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Abandoned by Booklikes

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

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Not Very Good

The Night Tiger - Yangsze Choo

I don't know what else to say about this book besides I didn't enjoy it. The dual POVs didn't help and the whole thing with Jin Li and who she really loved grossed me out. Sorry, I just thought that the whole book was a mess and I still don't understand everything that was going on.


"The Night Tiger" follows Jin Li who is working at a dance hall trying to earn money to pay down her mother's gambling debts. We have her recounting her past and how her mother ended up married to her stepfather and how she got to first meet her stepbrother Shin. We also follow a young boy named Ren who is working for a man named William. We don't know what's going on really except Ren needs to find his master's finger. Yes you read that right. 


I thought Jin Li was beyond foolish and I got annoyed at her jealousy and obsession with Shin. She is supposedly very smart and better at math than Shin so I was hoping for a story of a young woman who finds her independence. I really didn't like the character of Shin and I found him manipulative and poorly developed. Ren was not important at all to the story and I think that he should have been left out. 

There are secondary characters in this one but honestly they all started to blur besides Jin Li's friend at the dance hall, Hui. 

The writing was kind of blah to my mind. There's a whole thing about the missing Confucian virtues that I couldn't follow and the reveals about I just went still don't get it.The dual POVs took me completely out of the story. Jin Li was in another story and so was Ren. I still can't tell you what the main plot was....maybe it was about missing fingers. Maybe it was about murders. Maybe it was about love. I think a stronger author would have been able to pull all of the threads together, but this honestly read like two separate books forced fit together. 


The flow was just off. I don't even know in the end what Jin Li and Shin were investigating. It just seemed like an excuse to keep throwing them together in a stupid quest that made zero sense. And Ren was just there in every part of the book. I started skimming his sections after a while because they held zero interest for me. 

The book setting should have drawn me in. I was interested in this one due to the synopsis mentioning this takes place Malaysia, but I stopped caring after a while and just pushed myself to finish this one up as quickly as possible. The world building was a mess in this one and there was very little magical realism (Jin Li's visions/dreams) so I felt disappointed by that. 


As other reviewers noted the romance in this one ruined the novel for me. I just couldn't get into it after it became obvious what Choo was writing about. The ending was so weird it seems like this book is set up to be part of a series. I have no intention of reading another book by Choo again though.