Book: Dim Sum Asylum
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Publication date: June 9, 2017
Length: 240 pages
Reviewed by Erin
Welcome to Dim Sum Asylum: a San Francisco where it’s a ho-hum kind of case when a cop has to chase down an enchanted two-foot-tall shrine god statue with an impressive Fu Manchu mustache that's running around Chinatown, trolling sex magic and chaos in its wake.
Senior Inspector Roku MacCormick of the Chinatown Arcane Crimes Division faces a pile of challenges far beyond his human-faerie heritage, snarling dragons guarding C-Town’s multiple gates, and exploding noodle factories. After a case goes sideways, Roku is saddled with Trent Leonard, a new partner he can’t trust, to add to the crime syndicate family he doesn’t want and a spell-casting serial killer he desperately needs to find.
While Roku would rather stay home with Bob the Cat and whiskey himself to sleep, he puts on his badge and gun every day, determined to serve and protect the city he loves. When Chinatown’s dark mystical underworld makes his life hell and the case turns deadly, Trent guards Roku’s back and, if Trent can be believed, his heart... even if from what Roku can see, Trent is as dangerous as the monsters and criminals they’re sworn to bring down.
Novel-length expansion of original short story found in Charmed & Dangerous anthology.
I will admit that I am a total Rhys Ford fangirl. I've read and listened on audio most all of her books, numerous times. When she has a new book coming out it's like waiting on Christmas. I will also admit that I have never read any of her paranormal or urban fantasy books ... until now. Dim Sum Asylum was QUITE the introduction I must say, and I mean that in the best way. The world building, the characters, the entire feel and atmosphere of the book is totally Rhys Ford all the way and I was, as always, completely blown away by her masterful storytelling. She's unparalleled and it's easy to see why.
Dim Sum Asylum (which really, is that the BEST title or what?) is chock full of everything quintessential Rhys Ford. Quirky, sarcastic and oh so very flawed characters, murder and mayhem aplenty and then we have the food and the setting. Is there any other author out there who can write about food or convey a setting quite like Rhys? I think not. Roku MacCormick is a cop. One who's part fae, has just killed his partner, and has an extended family so complicated that it's a wonder the guy can even form sentences. He's cynical, lonely, and still grieving the horrific loss of his husband and two daughters. He works in Chinatown and is a Senior Inspector in the Arcane Crimes Division and he's tired. So very tired. After Internal Affairs clears Roku in the death of his former partner, he gets assigned a new one. Enter one Trent Leonard. Oh man, I loved Trent. He's exactly what Roku needed to bring him back to life. Or well, he would be if there weren't things exploding all around them, possessed stone scorpions trying to crawl down his throat, and golden statues trying to kill him.
This world Rhys has built is so crazy fascinating. I admit to getting confused a few times with all the different words and creatures, but was thoroughly engrossed nonetheless. Dragons and magic and faeries galore, the world of Dim Sum Asylum practically leaped off the page. I could see and smell everything (there were more than a few things I didn't WANT to see or taste or smell) but Rhys's writing is so vivid it was impossible not to. Roku just tugged on my heartstrings. He's so bone-deep weary that you can't help but want him to have some light and hope. And that's where Trent comes in. These two seem so different, but they're so good for one another. The romance in Dim Sum definitely takes a back seat to the action and investigation and drama with Roku's shady family, but that doesn't mean the few kisses and intimate scenes weren't full of emotion because they were. I did so love being in Roku's head the whole time, he's such a fascinating character.
All in all Dim Sum Asylum was one hell of a fantastical ride. So many twists and turns and did I mention there are dragons? And magic? And faeries? Such a cool world and loved every minute of it. Rhys has definitely done it again and delivered a story that's fun, entertaining, and full of all the best things you'd expect from a Rhys Ford book. Don't wait to check this one out, guys. It's a hell of a ride.
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