Sunday, July 14
Book Review: Skeleton Women
Author: Mingmei Yip
Summary: Once upon a time in China, the most beautiful and gifted women were known as "skeleton women" - the ultimate femme fatales who could bring a man to his knees, or to his doom...When Camilla, a young orphan girl in Shanghai, is adopted and brought to live in luxury, it seems like a stroke of luck. But as Camilla grows to womanhood, she realizes that her "rescue" was part of gang leader Big Brother Wang's scheme. Camilla is trained in singing, dancing, knife-throwing and contortion - all to attract the attention of Wang's enemy, the ruthless Master Lung. Forced to become Master Lung's mistress, Camilla meets two other intriguing women. Shadow is a magician and rival for Master Lung's affections, while Rainbow Chang dresses like a man and wields power through her incendiary gossip column. Both pose risks to Camilla's safety and status. But an even greater danger comes in the form of Master Lung's eldest son, Jinying, who despises his father's violent lifestyle - but loves Camilla. Only by plotting to eliminate Lung can she make her escape, but at what cost?
My Rating: 9/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: I was quite gripped by the book and there were many times I found it hard to move down. The plot wasn't a faced paced one, but I found that in this case, a slow moving plot worked wonderfully. The author had a excellent balance of plot, setting and character development - although the book is more character driven than anything else, it still made for an exciting read.
The characters in the book were well done, very fleshed out and had a steady development throughout the book. I can't say I had a favourite character, but I was becoming invested in the characters and how things would turn out for them. I really enjoyed Shadow and Camilla's "friendship" and I was hoping that would be more prominent in the book. I was also hoping we'd see more Rainbow in the book and her interactions with the other two Skeleton women - while I did enjoy the romantic element and how it brought some of the characters together, I would have liked to see more of the trio of women and their interactions.
The ending was well done and leaves off with you wanting more. Things are left off very open and a lot of questions unanswered. Although there's a follow-up book, which will likely answer those questions, even without it, I think the ending was very fitting for the story and its characters, things may have been open in the ending, but it definitely works with he story as a whole. Overall a wonderful and highly recommend read.
Would I recommend it to read: I would, this was an amazing book, and one that is well worth checking out.
What to read next: The Nine Fold Heaven, which is connected to this book. Memoirs of a Geisha would also be a good choice.
Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 777 Challenge, Alphabet Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge