Have you ever started a book and knew you were going to love it within the first five pages? Because that’s exactly what happened for me with Yangsze Choo’s The Night Tiger. I just immediately fell for this book. And I have no regrets.
(All reviews are spoiler-free unless otherwise noted.)
(From Goodreads) When 11-year-old Ren’s master dies, he makes one last request of his Chinese houseboy: that Ren find his severed finger, lost years ago in an accident, and reunite it with his body. Ren has 49 days, or else his master’s soul will roam the earth, unable to rest in peace.
Ji Lin always wanted to be a doctor, but as a girl in 1930s Malaysia, apprentice dressmaker is a more suitable occupation. Secretly, though, Ji Lin also moonlights as a dancehall girl to help pay off her beloved mother’s Mahjong debts. One night, Ji Lin’s dance partner leaves her with a gruesome souvenir: a severed finger. Convinced the finger is bad luck, Ji Lin enlists the help of her erstwhile stepbrother to return it to its rightful owner.
As the 49 days tick down, and a prowling tiger wreaks havoc on the town, Ji Lin and Ren’s lives intertwine in ways they could never have imagined. Propulsive and lushly written, The Night Tiger explores colonialism and independence, ancient superstition and modern ambition, sibling rivalry and first love. Braided through with Chinese folklore and a tantalizing mystery, this novel is a page-turner of the highest order.
The Night Tiger is a gorgeous historical fiction novel with a lovely cast of characters. I had a hard time putting this book down. The story is incredibly interesting and I just needed to know what happens next. While this book doesn’t feel like a mystery, there are some very intriguing mysteries tied into the story. Like what’s going to happen with the severed finger. I needed to know! This is advertised as a page-turner, and it did not disappoint.
I really enjoyed the Chinese folklore element of the story. If you want to know what a weretiger is, read this book. (Hint: it’s much more interesting than a werewolf.) While I loved this book as a whole, I think the cultural element was my favorite. It really made this book something special in my mind. The story itself is great, but the setting any folklore made it truly memorable.
The Night Tiger features a wonderful group of characters who I definitely found myself attached to fairly quickly. I just loved them, and wanted them all to come out unscathed. Which is one of the biggest reasons I flew through this book. You are going to want to keep reading, trust me.
I also particularly liked the writing. You all know how picky I am when it comes to writing (comes with the territory of having an MA in English). Choo’s writing is the kind I love to read. It fit the story well. It was well-written without trying too hard. I am a huge fan, and already have Yangsze Choo’s other novel, The Ghost Bride on my TBR.
★★★★★ – I loved everything about The Night Tiger. The story, the characters, the setting, and writing. I’m pretty sure this is going to end up on a favorite’s list later this year. Highly recommend!
The Night Tiger will be available in bookstores February 12. You can preorder a copy on Amazon now.
To get the audiobook for free, use this link to sign up for a free trial of Audible and choose The Night Tiger as one of your two free books.
This book was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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