Sunny ✨wordslikefury✨'s Reviews > Blood Heir

Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao
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bookshelves: diversity, fantasy, arc, magic, netgalley, ya-fantasy, young-adult

I was just expecting so much more...???

I'm delighted that Amélie Wen Zhao got a chance to express her feelings throughout this novel! She has defined the purpose of this novel many times to the public. She wanted to write a book that paralleled the torture of human trafficking. And quite frankly, anyone who has this much of a personal meaning to their own story deserves to tell it.

Here's the thing... Zhao's writing is not anything unique. It’s not any different from all the other YA Fantasy authors whose books also did absolutely nothing for me. But mediocre writing is always something I can get past as long as I see a good potential story. Zhao wanted to articulate the struggles of human trafficking. And she did this by telling a story about a world where people who possess magic are constantly looked down upon and brutalized. This trope is one of the most overused tropes in Fantasy. Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series follows this plot. But at least his magic system is somewhat original, and with a more emotion-provoking writing style. Sarah J Maas, Leigh Bardugo, Maria Snyder, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time also does this. Let's not forget Children of Blood and Bone and the Broken Earth Trilogy. Let's be real, the list of fantasy books that follow this trope is very lengthy.

There is nothing wrong with authors following common tropes as long as they take a somewhat unique turn on them. But considering how Zhao has passionately spoken about human trafficking, I thought this book would follow a more original storyline and have many gut-wrenching scenes. Not only did most of the many author’s/books mentioned above used this trope better, but they also managed to tug at my heartstrings more.

May was the only character I had an emotional connection to in this novel. Not to mention the main character made so many irrational decisions. And the author likes to claim this novel has an enemies to lovers trope, but it’s really just the female character yelling something insulting at the male character every time he tries to talk. Enemies to lovers tropes need to have actual chemistry, but there was none present in Blood Heir.

I most likely won't read the sequel. But kudos to the author for finally deciding to put her work out there for others to read and enjoy. Never succumb to mob mentality.

11/25/2019
I’m glad the author decided to publish a novel that is clearly personal to her. Considering she wrote this novel based on the high amount of human trafficking that occurs throughout the world, I hope not much has changed since her original arc. I fear that people’s unnecessary bullying and judgment of a book they never read might have affected the openness that would’ve been apparent in the author’s original draft. I wish I could’ve had the chance to read the arc version before she was bullied into making changes. But nevertheless, I will respect the author's decision with the choice she made. I hope this version is still as close to her as the original and is not something she decided to settle with.

On another note, I appreciate when people recognize they might have made a mistake and are trying to fix the issue at hand. I don’t believe in banning books, or in this case, pulling it from being published. Books are meant to be praised and critiqued. And many of us did not get a chance to do that for ourselves. As a minority, her voice deserves to be heard. Believe it or not, slavery still occurs all over Asia. I know because I am Asian. So I hope author Amélie Wen Zhao gets the chance she deserves to publish this novel. And I hope people get a chance to review the book AFTER they've read it.

P.S. I see all you hypocrites calling this author out for what she did whilst praising authors like Suzanne Collins and Sarah J Maas who wrote similar scenes in their books. If you’re not going to call those authors out for the way they treated their minority characters, then you don’t get to harass Amélie Wen Zhao for doing the same. Get your beliefs straightened out.
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Reading Progress

January 16, 2019 – Shelved
November 25, 2019 – Started Reading
November 26, 2019 –
17.0%
December 13, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)

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message 1: by soleil (new)

soleil A very well balanced thought. Thanks for posting this. Everyone seems to be on extremes about this and I havent seen any one else bring up the other authors too


message 2: by Amy (new)

Amy (libraryofamy) Totally agree. When I saw people didn't appreciate that a black character died and either they sung or they were sung to I was like... nobody cared when it happened with Rue from THG?


