Here’s the thing: this book was more of an adventure/suspense book with a little romance thrown in, but I kept wanting it to be romance with a little adventure/suspense. Basically, I wanted there to be more kissing. But that wasn’t really the point of the story. So I don’t know if I’m allowed to be a little annoyed at this book or not, since it was my own expectations that left me feeling vaguely unsatisfied, not the book itself.
He asks her a cryptic riddle, the mystery of which echoes through all that befalls her in the months that follow...
She is brought to England and tries to make a new life with the Gresham family, but she is constantly in disgrace and is soon involved in the bitter feud between the Greshams and a neighbouring family.
There is danger, romance and heartache for Lucy as strange events build to a point where she begins to doubt her own senses.
How could she see a man, long dead, walking in the misty darkness of the valley? And who carried her, unconscious, into the labyrinth of Chiselhurst Caves and left her to die?
It is not until she returns to China that Lucy finds, amid high adventure, the answer to all that has baffled her.
Which is not to say that I didn’t enjoy the book. I did. In fact, I stayed up way too late reading it. But the thing is, from the moment we’re introduced to Nick in the Chengfu prison, I was a goner. That boy was beyond super appealing. I wouldn’t mind going to jail like Lucy if he was going to be in the cell next to mine. But then, [spoiler] since Lucy thinks he's dead, we don’t get to see him again until the end of the book, which kind of totally ruined my hopes for there being lots of scenes between him and Lucy. And to make matters worse, when he finally does make an appearance again, he’s too busy being a tool to be as appealing as he was in the beginning of the book (he does that dumb “I’m going to be a jerk so you don’t know that I love you” thing). Nick does manage to redeem himself by the end, for the most part, but that doesn’t quite negate the facts that 1) there wasn’t enough kissing, and 2) Nick didn’t quite live up to the swoony potential he showed in the beginning.[end spoiler]
Maybe I should mention Lucy now, seeing as how she’s the main character and everything. While I really loved how capable and smart and strong Lucy is, I couldn’t help but feel like she came off as a little flat as a character. She’s just so stoic and calm and reluctant to rock the boat, that it seemed like the author had to tell you what she was feeling because otherwise you wouldn’t be sure she actually had feelings. But still. You’ve got to admire a girl who can singlehandedly keep an orphanage from starving.
Overall, a book that had its issues but that was still a pretty good read. I think this review came off sounding more negative than I actually feel, so if you come across this book, give it a shot.
Rating: 3.5 / 5