Title & Author: Hundred Ghost Soup by Robert Chansky
Genre: Young Adult – Urban Fantasy, Chinese Folklore
Release Date: September 8th 2016
Series: Bureau for Eternal Prosperity #1
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Source: eARC via Netgalley
Description: A Beijing orphan is nearly eighteen. He wants a family and a name, if only for a while. He hacks adoption papers to get them.
He also gets: a long train ride into an empty station in a ghost town. Ghosts. Their leaders, calling themselves Mr. and Mrs. Vulpin, are his new parents. They are illusion-casting fox spirits, glamorous, clever, and trapped. They need him to free themselves of the ghosts.
Our hero works for them and accepts their flaws so long as they pretend to be a family. But then he discovers their wonderful meals are illusory. Are the Vulpins up to no good? And the People’s Republic of China will never allow spirits to possess a town. To save them all, he must travel back to Beijing, rifle the Politburo’s files, and find a Minister’s secrets. When he kindles the wrath of the People’s Liberation Army and the Minister of Fate himself, he must penetrate layers of illusions, decide whom he can trust, and learn to cook.
And then there is the matter of the soup’s main ingredient: him.
First of all thank you Curiosity Quills Press for approving my request even after the book was published and just barely making the archive date! (I had a day before the book went to archive so I got really lucky!)
I’ll be honest and say what really drew me in was the cover. I mean look at it! it’s just so beautiful I wish I had a physical copy for my bookshelf. The synopsis sounded really intriguing and I love the idea of spirits, spirit towns and not to mention Chinese style paranormal creatures. Going into this I had some sort of weird Spirited Away feeling and as the book progressed I found myself getting deeply invested.
As for the author, I will be completely honest in saying I had no idea he was not Chinese until I finished Hundred Ghost Soup. This book oozed whimsical and magical Chinese folklore that was weaved seamlessly into the story. Every time I got a new bit of cultural information I gobbled it up like a starving child. I’ve only read a few books on China and even fewer on Chinese supernatural/paranormal (that’s what I view this as, I mean ghosts = paranormal in my book. But at times I viewed this more of a Urban Fantasy so perhaps its a bit of both.) so I can’t say that this is better or at the top of that genre but in my opinion I found this to be amazingly well written and thoroughly researched.
As for what happens, I’ll keep that a secret since I tend to keep my reviews spoiler free. Just know that I HIGHLY enjoyed this book!
*please note I was not able to find the authors website so I used the publishers author profile page