#YARC 2019 Mid Year Check In

As it’s the end of June I thought I’d do a check in of all the books I’ve read so far this year for Year of the Asian Reading Challenge. My list looks pretty dismal, but I only signed up at the end of April.

In total I’ve read 3 novellas, 1 short story collection, and 8 novels. In addition I DNF’d one book at 62 percent.

I’ve included some dot points to tell you a bit about each one, and I’ve linked to my finished reviews (sadly, many are still in the process of being written.)

1. Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇹🇭 Thai

  • Snow Queen retelling
  • Fantastic gender/LGBT+ representation
  • Creepy magic system

2. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇵🇭 Filipina

  • Necromancy and elemental magic
  • LGBT+ representation
  • Monsters
  • Explores gender roles and power
  • Revenge

3. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇵🇭🇮🇳 Filipina-Indian

  • Magical heist
  • Set in France, 1889
  • Racial diversity
  • LGBT+ representation

4. In The Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇻🇳 French- Vietnamese

  • Retelling of Beauty and the Beast
  • Vietnamese inspired world
  • Environmentally damaged world
  • LGBT+ representation
  • Dragon in a mind-bending castle

5. The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇵🇭 Filipina

  • LGBT+ representation
  • Revenge
  • Monsters
  • Necromancy and elemental magic
  • Action packed

6. The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇻🇳 French- Vietnamese

  • Retelling of Sherlock Holmes
  • Main characters are a sentient spaceship with PTSD, and a drug addicted literati with weird interests
  • Fast paced and very short (88 pages if I remember correctly)
  • Tantalising glimpse of Xuya universe
  • Mysterious deaths in space

7. Conservation of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇰🇷 South Korean

  • SFF short story collection
  • Inspired by mathematics, physics, philosophy
  • Themes of war, colonialism, language
  • Beautiful writing

8. Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇵🇰 Pakistani

  • Retelling of Pride and Prejudice
  • Set in Pakistan
  • Fun, familiar read
  • Explored culture, religion, and gender roles

9. Want by Cindy Pon ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇹🇼 Taiwanese

  • High tech heist
  • Set in future Taipei, Taiwan
  • Pollution, illness, environmental destruction
  • Gap between rich and poor
  • Star crossed lovers (sort of)

10. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao DNF 62% 🇻🇳 Vietnamese

  • Retelling of Snow White/backstory of The Evil Queen
  • Asian inspired setting
  • Court politics

11. The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇫🇯 Fijian

  • Set in fictional city on The Silk Road
  • Racial and religious diversity
  • Djinn + magic
  • Food references
  • Awesome female characters

12. The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇸🇬 Singaporean

  • LGBT+ representation
  • Children are genderless until they choose
  • Elemental magic based on five Chinese elements
  • Rise of industrialisation which threatens magical/political power of elites
  • Rebellion
  • Twins

13. Descendant of the Crane by Joan He ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇨🇳 Chinese

  • Murder mystery
  • Law trial
  • Illegal magic
  • Court intrigue/politics
  • Complicated family relationships