Keshe Chow: The Girl with No Reflection (2024, Delacorte Press) No rating

A young woman chosen as the crown prince’s bride must travel to the royal palace …

Well-paced with some cool world-building and exciting twists, but has a bit of genre whiplash part way through.

No rating

This feels like two books stitched into one. The front half of the book has all of the vibes of a gothic romance: a young woman moves into an ancient opulent house, finds her husband-to-be cold and standoffish, and soon sees strange things out of the corner of her eye that everyone else insists aren't real. The deeper she digs, the more sinister things become, until her reality is shattered. And then suddenly we're in the second half of the book: an epic, sweeping, Chinese fable filled with mythical creatures, dragon-riding, war, alchemy, court drama, and a big prophecy. I'm not entirely sure what to make of it. I enjoyed both parts on their own. The portion where Ying first visits the mirror world is especially well-written, with a creeping unease and some really unique world building that I loved. There are some big fight pieces and twists in the second half that are also a lot of fun. It's just a strange combination taking the two of them in together. For all that, I still think it's paced out well enough as one book, so I'm glad the author didn't try to stretch it into two. A fast-paced read for anyone who likes their big action mythology paired with just a touch of horror.

Thanks to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for an advance copy! All thoughts in this review are my own.