Sunny ✨wordslikefury✨ Lee 🦆 wrote: "A very well balanced thought. Thanks for posting this. Everyone seems to be on extremes about this and I havent seen any one else bring up the other authors too"

Thank you! I don't mean to drag the other authors. I'm just pointing out how people are being so harsh on this author while simoltaneoutly giving a free card to the others.


Sunny ✨wordslikefury✨ Amy wrote: "Totally agree. When I saw people didn't appreciate that a black character died and either they sung or they were sung to I was like... nobody cared when it happened with Rue from THG?"

Exactly!! I'm wondering how this is any different. Smh...


Sunny ✨wordslikefury✨ Wilde wrote: "Exactly. They attacked her when there are highly more successful authors that have done the same, if not even worse. And SJM is at the helm."

Right?! There's nothing wrong with voicing concerns. Books are meant to be praised a critiqued. But the bullying is so unnecessary. I hope she eventually publishes it. Writing a book and trying to find a publishing company who will accept your book is not easy.


message 6: by L (new) - added it

L I totally on the same page, but I just wanted mention that Katniss, as she was written in the books, was not white- though the author never explicitly spelled out anyone's race, her physical descriptor was "olive skin, straight black hair, grey eyes." In comparison to Peeta, for instance, who is definitely coded white with "Blonde hair, blue eyes". That Katniss's sister Prim has a 'merchant look' and is described as fair skinned (Peeta is also of the merchant class), I think it's fair to say we're not just talking about a white lady with a tan. It attracted some controversial attention when Jennifer Lawrence was cast as Katniss BECAUSE she was white. I'd hate for us to forget that The Hunger Games was ultimately about a woman POC. Anyway, your point does stand regardless, and I agree with it, I hope this doesn't come off as nitpicking.


Sunny ✨wordslikefury✨ L wrote: "I totally on the same page, but I just wanted mention that Katniss, as she was written in the books, was not white- though the author never explicitly spelled out anyone's race, her physical descri..."

You know...you might be right. I was only 13 when I read the Hunger Games, and just started reading books. That was a time when I automatically assumed every single character was white unless told otherwise. Despite being a brown person, I was surrounded by white people when I lived in Michigan. So when I read 'olive skin' I just assumed it was just a tanned white person lol. So that's how I remember this book.

But just because Katniss was a POC who didn't die doesn't mean it made the only other minority character's death okay. (I know you didn't say that, just stating my opinion lol.) This reminds me of how people excused Nehemia's death because Nesryn was a POC and she didn't die. It still didn't excuse that Maas killed off a POC for the benefit of a white character. And Maas literally doesn't kill off any of her main white characters, so the fact that she decided to kill off a POC is why I'm very iffy about her as an author.

And no you didn't come off as nitpicking at all! Thank you for providing this information for me and sharing your opinion.


message 8: by Mizuki (new) - added it

Mizuki Exactly.


message 9: by MischaS_ (new) - added it

MischaS_ Thank you for the update and YES! Why was she singled out? Why is it okay for the other authors to do it but she is trashed for it?

Same with plagiarism. Like Hunger Games is sort of American version of Battle Royal (despite the fact that I saw so many review calling it out for copying HG)
There was so much talk about Cassandra Clare copying other authors or Jennifer Armentrout? I remember people specifically finding where she copied Twilight or Vampire Academy. But that's fine. But not for Zhao? Double standards much?

slavery still occurs all over Asia It's so sad! And when this happened I started to read more on this issue and it'S horrifying! Mainstream media are failing everyone for not covering this issue enough. And when a young writer tries to do it, she is tore apart! There is a force American perspective on the issue of slavery even thought it is not only American problem/horror. And it's ultimately creating a bigger problem. If the only view on slavery is the American one or it's the only slavery we really talk/hear about it's going to hide the slavery that it's taking place right now if only because it does not correspond with the sent narrative.


Ashlee » Library In The Country THIS. My first thought when I saw the news about this was, “WHAT ABOUT RUE!!?!”


