Author: Marjorie M. Liu
In: Holidays Are Hell (Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Marjorie M. Liu & Vicki Pettersson)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Strong women, Urban fantasy, Vampires
Publisher: Harper Fiction
5th sentence, 74th page: His Chinese had an English accent, and he was tall and clean-cut, clad in a navy suit with a lilac tie.
Six is a well trained agent for China. It isn’t until she meets Joseph, a necromancer that she finally meets her match. And her first vampire. And that’s where things quickly begin to unravel.
I absolutely adored this novella. It’s fast-paced, kind of sassy and full of action. Not to mention the woman in the couple is the one more likely to kick your ass. That, and all of this fast-paced, sassy action takes place in Shanghai, with the backdrop of the Chinese New Year. The setting gives an extra layer of character and beauty to the storyline that I don’t often experience in novellas.
I enjoyed this version of “vampires”. It didn’t take the normal shape of blood-sucking fiends, but it did have the same thematic tones as other vampire stories. Mixing in a necromancer or two just helps to up the stakes and create a world that I’m really disappointed only exists in this one novella. I actually went online hunting to see if this is part of a greater series or word. But, alas, it isn’t.
Although I thoroughly enjoy the urban fantasy aspects of this tale, I think that the bit I enjoyed the most is the Chinese background. You can tell that Liu has spent time in Shanghai at the turn of the year, her familiarity almost screams from the page. The characters and the storyline won’t fail to draw you in, but it is the setting that has made this such a memorable tale for me.
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