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The Nine Fold Heaven

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  114 ratings  ·  33 reviews
In this mesmerizing new novel, Mingmei Yip draws readers deeper into the exotic world of 1930s Shanghai first explored in Skeleton Women, and into the lives of the unforgettable Camilla, Shadow, and Rainbow Chang.

When Shadow, a gifted, ambitious magician, competed with the beautiful Camilla for the affections of organized crime leader Master Lung, she almost lost everythin
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 25th 2013 by Kensington
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  114 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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May 22, 2013 rated it liked it
I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.

The era of this novel is pre-revolutionary China; the action switches between Hong Kong, where Camilla is hiding out, and her former home, Shanghai. In a world ruled by rich, ruthless mobsters, women have little value and Camilla has learned to be heartless to survive. I think that has to be the key to Camilla, whom I had a bit of trouble liking as she appears unable to remain faithful to one man at a time. There is an element of
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jillyn by: Mingmei Yip
The Nine Fold Heaven is a continuation of the novel Skeleton Women. In this next book, Camilla, Shadow, Rainbow, and even Jinying and the notorious gang leaders return. Camilla is left in the aftermath of the downfall of Master Lung, in a pool of uncertainty and speculation- Is Master Lung alive, and what of his son? To further tempt Camilla, she has heard rumors that even her own son may still be alive. Though once bitter rivals eager to claim the coveted spotlight in 1930s Shanghai, Camilla an ...more
Andrea Guy
The Nine Folds Heaven is the sequel to Skeleton Women, but that doesn't mean this can't be read as a stand alone novel. This story is told from Camilla's point of view. It is a story of how she reclaimed her life and those she loved from the underworld of Shanghai. It picks up where Skeleton Women left off.

Camilla was a spy working between rival gangs (kind of like the mob). She often describes herself as a bad woman, but though she's done some pretty nasty things, she does have some goodness in
Kari Anderson
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
From Goodreads:
In this mesmerizing new novel, Mingmei Yip draws readers deeper into the exotic world of 1930s Shanghai first explored in Skeleton Women, and into the lives of the unforgettable Camilla, Shadow, and Rainbow Chang.

When Shadow, a gifted, ambitious magician, competed with the beautiful Camilla for the affections of organized crime leader Master Lung, she almost lost everything. Hiding out in Hong Kong, performing in a run-down circus, Shadow has no idea that Camilla, too, is on the r
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I reviewed the first book in this two book series, Skeleton Women, last year and the savvy, deceptive and cynical main character, Camilla was definitely the reason I enjoyed the book so much. With her ending from the previous book, there were a few things left unresolved, and I was so glad to read her continuing story in The Nine Fold Heaven. While Camilla still has to practice the deceptions she was trained in as a skeleton woman, she has been changed by what happened in the previous book and i ...more
Sep 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

I'll be the first to admit I was a little intimidated by Mingmei Yip's The Nine Fold Heaven. I'm not overly familiar with the 1930s nor Chinese culture, so I wasn't sure how I would feel about a story set in pre-revolutionary Shanghai.

Ultimately though, my concern was ill-placed. Yip does a wonderful job explaining the dark and dangerous world Camilla inhabits so her readers don't really need a lot of background information
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The story takes place in 1930s Hong Kong and Shanghai. Camilla is a famous nightclub singer trained by one Shanghai gang boss (Big Brother Wang) to seduce and kill a rival boss (Master Lung). In the midst of carrying out her duties, she falls in love with Lung’s Harvard-educated son and has a child with him. If that sounds chaotic, worse is to come. Camilla’s newborn son goes missing moments after the delivery. And the father of her child and the two gang bosses disappear, too.

Camilla hides out
Sep 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
Can't believe I made it through this book.
Erin Al-Mehairi
Sep 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Taking place in 1930s Shanghai, The Nine Fold Heaven (Kensington) is a literary journey that transforms the reader into another time and place within Chinese life and holds them captive with atmospheric detail, tone, and imagery. This book is the follow-up to Yip’s Skeleton Women, which featured the life of the narrator, Camilla, in her life as a singer/entertainer and covert spy. Though you would probably want to read The Nine Fold Heaven if you’ve read Skeleton Woman in order to continue on wi ...more
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mingmei is absolutely a great writer. Another great read.
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
While technically the sequel to Skeleton Women, which I read last year, Nine Fold Heaven works as a standalone novel. In essence, it's about a woman's quest to find her child, the father of her child, and some measure of safety.

Set in the 1930s, the story is narrated by Camilla, a former gangster's assassin and much lauded nightclub singer. Once a star, she fell from glory after a botched assassination attempt when she fell in love with her target's son and had a child with him. She betrayed he
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: freebie, asian
I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Just a few things to point out before I begin the review:
1. This book is part of a series and I have not read the other books, therefore i am judging this book as a single work.

2. I don't really read books like this, so I read it with as much of an objective eye as possible.

3. On the book I got, it says "ADVANCE UNCORRECTED PROOF: Please do not quote for publication without checking against the finishing book". Therefore I won

Shanghai is an exotic place to me even today, so imagine how intrigued I was to be reading a book about the lawless days of the 1930's in that locale. Beautiful women: a singer/spy, a magician, courtesans and simply the crafty; this is a book filled with the most captivating and reckless of characters. I was held happily spellbound for hours.

