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Precious Dragon

af Liz Williams

Andre forfattere: Se andre forfattere sektionen.

Serier: Detective Inspector Chen (3)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
262974,592 (3.81)21
In this, the third Detective Inspector Chen novel, Chen and Zhu are given a major assignment to escort an emissary from heaven on a diplomatic mission to hell. Zhu tries to dodge his demonic family's overtures, but ends up embroiled in hell's political intrigues. At the same time, a young boy born to ghostly parents in Hell is sent to live with his grandmother in Singapore Three. The boy, Precious Dragon, is being chased by Hell's most dangerous creatures and ends up being the key to unlock the mystery that is quickly spiraling out of control. Chen and Zhu find themselves in the middle of a struggle much bigger then they can fully comprehend, and when the dust finally settles, neither heaven nor hell will be the same. Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien invasion, near-future dystopia), fantasy (grimdark, sword and sorcery, contemporary urban fantasy, steampunk, alternative history), and horror (zombies, vampires, and the occult and supernatural), and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller, a national bestseller, or a Hugo or Nebula award-winner, we are committed to publishing quality books from a diverse group of authors.… (mere)

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» Se også 21 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 9 (næste | vis alle)
Giving up on page 65, mostly because I'm just not connecting with or hooked by it. I like our demon protag more than our human protag, but neither of them is really delivered in rich and interesting detail. I'm very interested in Inari, but she's delivered in dribs and drabs without deep emotional connection.

The book is ill-served (for me) by some other decisions. Weirdly, I find the typeset design unhelpful to my engagement - the text is almost full out to the edges of the page, which only emphasises a prose style that runs to long paragraphs without dialogue (and made me a little weary every time I turned a page). And I'm made very uncomfortable by the author's decision to use the deprecated and Western Wade-Giles romanisation, rather than the Chinese-preferred and official Pinyin. (I'm also made mildly uncomfortable by the decision to refer to the hero's Guanyin prayer beads as a rosary, though I appreciate it's possibly a technically correct usage.)
  cupiscent | Aug 3, 2019 |
The Inspector Chen universe is a well-deserved gold-mine for the author. I had read some of her earlier books, such as The Poison Master and they were quite decent fantasy, but this series resonates in a special way and so far is just getting better with each book. Over the first two books, Inspector Chen has evolved into the human liaison officer between Singapore III and Heaven and Hell. He starts out this book acting in this official capacity, and then all Hell breaks loose. And then Heaven does too.

Think of these books as a more gritty, updated version of Bridge of Birds combined with Tea with the Black Dragon. The use of elements of Chinese mythology combine with a near-future dystopia, and the roles and relationships power the actions. I have enjoyed the first two, Snake Agent and The Demon and the City, quite a bit, but think I liked this one even more. Although I sometimes am put off by multi-viewpoint stories, the three POVs in this book are handled very well and contribute greatly to the telling of the story. ( )
  ronincats | Feb 4, 2010 |
EXCELLENT. Totally excellent.

I adore this series (this is the third book therein), and so does my husband, who is not much of a reader.

The plot is complex and brings all sorts of seemingly disparate elements into play before it resolves. I totally adore the linkages between Earth, Hell, and Heaven, and the way the relationships between these work- as a Westerner the whole basis is strange to me, but it's consistent, builds with every book, and is fascinating.

I can hardly wait to read #4! ( )
  cissa | Nov 13, 2009 |
In this third volume in the Inspector Chen series, Liz Williams continues the stories of the strangest and most interesting police partner duo in fantasy or straight fiction--Inspector Chen and Seneschal Zhu Irzh. The one is a devotee of the goddess Kuan Yin working as a "Snake Agent" for the Singapore Three police force. His partner is a liaison from the Chinese Hells, and is, in fact, yes, a demon. Together they fight crime!

That may sound flippant, but by this third novel, Williams really starts making this pair work. Ostensibly, while the novel is about the titular character, who is a little boy who is far more than he appears, the novel positively sings and dances with delight when Chen and Zhu are back on screen. Be it Zhu's complicated relationship with his lover and his family, or Chen's attempts at trying to do the right thing in Earth AND in Hell, the buddy cop routine never fails to please.

