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Serpentine by Cindy Pon


by Cindy Pon

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998122,024 (3.2)4



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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I should have loved this book as it has a gorgeous cover and was supposed to be seeped in Chinese culture and mythology, but it never connected with me. The book started well, but I soon found the pace slow, the characters uninteresting and the insta-romance frustrating. The plot lacked excitement and danger, and there was very little world building. Even though I like the strong female bond between Starbright and her mistress, Zhen Ni, it wasn't enough to carry a very ho hum story. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Aug 16, 2017 |
More like 3.5 stars, but a strong 3.5 stars.

There's a lot to like about this book: commentary on socio-economic classes, Chinese mythology, a strong female friendship, and a f/f pairing. The story isn't that deep or engaging, but it's at least a refreshing change from 99.9% of the YA fantasy books out there.

I had the pleasure of meeting Cindy Pon at a convention in September this year and I loved what she had to say about needing more diverse stories/characters in YA sci-fi/fantasy lit. This book is definitely a step in the right direction. I'd absolutely read a sequel; the book definitely leaves room for the story to pick up later on. ( )
  majesdane | Aug 8, 2017 |
Fun, but nothing atypical for a YA book. And I definitely found myself skimming towards the end. ( )
  srsharms | Jul 20, 2017 |
Let's see -- a story about a Chinese handmaiden named Skybright who serves a brat named Zhen Ni. I'm going to be honest, I was already involved. I seldom see diversity in horror books and I love it when I can read about other cultures -- especially when it comes to mythology and horror -- bring it on! Now back to the review. I love Cindy Pon's crisp style (kudos).

This book is the case of still waters run deep (or the least likely person will have demon blood). The whole turning into a demon aspect was well thought out and executed. Also in particular, I loved reading how Zhen Ni embraced her forbidden love and thus found her humanity. After all, true love CAN turn the brattiest of brats into a human being. My only real regret with this book was that it ended. I wanted more...ah, there's a part two. ( )
  jmc001 | Oct 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
**** 4 out of 5 S​tars
Review by: Stacy Palm

I was very excited to get this book, Serpentine by Cindy Pon because I have a great fondness for books dealing with Asian culture, and all of the books I've read regarding this specific genre have been adult books. So when I came across this title, having spotted the cover on another website, I immediately had to get it in my hands. This book did not disappoint!

Serpentine tells the story of a young coming of age girl named Skybright, who is the servant girl for a daughter of a wealthy family that is roughly the same age as Skybright. This is not your typical relationship however because we come to learn that Skybright was found on the family’s doorstep shortly before the birth of their daughter and they took this as a gift of companion ship for their new bundle of joy. So Skybright, while holding no position in the family, is very much loved and looked after.

All of the reviewers at The Bookend Family hate to give spoilers so I will not ruin the story, but as you can tell from the cover, we learn that Skybright is not quite the person she seems to be, and upon discovering her differences we see her go through a process of questioning. One that can be amply applied to all young adults today who are transitioning into adulthood. She questions who she really is and who she wants to be. She also questions if she is predisposed to be one thing over another. The story line was very creatively woven by Miss Pon to reflect many of the questions young people have today.

The characters are fresh and inspiring. I found the relationships between characters tangible and relevant to the story. There was a structure to each individual that was solidly laid so you knew where their prospective was coming from throughout the story. I loved the purity of the main character, and her particular prospective on the transition that not only she was going through, but others around her as well. The setting was very visual, vibrant, and everything I would expect from a story set in this richly colored country.

I highly recommend this book and hope others will check it out. This is a very good story from a feminine prospective that does not have the females objectified. The girls are strong, opinionated, and captivating. As I’ve been writing this review, I have gone back and forth on one particular item that I can’t decide if I should write about, and the reason is that I don’t want anyone to not pick up this book because of a prejudice. What I will say though, is that each character, each event, and each interaction was appropriate to the story and in effect had story driven purpose. Again, I truly do hope you pick up this book.
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