Title: Tea with the Black Dragon
Author: R.A. MacAvoy
Rating Out of 5: 1.5 (Couldn’t get past the first chapter)
My Bookshelves: Dragons, Fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: Her face was still hot; he would think she were blushing.
Martha Macnamara knows that her daughter Elizabeth is in trouble, she just doesn’t know what kind. Mysterious phone calls from San Francisco at odd hours of the night are the only contact she has had with Elizabeth for years. Now, Elizabeth has sent her a plane ticket and reserved a room for her at San Francisco’s most luxurious hotel. Yet she has not tried to contact Martha since she arrived, leaving her lonely, confused and a little bit worried. Into the story steps Mayland Long, a distinguished-looking and wealthy Chinese man who lives at the hotel and is drawn to Martha’s good nature and ability to pinpoint the truth of a matter. Mayland and Martha become close in a short period of time and he promises to help her find Elizabeth, making small inroads in the mystery before Martha herself disappears. Now Mayland is struck by the realization, too late, that he is in love with Martha, and now he fears for her life. Determined to find her, he sets his prodigious philosopher’s mind to work on the problem, embarking on a potentially dangerous adventure.
I struggled with this story. Actually, I struggled so much that I read the first 150 pages (to satisfy reading challenge requirements) and then gave up completely. Normally I’ll put down a book after the first chapter if it doesn’t capture my attention, but I tried and tried with this. Mostly because I love the idea and the concept, I just found the writing a little difficult to get through.
The main thing that I found really irritating about this story was the passage of time. Where most pieces of writing that I’ve read use a break in paragraphs, or a new chapter to denote a change in location or time, this didn’t. Actually I continuously got confused about where the characters were and why they had jumped from one location to another.
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