* Novel-length expansion of original short story found in Charmed & Dangerous anthology. *
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.
Review by Mary
I’m really not sure I have the words to do justice to this book. The story starts with a chase through the streets and the level of description and world building is excellent. I could picture it as I was reading, so atmospheric. There is a lot on each page building up the tension and I was only 50 pages in. The story is a mystical murder mystery that kept me guessing. The nature of the murders was intriguing, I don’t want to go into details explaining aspects and spoil the story but it’s one of the best fantasy books I’ve read for a long time.
Roku and Trent are partnered after Roku’s original partner is found to be a dirty cop. Initially they size each other up, as work partners and because they are attracted to each other. It is the start of a great partnership in both ways. Faerie live and work alongside humans and dragons act like guards. There is enough depth about the culture of China Town and faeries to keep me satisfied. I love Roku being part faerie he has some magic but not that much and that makes him interesting in a magical world. Trent turns out to a surprise as well. Rhys Ford puts so much detail in crafting not just the main characters but side characters as well. The cop drama aspect is all there just with a magical twist that feels so natural and organic. There are some violent deaths and I never had a clue who was the murderer. I know that this is an expanded short story but I really hope there are more to come.
If you like fantasy books I highly recommend you read Dim Sum Asylum.
6 of 5 stars!
Review by Morgan
I loved the short story and was psyched to see it expanded.
What I really loved about the original was included and expanded in this, the longer version: all the magic! Rhys has an amazing imagination and a true gift with description. When our MCs are running down the streets of Chinatown you can smell and feel and hear the busy, boisterous and complicated community.
With the expanded version the romance, too, is allowed to broaden and deepen as the details of their relationship are expanded and more time is spent on the couple in addition to the attention spent on the mystery/crime element.
If you haven’t had a chance to read the short story you’re in for a treat! This is urban fantasy at it’s finest with Rhys brand of broken characters finding love all mixed together.
4.5 of 5 stars
Review by Dee
I loved the world building in this book. Rhys has a way of describing the scenery so well that you feel that you’re actually there, breathing in the pea soupy air or seeing the dragons guarding the different gates. As for her main characters, she makes you want to be friends with them, (though not with the bad guys).
We meet Roku as he’s chasing down his soon to be ex-partner (professional). As with some of Rhys’s other heroes, Roku is a caring, flawed, smart-arsed man who has experienced loss. He doesn’t want to let anyone in, but the people/pets close to him – his Captain/godfather, grandfather, Bob the Cat and eventually his new partner, Trent – all chip away at the wall he’s erected.
Trent is the new inspector assigned as Roku’s new partner. He’s a bit of a mystery, but a couple of things are clear with him– he goes after what he wants (he wants Roku) and is a good match for Roku, both professionally and romantically.
Dim Sum Asylum is a great realistic fantasy story set in San Francisco’s Chinatown. It was realistic enough that I almost expected to see Kane and Connor turn up as back up for Roku – (fans of the Sinners series will know what I’m talking about)!
Overall, I loved the story and hope there is another. I definitely want to see more of Bob the Cat!
5 of 5 stars!
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review