Friday, 29 April 2016

The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo by Zen Cho

The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo by Zen Cho is a novella about a Chinese-Malaysian writer set in 1920s London (mostly).

For writer Jade Yeo, the Roaring Twenties are coming in with more of a purr — until she pillories London's best-known author in a scathing review. Sebastian Hardie is tall, dark and handsome, and more intrigued than annoyed. But if Jade succumbs to temptation, she risks losing her hard-won freedom — and her best chance for love.

This novella was another delightful read from Zen Cho. It's written as diary entires, for the most part, from Jade, who is living in London, far from most of her family. The only family she has nearby is an intolerable rich aunt who Jade would rather avoid. Jade is making a living in London by writing articles for magazines and journals. The story really begins when she writes a scathing review of a well-known author's book.

As far as problems (and perils) go, Jade's seem to be mostly born out of her desire for adventure and new experiences. And mostly they are more inconvenient than insurmountable. Either way, Jade's attitude towards them and her turn of phrase make this a delightful read. I have seen Zen Cho's writing compared to Gail Carriger's and, while it is is of course not quite the same, I agree that Cho's work would appeal to fans of Carriger's.

I enjoyed The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo a lot. In fact, shortly after finishing it, I started listening to Cho's novel, Sorcerer to the Crown, and bought her short story collection, Spirits Abroad. That's how much I want to read as much of her stuff as I can. I highly recommend Cho's work to all fans of historical fantasy. In the specific case of The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo, I recommend the novella to fans of historical fiction, particularly set in the 1920s. I'm not sure I'd call this a capital-R-romance, but it does have a romantic storyline and I think it would appeal to readers who also enjoy that genre. It's not spec fic — which is what I usually read — but I didn't even notice until I was tagging it after I'd finished. Make of that what you will.

5 / 5 stars

First published: 2012, self-published
Series: Not yet
Format read: ePub
Source: Purchased from iBooks

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