Reviewed by Sophie:
Firstly, thank you to Pushkin Press for allowing me a chance to read this book.
I was intrigued by the description of the book having not heard of the author previously.
This book is actually the second by this author and although it has the same characters as the first story, I was able to read it as a stand-alone novel.
Having lived in the Far East and visited Singapore, I was transported back to this fantastic part of the globe. The humidity, beautiful gardens and shrubbery and the genuinely amazing sights that this gorgeous city had to offer.
I enjoyed hearing the language being used in the dialogue between the characters and the culture of the country.
The author’s descriptions are a sense overload. They mention in one part the “musty smell of decaying wood”, “raindrops on the greenery glitter” and the “birds call out over the high-pitched background song of cicadas”. They state “It’s as if I’ve crossed the boundary to a magical, prehistoric world”. It’s just glorious.
I became engrossed with the story of Freja and Ling. I wanted to know who Ling was? Why everyone was telling Freja not to follow her? Why she was bad? What was Freja trying to remember?
This book itself is a mixture of the real world and a magical realm. Both as gripping as the other.
Overall, I really enjoyed it. It was something different to what I normally would read but I now want to read more by H.S Norup.