I recently read a story by Williams in the Songs of the Dying Earth anthology and now, based on that, I can see that Vance is an inspiration for these characters, and some of the descriptive motifs and styles in these novels. The amazing "hell-bound train" is an image that has been indelibly burned into my memory.

Williams is also willing to avoid the reset button. Things have changed from the start of the first novel, and through the second, and the balance of things changes by the end of this one as well. Its an organic process of her world growing, developing and changing in a real way.

You shouldn't start here, of course. And the start of this novel is a little slow. But when the novel gets on all cylinders, Williams shows that she is an entertaining, engaging, and most talented fantasy novelist. I am looking forward, eagerly, for the next novel in her Inspector Chen series. After reading this, I am pretty sure you will, too. ( )
  Jvstin | Oct 10, 2009 |
I have been waiting for this book for 2 years. It came out in hardcover in 2007, disappeared and kept pushing back the date for the paperback. It was finally published at the end of June.

It is the 3rd book in the Detective Inspector Chen series. The setting is in the future somewhere on the coast of Asia where its warm. The city is called Singapore 3 and it is the 3rd city franchised from Singapore. The technology is a little advanced from us, and magic is used. The series is very strong on Chinese mythology.

The main character, Chen, is a police officer whose job it is to liaise with Hell (Chinese version). His partner, Zhu Irzh is a demon from the vice squad in Hell (their job is to encourage it) on assignment to earth. Chen is also married to a demon, Inari, in hiding on earth from her family and Hell.

In this book there are many threads. In the main one Chen and Jhu Irzh are joined by a celestial being, Miss Qi, from heaven (Chinese version) and they go on a fact finding mission to Hell. They have been invited by the Ministry of War. While Miss Qi is a pure being, she is also a heavenly warrior.

Another thread is about a young man, Pin, who is poor and lacks connections. He is in the chorus at the Bejing opera. They have come to town and he is practicing his other trade after the show ends: prostitution. He is hoping to make enough money to find a better way to live. He has an engagement in a demon lounge and his soul is sucked out of his body and sent to Hell. He becomes a living ghost in Hell and has many interesting adventures.

An elderly dragon is asked to leave her shelter of hundreds of years and make a great aquatic journey across the planet, looking for the remnants of dragon kind. She finds a pearl of great price and is asked to return it to the Dragon King so the dead guardians can move on.

An old poor lady who cleans houses, Mrs. Pa, is asked by her dead daughter, Mai, who is in Hell to take in her living grandchild and raise him. Though he is supposed to be just born, he comes to earth as a young child, and he too carries a magical pearl. He is named Precious Dragon.

All the threads tie together in the end, and of course there is a lot of fun and romping along the way: Ms Qi is kidnapped, the Ministry of Lust is destroyed, Jhu Irzh has family issues, and his girlfriend invites herself along, Precious Dragon is being stalked by the lords of Hell called Kuei and so is Pin. Even Inari puts in a brief appearance with her familiar badger/teakettle. It turns out Heaven is not as good as it should be and is shirking its responsibility.

I enjoyed the book a lot, but I felt it lacked a single story focus. It seemed to be characters in search of a larger theme. The setting and the Chinese mythology was done well, and the characters are wonderful, though the demons are more interesting than the humans. I can't wait for the next one. ( )
  FicusFan | Jul 9, 2009 |
Viser 1-5 af 9 (næste | vis alle)
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In this, the third Detective Inspector Chen novel, Chen and Zhu are given a major assignment to escort an emissary from heaven on a diplomatic mission to hell. Zhu tries to dodge his demonic family's overtures, but ends up embroiled in hell's political intrigues. At the same time, a young boy born to ghostly parents in Hell is sent to live with his grandmother in Singapore Three. The boy, Precious Dragon, is being chased by Hell's most dangerous creatures and ends up being the key to unlock the mystery that is quickly spiraling out of control. Chen and Zhu find themselves in the middle of a struggle much bigger then they can fully comprehend, and when the dust finally settles, neither heaven nor hell will be the same. Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien invasion, near-future dystopia), fantasy (grimdark, sword and sorcery, contemporary urban fantasy, steampunk, alternative history), and horror (zombies, vampires, and the occult and supernatural), and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller, a national bestseller, or a Hugo or Nebula award-winner, we are committed to publishing quality books from a diverse group of authors.

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