Book Review: Jade War by Fonda Lee

Title: Jade War

Author: Fonda Lee

Series: Green Bone Saga #2

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3/5 stars

The Overview: On the island of Kekon, the Kaul family is locked in a violent feud for control of the capital city and the supply of magical jade that endows trained Green Bone warriors with supernatural powers they alone have possessed for hundreds of years. Beyond Kekon’s borders, war is brewing. Powerful foreign governments and mercenary criminal kingpins alike turn their eyes on the island nation. Jade, Kekon’s most prized resource, could make them rich – or give them the edge they’d need to topple their rivals. Faced with threats on all sides, the Kaul family is forced to form new and dangerous alliances, confront enemies in the darkest streets and the tallest office towers, and put honor aside in order to do whatever it takes to ensure their own survival – and that of all the Green Bones of Kekon. -Goodreads

The Review:

Jade War was an enjoyable continuation to the Green Bone Saga even though it didn’t have a ton of plot-advancement.

My favorite component to the series so far is when smart characters use their experience and wits to build allies and get ahead in the political game. That happened more in the first book. In fact, most of the things I liked happened more in the first book. Jade War struck me as just maintaining status-quo. There were a couple of events, but nothing that really moved the main arc of the story forward. There’d be one page of good action, followed by thirty or so of explanations and chatter. I’ve loved other books with this format, but something about the in-between scenes here just weren’t singing to me.

Then when finally something DID happen – a gut-punching event in its own right, I found implausibilities in it left and right that had me questioning its necessity and consistency of character. It totally drew me out of the story and left me generally interested to continue but not eager.

Believe you me, I wish I was liking this series as much as the majority. It’s no fun to be the odd man out and get all of the “gasp – blasphemy!!” comments. I’m still hopeful things can turn around though. I didn’t really start hearing across-the-board praise for Green Bone until people finished the final book in the series (Jade Legacy), so I’m hoping that one will provide all of the elements I’ve been missing so far. Fingers crossed.

Recommendations: read this slightly magical low-fantasy series if you’re interested, regardless of what I think, because statistically-speaking you’ll probably love it. ;P

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