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Daughter of Calamity by Rosalie M. Lin
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Daughter of Calamity (edition 2024)

by Rosalie M. Lin (Author)

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232981,586 (2.5)11
Genres collide in this dark and atmospheric reimagining of 1930s Shanghai for fans of Nghi Vo and S. A. Chakraborty. Jingwen spends her nights as a showgirl at the Paramount, one of the most lavish clubs in Shanghai, competing ruthlessly to charm wealthy patrons. To cap off her shifts, she runs money for her grandmother, the exclusive surgeon to the most powerful gang in the city. A position her grandmother is pressuring her to inherit... When a series of dancers are targeted--the attacker stealing their faces--Jingwen fears she could be next. And as the faces of the dancers start appearing on wealthy foreign socialites, she realizes Shanghai's glittering mirage of carefree luxury comes at a terrible price. Fighting not just for her own safety but that of the other dancers--women who have simultaneously been her bitterest rivals and only friends--Jingwen has no choice but to delve into the city's underworld. In this treacherous realm of tangled alliances and ancient grudges, silver-armed gangsters haunt every alley, foreign playboys broker deals in exclusive back rooms, and the power of gods is wielded and traded like yuan. Jingwen will have to become something far stranger and more dangerous than her grandmother ever imagined if she hopes to survive the forces waiting to sell Shanghai's bones.… (more)
Member:LibraryCin
Title:Daughter of Calamity
Authors:Rosalie M. Lin (Author)
Info:St. Martin's Press (2024), 352 pages
Collections:Read
Rating:**
Tags:gangs, gansters, china, historical fiction, dancers, 1930s, mythology, grandmothers, fantasy, edited

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Daughter of Calamity by Rosalie M. Lin

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Jingwen is a dancer in Shanghai in the 1930s. Her grandmother, who raised her, is a doctor… and works for one of the local high ranking gangs. Jingwen does errands for her grandmothers to make extra money; this is dangerous as these errands often involve gangsters. She dances in the evenings where men buy dance tickets to dance with the girls, and during the day, she is learning a routine with a group of dancers (none have had formal dance training) so they are not well-known nor particularly sought after.

An American doctor-turned-businessman dances with Jingwen one night and charms her (and/or vice versa?)), but at the dance, there is a horrifying scream. One of the other dancers is crying on the floor and when she turns her face up, they see her lips have been cut off.

The next day, the building and dance company Jingwen is dancing with during the day has been bought and she, herself, is going to be the next star of the company. They are switching from ballet to traditional Chinese dancing (this type of dance is new to all the dancers).

There is a lot going on! It does all end up meshing together, with Chinese mythology and fantastical elements weaved in, as well. The mythology was told like a story-within-a-story (which I’m not a fan of), so I kind of skimmed that. Also not a big fantasy fan, so the fantasy stuff didn’t peak my interest, either. The book was very dark. I like horror, so the “type” of darkness in a book doesn’t always bother me, but dark mysteries, for example, are not always appealing to me. The darkness in this book also didn’t “do it” for me. I really didn’t like any of the characters in the story, either. So, this one is definitely not for me. ( )
  LibraryCin | Apr 2, 2024 |
I really had trouble getting interested in the storyline. I think I needed more of explaination of into the world at the beginning to understand. However I did find the actual word description quite lovely. ( )
  amethystangel777 | Feb 28, 2024 |
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Genres collide in this dark and atmospheric reimagining of 1930s Shanghai for fans of Nghi Vo and S. A. Chakraborty. Jingwen spends her nights as a showgirl at the Paramount, one of the most lavish clubs in Shanghai, competing ruthlessly to charm wealthy patrons. To cap off her shifts, she runs money for her grandmother, the exclusive surgeon to the most powerful gang in the city. A position her grandmother is pressuring her to inherit... When a series of dancers are targeted--the attacker stealing their faces--Jingwen fears she could be next. And as the faces of the dancers start appearing on wealthy foreign socialites, she realizes Shanghai's glittering mirage of carefree luxury comes at a terrible price. Fighting not just for her own safety but that of the other dancers--women who have simultaneously been her bitterest rivals and only friends--Jingwen has no choice but to delve into the city's underworld. In this treacherous realm of tangled alliances and ancient grudges, silver-armed gangsters haunt every alley, foreign playboys broker deals in exclusive back rooms, and the power of gods is wielded and traded like yuan. Jingwen will have to become something far stranger and more dangerous than her grandmother ever imagined if she hopes to survive the forces waiting to sell Shanghai's bones.

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