ABOUT THE BOOK:
A sweeping historical novel about a
When 11-year-old Ren's master dies, he makes one last request of his Chinese houseboy: that Ren find his severed finger, lost years ago in an accident, and reunite it with his body.
As the 49 days tick down, and a prowling tiger wreaks havoc on the town, Ji Lin and Ren's lives intertwine in ways they could never have imagined. Propulsive and lushly written, The Night Tiger explores colonialism and independence, ancient superstition and modern ambition, sibling rivalry and first love. Braided through with Chinese folklore and a tantalizing mystery, this novel is a page-turner of the highest order.
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The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo is a 2019 Flatiron publication.
A big, bold story full of magic, romance, mystery and adventure!!
Set in Malaysia during the 1930’s, the story alternates between
When Ji Lin comes into possession of a severed finger, she implores her stepbrother, Shin, to help her return it to its rightful owner. Thus, Ji Lin and Ren’s lives will begin to converge. While the clock ticks away within the 49 -day time frame, a tiger is on the prowl wreaking havoc on the city of Malaysia.
There is a lot going on in this book and because it’s not exactly my usual fare, I was forced to take my time and slowly absorb all the details patiently, as the pieces of the puzzle begin to click into place. I found myself completely caught up in the story, in the folklore and magic realism, the family dramas and mystery. I was loath to put the book aside, but still wanted to draw it out and relish the tension and adventure.
Unfortunately, I did have a few issues with the book. One thing I noticed was some repetitiveness in the dialogue. It was especially noticeable when I was listening to portions of the book on audio.
The other problem I had was that while I placed a hold on both the e book and the audiobook at my library at the same time, the audio version became available first. However, I had to pause the audio until the e book became available because I found it very difficult to follow along. The author narrates the book, but the inflections and voice changes were not strong enough or distinct enough for me, and the switch in narratives often caught me off guard. Once I had a digital copy of the book, however, the story came to life and I was able to switch between reading and listening seamlessly.
I love historical fiction, but rarely reach for books with magical realism elements. I’m a little picky about that genre but do enjoy it from time to time. I do love folklore, though, so in this case, the two genres complement one another beautifully. Now, I’m wondering why I don’t read more of these types of books and am thinking maybe I should lower my defenses and try reading more of them. I will definitely check out
This book should appeal to a broad audience as it embodies several different popular genres and creates an insular world with its intense urgency and emotional content. While I did read some stellar reviews for this book, I couldn’t have imagined what kind of journey I was about to embark on, but it is a journey I will not soon forget.
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