Thursday, April 30, 2009

No. 27 - Silver Phoenix

by Cindy Pon

Started: April 30
Finished: May 7

Notes: This is the first novel from my online writer pal Cindy Pon. The book just came out officially a couple of days ago, and I received my copy in the mail today. From what I can tell without reading the book as of yet, it's teen fantasy fiction with an Asian background (more specifically probably Chinese since Cindy's from Taiwan). I've been looking forward to this one for a good while now. I'm sure I'll enjoy it, and I'm looking forward to future works from Cindy. Also, this one breaks my fast from fantasy fiction. Yep, it's the first fantasy book I've read this year!

Mini review: A true gem among modern fantasy and young adult novels. I'm proud to know the author and to have read and own a copy of the book. If you're familiar with the adventure fantasy genres and think there's nothing new under the sun, think again. You'll find plenty here that will seem as fresh and exotic as that first copy of "The Hobbit" you read all those years ago. For the first time in a long time, I experienced lands and creatures unknown to me, which is a lot more than I can say about most fantasy fiction I read nowadays. And the climax is somewhat unexpected, especially in a field until recently dominated by mostly male writers. I believe it took a strong female writer to come up with this ending, as few male fantasy writers would likely approach it from the angle that Cindy Pon did (Neil Gaiman notwithstanding, but Neil is ... hmm, something special and a god among writers himself). Hopefully without giving anything away, I'll say this ... love, true love, can be a powerful weapon. And for those of you who are fans of many of the modern fantasy stories for young adults (ie. Harry Potter, Eragon and the like) you'll find much here to enjoy. The writing is simple and clear enough for a young audience, though there are adult matters touched upon. An excellent for novel for a writer. And to stick with an old cliche, because it's true, I await more from this author with anticipation, especially since she left an opening for a sequel. Oh, one more thing; you'll learn a lot in this book about true Chinese food dishes (not the stuff in the U.S. that's served up as Chinese food, I mean real Chinese food).


cindy said...

ty--thanks so much for reading and reviewing! and you encouraged me to keep my corpse monster. i remember you commented : what's wrong with a corpse monster? haha!

please make sure you comment on my contest entry so i remember to enter you for a painting or other such prize for the time you took to review!!!! =D

Ty Johnston said...

Thanks, Cindy!
I wanted to add, because I forgot to in my post, the editing on "Silver Phoenix" was fantastic, some of the best I've seen in years. Really, I didn't find one mistake, something I can't say even for many of the bestsellers I've read over the last few years.

cindy said...

ty--greenwillow books is meticulous. and i mean meticulous. i love them and my editor for it!
and that was the first comment on that that i've gotten. ha! from a fellow writer. =D

i haven't read the actual novel yet, so thanks for letting me know. i know there were mistakes in the ARC for sure.