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THE NINE FOLD HEAVEN
Genre: Mainstream, Historical
The Nine Fold Heaven is a story of gangsters and forbidden love in 1930s Shanghai. While this sounds exciting in theory, the story is unfortunately rather shallow. The protagonist worries about bad karma affecting her ability to succeed, but everything falls in her favor the entire time. There isn’t enough tension, and the conclusion feels foregone. The writing style is also lacking a certain formality one usually finds in historical fiction to ground it in its era, contributing to the book’s trivial nature.
After Camilla, “The Heavenly Songbird,” betrays lead Shanghai gangster and her lover Master Lung, she escapes to Hong Kong with his riches. But she soon returns to Shanghai to search for her true love, Lung’s son Jinying, and their missing baby Jinjin. Will she be able to find them and live happily ever after, or will rival gang leader (and Camilla’s boss) Master Chang catch her first? (KENSINGTON, Jul., 352 pp., $15.00)
Reviewed By: Leah Hanson
Published: July 2013