Books Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford
Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford
165 0 1 0 0 0
June 09, 2017
ePub, Mobi, PDF
Read an excerpt at Dreamspinner Press.
* Novel-length expansion of original short story found in Charmed & Dangerous anthology. *
Welcome to Dim Sum Asylum: a San Francisco where it’s a ho-hum kind of case when a cop has to chase down an enchanted two-foot-tall shrine god statue with an impressive Fu Manchu mustache that's running around Chinatown, trolling sex magic and chaos in
Senior Inspector Roku MacCormick of the Chinatown Arcane Crimes Division faces a pile of challenges far beyond his human-faerie heritage, snarling dragons guarding C-Town’s multiple gates, and exploding noodle factories. After a case goes sideways, Roku is saddled with Trent Leonard, a new partner he can’t trust, to add to the crime syndicate family he doesn’t want and a spell-casting serial killer he desperately needs to find.
While Roku would rather stay home with Bob the Cat and whiskey himself to sleep, he puts on his badge and gun every day, determined to serve and protect the city he loves. When Chinatown’s dark mystical underworld makes his life hell and the case turns deadly, Trent guards Roku’s back and, if Trent can be believed, his heart... even if from what Roku can see, Trent is as dangerous as the monsters and criminals they’re sworn to bring down.
(Updated: June 09, 2017)
This tale started as a short in an anthology, and I loved the short, so when I saw there was an expanded version coming, I began jumping up and down – okay, I danced in my chair – in excitement and started counting the days to release.
As will most of Ford’s detective stories, it starts with an action scene, landing you right into the thick of things and revealing some of the background setting in the process. In this case, it is a cop, Rokugi MacCormick, chasing a suspect that has stolen a clutch of dragon eggs, through the heart of San Francisco. The tiny dragons are giving also giving chase, which creates complications. Most unfortunately, the biggest complication is that the suspect he is chasing is also his partner on the force, putting a whole new face on the typical suspect take-down. He does take him down, but now is left without a partner because his is going to jail after hospitalization to repair the damage done by both Roku and the angry lizard family.
Trent Leonard is his new partner, a seemingly human man who forgets the basic essentials on their first assignment. However, he knows more than he’s telling, even if he screams military and doesn’t know how to fit into a crowd.
The story takes place in San Francisco’s Chinatown with some extraordinary changes to fit the fantasy aspect. The main storyline is full of twists and turns that keep you hovering on the edge of your seat, while the subplots add even more dimensions to the already captivating novel.
The supporting characters are many, and each and every one has an opinion on Roku’s life. The most frequent is Captain Gaines, Roku and Trent’s boss, who is also Roku’s godfather. Stern and gruff, he clearly loves Roku, but has about all the patience with him that one might give to a feisty teenage child. Then there is the Takahashi, Roku’s grandfather and head of a crime syndicate. He wants his grandchild to take over the dynasty, but Roku is too on the straight and narrow for that to appeal. From there, there are a whole host of characters that have just one or two scenes, but who create vast changes in the storyline. All are engaging, and most are dangerous.
What I really loved was Ford’s use of technical terms. While I didn’t understand them all, and yes, I had to go look them up, it added authenticity and shows the depths of research taken to get all of the elements correct.
Less loved was having to look up all the Chinese and Japanese terms used throughout the book. A glossary of terms would have been helpful, such as Ford has done with other series. Hopefully moving forward, if she creates a series from this, that will be rectified.
The story is first and foremost a detective story solving a mystery. Less so is the romance aspect between the two protagonists. With just a taste of attraction through most of the book, you get so caught up in the story that you don’t particularly notice that there is just a taste of the attraction throughout the story, and only a couple of scenes in the entire book.
The imagery produced by descriptions are vibrant, allowing the reader to see, smell, and feel everything around. It is this which draws me to this author’s work. One of my favorites involves the dragons who protect certain areas of the city on their perches high above, and the rainstorm currently dumping water across the city:
The Southern Pier Gate Dragon was already awake— or at least grumbling about the weather. She was a cranky lizard, and her sonorous rumbles rolled through the streets, a somber bass auditory fog deepening with every angry cough. Her mood ruffled a pleasure of mock-pixies nesting under the eave of a shop front. They took off, tiny balls of gold and fury dodging the raindrops in a metallic ribbon of chitters and spits.
Another appears amidst a sensual moment:
It was nearly too sensitive to touch, a delicious anguish I could almost taste. It left a metallic edge in my mouth, a razor of pleasure I’d sucked on too long, leaving my tongue shredded with the sharpness of it.
This is a tale that I will be returning to frequently. It’s worth more than five stars, but all the scales seem to stop there, so I must, as well. Even if you’re not particularly a fan of urban fantasy, I firmly believe you will enjoy this!
**Same worded review will appear on Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.**
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