I hadn't read anything by Mingmei Yip up to this time, though I do have one of her other books, which I'll be in a rush to get to
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
"The Nine Fold Heaven" is a historical fiction novel that takes place in exotic 1930s Shanghai. This book is a follow on to Yip's "Skeleton Women," which I have not had a chance to read. For the most part, "The Nine Fold Heaven" can be read as a stand-alone novel. It did make me want to go back and read "Skeleton Women" though to get a little more insight into the backgrounds of the characters, especially Camilla, who narrates this story. You do get enough detail in "The Nine Fold Heaven" to und ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
If you enjoy intrigue, adventure, and a walk through someone's life that includes a bit of espionage, you won't want to miss THE NINE FOLD HEAVEN.

The main character, Camilla, definitely led a captivating, dangerous life. The book walks you through the pain of her losing her only child, walks you through her quest to find her child, and also walks you through her methods of trying to steer clear of the gang she once was a forced part of.

THE NINE FOLD HEAVEN is narrated by Camilla and will keep y
Jun 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
The latest book from author Mingmei Yip takes the reader on an epic journey — both emotional and geographically. The Nine Fold Heaven is the story of a young Chinese woman, Camilla who is taken from an orphanage at the age of four, and forced to work for one of the worst gangs in Shanghai. Not that she has a bad life with them. In exchange for her various “services” to the gang, from sexual favors to singing entertainment to assassinations, she is well taken care of, as least in material objects ...more
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I first hesitated accepting to review this book, as I was not sure how I would react to the world of gangs. But there was the historical element, and the fact that this is about China and Hong-Kong, and I like traveling through books, so I said yes, and I am sure happy I did.

I really knew nothing about the world of gangs in Shanghai in the 1930s, neither about their lesbians and circus people, so it was quite a discovery.
Camilla was “rescued” at a very young age from an orphanage by the head of
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Songbird/spy Camilla’s escaped to Hong Kong after successfully fulfilling her lifelong mission for her gangland boss. She’s left behind her son, JinJin, who she was told was stillborn but who’s visits to her dreams tell her otherwise and her son’s father, JinYing, whom she loves the best. She has no choice but to return to Shanghai to try to solve the mysteries of her son and lover but to do this she’ll need to resort to her “Skeleton Woman” spy ways of manipulation and exploitation to get t ...more
Jul 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Skeleton Women‘s Heavenly Songbird Camilla returns in The Nine Fold Heaven by Mingmei Yip after a quick exit from Shanghai in the 1930s into Hong Kong. She’s hiding out away from the gangsters she betrayed, but this once emotionless spy now must endure guilt and longing. She does not know the fate of her love Jinying, nor of her lover Gao, but more importantly, she knows that her baby, Jinjin, is alive but not where he is. Yip has a firm grasp of the atmosphere during this period in Shanghai, a ...more
Sharon Chance
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing

"The Nine Fold Heaven" is a fascinating journey into the heart of 1930s Shanghai, China and the dangerous underworld of gangland violence that was rampant during this time period.

Author Mingmei Yip does a masterful job of storytelling as she weaves this intriguing and suspenseful tale, told through the voice of the main character, Camilla, the "Heavenly Songbird." As Camilla struggles to find her beloved and their son, she must scramble to avoid the gangland bosses who are after her, as well a
Reading Fool
May 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways, 2013
I received an Advance Reader's Copy of this book.

This book is a sequel to Skeleton Women, which I have not read. This is a stand-alone novel, however. Set in 1930s Shanghai and Hong Kong, this story is about Camilla, a beautiful songstress/spy. Camilla is looking for her baby son Jinjin and Jinjin's father Jinying in the big city of Shanghai. The story is convoluted, with many characters, and it isn't clear to me why the author chose to include some of the subplots. The writing is simple, perhap
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Meredith by: Goodreads
Shelves: fiction
I found this book, captivating. Be it fiction or based on someones personal memoir, it brought me in like a great movie.

I found that every time I would get "itchy" for the main characters to move forward, they progressed to a different level. I remained enthralled until the very end.

I have read alot of books. I enjoyed reading a book whose plot and plan was not easily guessed. I had no idea which way it would turn in the next paragraph. The story line ran smoothly from one scene to another.

I ho
May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
The unemotional Skeleton Woman of Yip's previous novel, trained to be an assassin, slowly becomes a more compassionate woman in this novel as she searches for her child and the its father, risking death by returning to gang-ridden Shanghai from her safe haven in Hong Kong.

This book is a worthy follow-up and ending in the story of the three Skeleton women who survive the odds in Shanghai of the 1930s. I enjoyed the pithy Chinese sayings that the author weaves through her story to illustrate the t
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
had 15 minutes to pick a book to read from Barnes and Noble...intrigued by the cover, I quickly read the jacket and decided to buy it not realizing it is a sequel. I loved the book, could not wait to finish and now I want to read the rest of her books. I agree with the other reviews, to me this was a standalone story that could easily be followed without prior history.
Sep 24, 2013 rated it liked it
it was a fun easy read, and the book contains lots of sayings and proverbs.

Could this book be fluff?

Merriam-Webster defines fluff as: something inconsequential

Is this book inconsequential?

No it definitely is not.

Susan Hamel
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great book. End was slow but overall a great read.
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
See my review at the following link:
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
Very strange book. Would not recommend. Like a Chinese/romance/gangster/B movie. The story was interesting and I did want to read to find out what would happen - so the suspense was good.
Jamie Kelm
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Robin Mellor
May 15, 2016 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. The era was unclear, very little factual references, yet kept my interest. I'm glad it filled a dull weekend with a bit of intrigue.
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Mingmei Yip was born in China, received her Ph.D. from the University of Paris, Sorbonne, and held faculty appointments at the Chinese University and Baptist University in Hong Kong. She's published five books in Chinese, written several columns for seven major Hong Kong newspapers, and has appeared on over forty TV and radio programs in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, and the U.S. She immigrat ...more