Sunny ✨wordslikefury✨ MischaS_ wrote: "Thank you for the update and YES! Why was she singled out? Why is it okay for the other authors to do it but she is trashed for it?

Same with plagiarism. Like Hunger Games is sort of American vers..."


Exactly. She's trying to speak out about an issue that many American's don't even acknowledge exists. They're basically trying to shut her up. Which I find sick.

I get that killing off African-American characters is extremely common in American movies/TV shows, and books. I can understand why that can be annoying. There's a reason people say 'the black guy always dies.' So while I think she should rethink that specific issue, I don't believe in suppressing an authors right to speak out about an issue that NEEDS to be spoken about.

I literally want to call out everyone that is being so hypocritical about this. They'll tear apart this author who literally apologized for hurting people's feelings, but they have no problem calling Sarah J Maas a queen. Like whyyyyyy???? Why the double standard?


Sunny ✨wordslikefury✨ Ashlee » Library In The Country wrote: "THIS. My first thought when I saw the news about this was, “WHAT ABOUT RUE!!?!”"

I honestly don't understand the hypocrisy. It's so frustrating lol.


Sunny ✨wordslikefury✨ Wilde wrote: "No it's not apparently there was something great about it. Why else would publishers fork over 500K for her trilogy. I'm a writer and want to be published one day, but this...this makes me a skeptic."

Damnnnn 500K? It's so difficult to make that much off writing a book. I can't even imaging turning down a deal like that.


message 14: by MischaS_ (new) - added it

MischaS_ Sunny ✨wordslikefury✨ wrote: "MischaS_ wrote: "Thank you for the update and YES! Why was she singled out? Why is it okay for the other authors to do it but she is trashed for it?

Same with plagiarism. Like Hunger Games is sort..."



Agree! They try to shut her up which is censorship which is absolutely disturbing!
I'll never ever support any of the authors who were involved in the witch hunt against Zhao.

And while I agree that it's so stupid that when you have a cast with only one black guy, you can rest assured that he dies. But the thing is the character was not even black or African-American; she was described as "tawny", or I believe "bronze-skinned" with blue eyes. So, I do not understand why she got so much hate for the killing of a black character... which was not black. But honestly? While I agree it's stupid that in a cast where there is only a few POC they all die, I think this was absolutely uncalled for.

And YES! This is one of my biggest issues! They are trying to destroy her. But only her. There are so many problematic authors who do not get any hate. (Like why there is no Twitter storm against Kathleen Hale?) And I believe that the 500K she received prior publishing her book is a big part of the which hunt! (Also, I think she may have gotten more since several countries already bought rights for this book. And I doubt that publishing houses from smaller countries can sit and way to see if this will be published or not, they will be definitely asking for money back.) This is such a mess and it worries me that there is silence from the author and the only thing we know is that she asked the publisher not to publish it now. We do not know if she's rewriting the series or whether it's completely over?


message 15: by Vanessa (new) - added it

Vanessa They attacked someone who was an easy target, an Asian immigrant no less. They need to pick on someone their own size. Two successful or well-known authors really used their clout to get people heated... I want to believe it was well-intended, but if it WAS then they would have done a "call in". Maybe emailed the publisher. They brought it public. They knew exactly what they were doing. And they are the older adults in the situation. I think Zhao should omit the parts that were perceived bad, age up the characters, and make it an adult fantasy.


Sunny ✨wordslikefury✨ Vanessa wrote: "They attacked someone who was an easy target, an Asian immigrant no less. They need to pick on someone their own size. Two successful or well-known authors really used their clout to get people hea..."

I completely agree with you. I mean, the author pushed her publication date forward knowing she needed time to see things from an alternate perspective so as to not offend people. I'm not exactly sure what the issue was, but she took a mature stance and took time to understand what she did wrong and how she could fix it. I'm proud of her for taking the high road instead of clapping back at those other immature authors. Even though those two authors definitely deserved to get some sense knocked into them. They came out with their claws.


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