We all know that I am OBSESSED with Subtle Asian Book Club and have been participating in their BOTM since they began in January 2020. If you don’t know what Subtle Asian Book Club is, you can find more information on Tiffany’s and Alexandra’s blogs.
Other SABC Posts:
January 2020: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before Thoughts
February 2020: Loveboat, Taipei Thoughts
March 2020: Anna K Review
May 2020: I Love You So Mochi Review
July 2020: 7 Things I Love About The Gilded Wolves
No one believes in them. But soon no one will forget them.
It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.
To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood.
Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history–but only if they can stay alive.
- Cliffhanger! I have a hate to love relationship with the cliffhanger in this book. Mostly because it makes everything interesting in what is going to happen, and I have not picked up my ARC to see how it is going to play, but it’s one of the things I loved about it.
- Heist! I’m always a huge fan of heist stories so this one is easy to pick up
(and it reminds me a little bit of SOC), but the way it was, was really interesting!
- TONS OF MYTHOLOGY! I’ve been reading a lot of mythology books lately and I appreciate the many mythology that has been incorporated in this book! It’s so exciting to see some of the things that I have not caught the first few times I read this.
- Math! I sound like the unpopular opinion, but I actually really like numbers and am really good (not to brag). And seeing math involved to solve puzzles is just really cool! ^_^
- Relationships! It’s not just romance, but how they are really close to like best friends and how they help each other, and care for each other. I love how close Zofia and Laila is with each other!
- Paris France in the 19th Century! There were a lot of things that was explored in where this book was set, especially in Paris. I always wanted to go to Paris and it sounded interesting with some of the spots Chokshi mentioned. There were also mentioned of some other unlawful things that happened (in both the book & in real life).
- The writing is lyrical and beautiful! It takes me a little bit to get used to it, and reading enough of Chokshi’s prose-it’s so magical and keeps me connected with the story.
August 2020 BOTM:
When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.
But surprises aren’t always good.
Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.
For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .
Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.
TW: war themes, drug use, substance addiction, self-harm, racism, misogyny, genocide, bullying, abandonment, abuse, animal death, animal cruelty, brutal torture, brutal killing, brutal rape, mutilation, very graphic depictions of how children and adults died, experimentations on people against their will, blood
Have you read The Gilded Wolves or The Poppy War? Are you reading any of these books? Have you participated in Subtle Asian Book Club? Tell me in the comments!
About the Blogger:
Lori is an advocate for all things diverse to help those who are in the margins. She loves reading, but music holds a dear place in her heart. She is a teenager in high school, a feminist, and is in the LGBTQ+ community. Uses she/her or they/them pronouns 🌈