Wednesday, July 11, 2012

[Review] Skeleton Women by Mingmei Yip

Skeleton Women by 

 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?
Paperback352 pages
Published May 25th 2012 by Kensington Publishing Corp.

First of all, thank you so very Kensington Books for providing me the ARC. It was a pleasure reading the book.

I have to say that the book didn't start out impressing me. The first two sentences bugged me a little. The punctuations were a little off, making the tone a little snobby. The prologue was quite repetitive. By that I mean Mingmei mentioned the same thing over and over again. It just made me a little frustrated since I already know the fact. Haha, you can tell that I am not a very patient person. It was hard to get into the book. I felt like I was left standing outside and not getting absorbed into the surrounding.
I did learn a lot about China and Chinese culture. There were tons of references to history, sayings, legends, and many more. Being of Asian heritage myself, I did recognize some of the basic sayings in Chinese such as "watermelon seed-faced"; I really enjoyed that.

The writing got much better as the story moved on. I was at the edge of my seat, breathing hard but at the same time to breath at all. It was so intense and fast-paced! The plot was very intriguing.

Camilla didn't sound nineteen, which I guess was because of her training. She was strong, mature and intelligent. But this made her unrealistic. But I suppose Camilla was definitely the femme fatale Mingmei was aiming for. She reminded me of Catwoman but sadly unlike Catwoman I just couldn't connect with her as much as I hoped. Shadow reminded me of Zatanna but more with a Catwoman twist to it. The battle between Camilla and Shadow was a joy to read. Both their minds were sharp, and witty. They battle for power. Their games were like a thousand flower petal blades, fighting, but flowing at the same time, intense but beautiful to watch. Rainbow Chang was definitely a character. She dressed like a man (cool!) and was a gossip columnist. She used her columnist to intensify the battle between Ms. Catwoman and Ms. Zatanna and caused quite a lot of danger. 

And as for the romance, it was sweet and sad. Simple as that. The constant battle between the lovers just tore at your heart and left you praying and wishing. 
So overall, this book deserved...

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