Rowell does an amazing job of writing about misfit teenagers falling in love. Fans of John Green will appreciate this story.

 

Primal Instinct by Sydney Somers

A Pendragon Gargoyles Prequel Primal Instinct

For months Corrine Lawson has walked a fine line between reality and madness. The only thing keeping her sane is her sexy and mysterious next-door-neighbor, Ryker. Yet the closer she gets to uncovering the truth about him, the harder it becomes to resist the man who exposes her to a dangerous world steeped in myth and legend. Surrendering to him and the sizzling connection that burns between them means succumbing to the madness within, and that’s not a fight she’s willing to lose.

Both man and wolf, shapeshifter Ryker McKinnon has spent nearly a century tormented by his past, hungering only for vengeance—until he finds Corrine, a spirited human and the key to his redemption. Determined to use Cori as a pawn in a deadly game of revenge, nothing prepares Ryker for the staggering emotion her touch unleashes or the brutal need to claim her as his own.

When Cori is caught in the middle of a bitter feud and a centuries-old greed for Excalibur, will Ryker’s secrets destroy the woman he loves or finally awaken the fierceness inside her?

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Ani’s Review

Primal Instinct was a fun book but too short for my taste. It was fast paced and had good character development but I wanted a longer story rather than a prequel. I liked Cori and Ryker was a good love interest. The talking only through the privacy screen between their apartments was a good tease. I was also intrigued by the Gargoyle aspect of the story because it’ s a unique one for shifter books. However, due to it’s short length, some of the details about Cori’s father were just not there and I also wanted more about Ryker’s past or family history which would have made it a fuller story. However, the writing was good and the romance scenes were hot so it’s a great book if you find some time on your hands for a quick read or if you are interested in a series, this would be a good bet. I will be reading more of Sydney Somers novels in the future. Click on the image below to buy it or see related books.

Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Cold Days

 

After being murdered and then brought back to life, Harry Dresden soon realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad. Because he is no longer Chicago’s only professional wizard.

He is now Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. Her word is his command. And her first command is the seemingly impossible: kill an immortal. Worse still, there is a growing threat to an unfathomable source of magic that could mean the deaths of millions.

Beset by enemies new and old, Harry must gather his friends and allies, prevent an apocalypse, and find a way out of his eternal subservience before his newfound infinite powers claim the only thing he has left to call his own…

His soul.

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Ani’s Review

I was so excited to read this book! I made myself wait for paperback (I really hate spending money on hardcover) so I’ve been waiting almost 2 years since it’s release. Cold Days is a typical end-of-the-world Dresden novel where it starts fast and keeps going. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the incredibly fast pace of these stories especially when you’ve got several characters and storylines from previous books being referred to. An alternate title could have been “A Day in the Life of the Winter Knight”. Most of this story takes place in the space of 24 hours. Harry reconnects with his old friends – many who thought him dead – and, as per the usual, we learn of a few more supernatural creatures that are out there. One of my favorite reasons for reading these books is the fun one liners from the Princess Bride and Star Wars as well as Harry’s self-efacing humor. Although Cold Days wasn’t my favorite of the Dresden Files series, you don’t want to miss Harry’s introduction as the Winter Knight.