Saturday, February 6, 2016

3.5 Ninja Stars for the Martial Arts Romance Novel "Hong Kong Treasure"

Review of "Hong Kong Treasure"

In the interest of full disclosure, I received this book from the author for review purposes

Hong Kong Treasure on Amazon

  This is a bit of a departure from my normal reading list.  I was contacted by the author and asked if I wanted to do a review of her romance novel.  I was a little confused by this, but I figured I'd give it a shot.  I've never read a romance novel before, so I figured I'd give it a shot.  Why not?


  The story's two main protagonists are Annie, a young American woman who has no memory of her past, and Deshi, a Hong Kong martial arts action star.  As one would imagine, the story is about Annie's past catching up with her, and her growing future with Deshi.  Which is trying to be sabotaged by someone close to them both.  Since there is the mystery of her past, I don't want to describe the storyline in great detail, as I hate spoilers.


  I have to say, I did end up wanting the characters to hook up, so in that sense, the book did get the emotion right.  The characters were full people, and I loved the side characters.  Deshi, the protagonist and love interest is based on a couple Hong Kong/Chinese actors, and you start to be able to pull apart the influences.  There is a mystery about Annie's past, and I actually found that the most compelling part of the story, as it seemed destined that the characters would hook up.  One of the things I really like the most about the book was the descriptions about the city of Hong Kong (and other parts of China).  You get the feeling that Mrs. Wickles actually was in Hong Kong, or at least had traveled there.  For example,the traffic is described as being utterly crazy and a constant near death experience, but the locals all take it in stride.  That seems to be someone's personal observation.


  There was one thing that struck me as a little weird was the way the Chinese characters spoke English.  It was almost a stereotypical/comical way.  It was a "You go now!  You be here four hour!" type of thing.  I was taken aback at first, thinking that it might be slightly racist, but I've recently learned something that does explain it.  The way it was explained to me, in the Chinese language they don't have many differences in their words.  There is no "I go, I went, I will go."  There are no plural words.  You get all of those type of things from context clues.  So If you literally translate the language it would sound like the stereotype.  (Please correct me if I'm wrong for anyone that actually speaks or is studying Chinese)


  I'm going to rate this not as a martial arts book, but more as a fictional piece.  As I have no experience with romance novels, I don't really even have anything to compare it to.  Somehow, in going through my schooling, I never even have to read Pride and Prejudice (and Zombies?).  That being said, I did actually enjoy the book, I felt for the characters, I especially enjoyed the side characters.  The story moved well, and there was the background mystery to keep you reading.  Overall not bad.  So I'm going to give it 3.5 Ninja Stars.  I don't know if its a martial arts book, as it was more martial arts adjacent, but it was a good read, and I'm thankful for Mrs. Wickles for allowing me to read and review her book.

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