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on Jan. 27, 2013 :
I was given a e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I have been looking forward to reading the second book in this series after enjoying the first one and I am not disappointed. The adventure continues with old favourites and new characters. The twists and turns are still there, including some that will make you wonder where they fit in, but if you stick with it, it will be explained later on. The relationship deepens between the 3 main characters as they spend more time together as the Jian Ke and still remain good friends when they are "themselves". I enjoyed the references in this to "The Art of War" and "Thirty Six Strategies" and felt that it all bonded together. A wonderful blend of East and West again, in a manner that I am coming to expect from Martin Chu Shui.
It is a cliff-hanger of an ending that leaves you wanting to read book 3 immediately. Definitely recommended.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Dec. 25, 2011 :
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Liz, Henry and Sue seem to be going far, they have become more powerful and united and are now famous, well their 'characters' the 'Jian Ke' are famous, no one knows that they are in fact them, but that makes it more exciting.
I liked that the characters had matured since the first book and I found it easier to get into this book than I did the first one. Sue is much more believable and likeable (she annoyed me a bit in the first book), Liz seems to know what she wants from life but isn't sure how to get it.
There are some new characters in this book, the main one to mention is Rose, she was a bit of a mystery to me at first, I wasn't sure what she was there for, whether she would help or hurt the three friends, as the story went on I was hooked in, so many interesting twists and turns. I'm still not quite sure what to expect from her but hope she will come back in book 3.
There are some quite emotional scenes in this book and they were very well done. I could empathise with Liz when things went wrong and when something happens to Sue and Henry, I really felt for her.
There were a couple of scenes with talking animals that I wasn't sure exactly fit in but they do have a purpose further in so stick with it.
Makes a nice change to have something that isn't about Vampires/Werewolves etc, just back to basic fantasy with some Chinese heritage mixed in which makes for an interesting mix.
The ending made me wonder what would come next and I am looking forward to more from this series.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)