Fighting Fate

22 Mar

I’m a bit behind on posting reviews, so I hope all these authors and publishers can forgive me. Let’s jump right into it with the Historical Young Adult tale “The Fire Horse Girl” by Kay Honeyman.

The Fire Horse Girl

First, from the publisher:

A fiery and romantic adventure, perfect for fans of Grace Lin, Kristen Cashore, or Lisa See!

Jade Moon is a Fire Horse — the worst sign in the Chinese zodiac for girls, said to make them stubborn, willful, and far too imaginative. But while her family despairs of marrying her off, she has a passionate heart and powerful dreams, and wants only to find a way to make them come true.

Then a young man named Sterling Promise comes to their village to offer Jade Moon and her father a chance to go to America. While Sterling Promise’s smooth manners couldn’t be more different from her own impulsive nature, Jade Moon falls in love with him on the long voyage. But America in 1923 doesn’t want to admit many Chinese, and when they are detained at Angel Island, the “Ellis Island of the West,” she discovers a betrayal that destroys all her dreams. To get into America, much less survive there, Jade Moon will have to use all her stubbornness and will to break a new path . . . one as brave and dangerous as only a Fire Horse girl can imagine.

The pacing on this story was interesting. We start with a trip from China on board a ship headed for America – where Jade Moon and her family hope to have a fresh start in California. The story feels like a historical novel here, elements of romance, pacing almost slow and dreamy. Even the portion about getting off the ship had this same feel.

Don’t get me wrong, this story moved along well. I wanted to keep reading and did, my attention was grabbed from page one.

But then everything shifted. There’s a problem getting into the country, Jade Moon discovers deception, pulls of a deception of her own and now is IN San Francisco – disguised as a male. The Chinese version of the mafia, learning to fight and stand up for herself – and how to become an enforcer turn this story on its head and now we’re off in an exciting action movie…

but wait!

Then we shift AGAIN and we twist the story into a piece on women’s rights in early 20th century America. What?

Weirdly enough it all works…this story jumps in unexpected ways, but the reader is invited…and yes, even COMPELLED to hold on for the ride. It’s fun, it’s interesting…it’s disconcerting but well worth reading.

I give this one a recommendation if you enjoy historical action adventure with that (of course) twist of romance. I’ll be sure to look for more books by this author.


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