Jade City feels at home with Asian inspired fantasy but is also something completely different altogether, with its own history and culture. You're not expected to know everything about it, mind you. This isn't an info-dump kind of book; they come gradually and naturally through the story. I'm honestly struggling to describe the depth of Lee's world because the layers go beyond the characters and their backstories. There's the culture they're ingrained in, the dynamics between clans and individuals. The practices and customs. The very setting. If you're looking for a richly diverse fantasy then you need to pick this book up.
It's also hard to speak of the characters in any level of detail because there is so much detail. You know every little bit about these people, every decision they want to (and do) make, and why. At times it was a bit too much for me. I felt spoon-fed information rather than inferring from character actions. I consider it a byproduct of the third person viewpoint we see the story from as it shifts through characters.
Now, my one "issue" with this book wasn't the story or the characters. It may not have even been the writing. But it took me a long time to get into it. I wasn't hooked early on and never fell into the world despite the level of detail and work put into creating such a rich, vibrant setting (and story). I can't really call this book boring because of how much is going on but the way it's written, as a whole, didn't let me sink in more than knee-deep.
Without breaking down this entire book in a review (since y'all should just read the book at that point), let me just say that this book is descriptive and vibrant and wonderfully crafted. If a fantasy riddled with a magical jade mafia sounds like something you'd be interested in, definitely go grab yourself a copy. If not for the fact that it took me so long to get into, I'd give it 5 stars but it just didn't quite work for me from an enjoyment standpoint.
- Started reading
- Finished reading
- 2 June, 2017: Reviewed