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The Shadow Pavilion by Liz Williams
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The Shadow Pavilion

by Liz Williams

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Series: Detective Inspector Chen (4)

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This was EXCELLENT!

I don't think it's the place to start with this series, but if you've been reading it, it's hugely enjoyable.

More badger! just for one thing. I LOVE the badger; he reminds me somewhat of the Luggage in Discworld, in that he's an important character who doesn't seem important at first. Badger ROCKS.

I'm also enjoying the courtship/engagement between 2 demons: a tiger demon from India, and a Chinese demon from one of their Hells. I look forward to more of their relationship.

Plus- the whole approach to Heaven(s), Hell(s), and other places is just so... non-Western. Very enjoyable!

So: if you like urban fantasy but have grown a bit weary of yet more takes on vamps, weres, and the fae- read this series. Very urban; very fantastic; very different! ( )
  cissa | Jun 19, 2010 |
nspector Chen has been to Hell, dealt with a misguided invasion of Hell by Heaven, corporate takeovers in Hell, and even overseen the ascension of a new Emperor of Heaven.

What does "Snake Agent" Inspector Chen, his demon wife, his demon senechal partner (and new fiance!) and other allies do next?

Well, would you believe get caught in the machinations of demonesses and a demigod from a different Hell (a Hindu one!) as well as deal with an assassination attempt on the (new) Emperor of Heaven himself?

Shadow Pavilion is the fourth novel in Liz Williams' Inspector Chen series. Set in the early 21st century in the Chinese city Singapore Three, where the divine, demonic and real life intersect in very real ways. Not very assessable to those new to the series, Shadow Pavilion continues to expand the playground. While we have had hints there are other heavens and hells in the previous novels, but in Shadow Pavilion we not only meet denizens from them, but we actually have the characters travel to them. Williams does an excellent job making these new realms distinctly different than the bureaucratic-mad Chinese Hell, and the change in venue makes for an interesting contrast.

I enjoyed this volume in the series overall, as always. Inspector Chen and his world are clearly subjects that Ms. Williams has found a niche in writing in, and I look forward to subsequent novels.

My only complaint with this novel is its length. While the other novels are approximately the same short length, in this case, it feels like Williams was writing a bit to that length, rather than to the end point of a story. The pacing felt just a little bit off to me. This is not a serious flaw, but it is a noticeable one.

Recommended to fans of the series. For others, I suggest trying out Snake Agent to see if you like Williams brand of modern Chinese supernatural urban fantasy. ( )
  Jvstin | Dec 26, 2009 |
How do you one up yourself after a novel where the climax is that of Heaven invading Hell? You don't; you deal with the blowback. Thus does Liz Williams set in motion another desperate, ticking time bomb of a plot, as not all are pleased with new management in Heaven, and an ancient, psychotic assassin is contracted to undo this change in the celestial balance.

At the same time Zhu Irzh is confronted with the implications of his own imminent change in status as a prince of Hell; meaning one chaotic escape after another is in store for him, as trouble is literally snapping at his heels.

This is all implied in the blurbs, but one particularly neat touch is that Williams continues to take the character of Inari in interesting directions. ( )
  Shrike58 | Aug 27, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Liz Williamsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Foster, JonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Trevor
With thanks to everyone at Night Shade Books,
and to my agent Shawna McCarthy.
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Pauleng Go ducked as the whisky bottle hurtled toward his head and smashed on the opposite wall.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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When Chen's partner, the demon Seneschal Zhu Irzh, disappears along with Chen's wife Inari's guardian badger, Chen must enlist all of his allies and assets in order to locate them in an unfamiliar jungle hell, stalked by a rogue demon lord.

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