Wow this book didn't stand the test of time. I read it in my teens and loved it but now not so much. Back then I didn't quite understood the implicatiWow this book didn't stand the test of time. I read it in my teens and loved it but now not so much. Back then I didn't quite understood the implications of the Goblin Kings' actions and just thought it was super romantic (and a nice spin to the Beauty and the Beast trope) but as an adult reading it now it just reeks of stockholm syndrome and is just borderline rapey and creepy. At least Beauty in B&B was just a captive but she was never meant to be his wife from the get go where else here, the Goblin Kings' kidnap women and they FORCE them into marriage. That premise aside, I still love the things I loved like Marak and Kate's characters (plus the snake and while we're at it even Emily is awesome) and the world building is interesting (kidnapping and raping set aside)....more
I don't really read a lot of romance so I couldn't really connect to the story (no fault of the author since I'm not a fan of the genre) but I thoughtI don't really read a lot of romance so I couldn't really connect to the story (no fault of the author since I'm not a fan of the genre) but I thought the writing was very unpolished and a bit sparse here and there.
I do applaud the author for getting the nuances of Malaysia correct like seeing little nods to Petronas, Nyonya culture, Penang Hill, Sayang, was quite a thrill. Although I did catch some minor discrepancies here and there i.e. Mandarin is widely spoken by many Malaysian Chinese by virtue of Chinese schools BUT many rarely identify it as their mother dialect. Most Chinese in Penang are Hokkien so it would have made more sense for Lucy and her Uncle to be speaking Hokkien rather than Mandarin at home amongst family.
Sheng having a British accent too totally made no sense whatsoever. The only Malaysians I know who speak with a British accent are rich kids who went to boarding schools. Sheng being an Orphan would not have had the privilege of learning English with a British tutor.
Also I'm not quite sure how the monks at Kek Lok Si would feel about being the secret headquarters to the Hai San gang ;)
But if I'm being honest NONE of the characters felt Malaysian at all, let alone remotely Asian. Sheng definitely is your stereotypical Western Alpha, I could call him Stuart and it'll still work.
Overall a half decent attempt at using Malaysia as a setting, but characters don't act or talk like Malaysians and the writing felt unpolished and sparse. Won't comment on the plot because as I said earlier, I can't stand romance as a genre so it wouldn't be fair to the author....more
Had to read this for work so in this goes into my book count hahahah. While I think the concept is fantastic but the way it's presented (ironically) iHad to read this for work so in this goes into my book count hahahah. While I think the concept is fantastic but the way it's presented (ironically) is bloated, very theoretical with hardly any practical examples or how-tos and far from simple. Still it's a good concept and I've been employing some of the techniques at work. I've been told Unfolding the Napkin (the workshop version of this book) is a far better read if you want to implement Visual Thinking in your work....more