Title: Jade City
Author: Fonda Lee
Published: June 26, 2018
Format: e-ARC through Netgalley- Thank you, Orbit!
“JADE CITY is a gripping Godfather-esque saga of intergenerational blood feuds, vicious politics, magic, and kungfu.
The Kaul family is one of two crime syndicates that control the island of Kekon. It’s the only place in the world that produces rare magical jade, which grants those with the right training and heritage superhuman abilities.
The Green Bone clans of honorable jade-wearing warriors once protected the island from foreign invasion–but nowadays, in a bustling post-war metropolis full of fast cars and foreign money, Green Bone families like the Kauls are primarily involved in commerce, construction, and the everyday upkeep of the districts under their protection.
When the simmering tension between the Kauls and their greatest rivals erupts into open violence in the streets, the outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones and the future of Kekon itself.”
I have FINALLY picked up this book!! I have seen so much hype about this book and I’ve had it on my TBR for way too long. I’m happy to report that the hype is real!
This is my first book by Fonda Lee and I think it took me a little bit to get a grasp of her writing style. While her world-building was good but it did take some time for me to figure it out. I do appreciate that she didn’t have a lot of “info dumps” throughout. There’s a lot of history and complex aspects to this world that I hope gets a bit more fleshed out in the next book.
“The clan is my blood, and the Pillar is its master.
On my honor, my life, and my jade.”
The characters in this book are so good. We have quite the mix in the siblings alone. Lan is the more pragmatic and peaceful sibling with a lot on his shoulders. Shae is trying to do things on her own, is very educated and smart. She’s also really funny and may even be stronger than the boys. We then have Hilo, who is very passionate but has a lot of anger issues. Lastly, there is Anden, who is trying to figure out who and where he belongs in this world. I have my favorites and I am a lot more excited about some of their journeys than others. There are several other great characters that I’m sure will have much bigger parts in the following books. I will say, Lee does not hold back with the violence. It’s quite amazing how quickly I became attached to all of these characters.
“Screw you, Hilo,” she snapped. “I can kill my ex-boyfriends myself.”
The pacing of this book started rather slow for me. I do understand that this was a very complicated world and I also had trouble with all the different names at first. Halfway through the book, the plot picked up quickly and it was a much faster pace for me. I think it was a mix of the writing style and my struggles figuring things out. I was pleasantly surprised that I had no idea what was going to happen.
“Sometimes, Andy, the people you think you can count on, they let you down in a bad way, and that’s hard to take. But for the most part, you give a man something to live up to, you tell him he can be more than he is now, more than other people think he’ll ever be, and he’ll try his godsdamned best to make it true.”
Overall, I enjoyed this book and I couldn’t put it down by the end. The story is really gripping and surprising and I cannot wait to jump into the next book. I am going in with my emotions a bit guarded because Fonda Lee did manage to hurt the heck out of me in this one!
I want to thank Orbit for providing me with a galley of this book. My opinions are my own.