Book Review: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

Golly, this was fun.

This is urban fantasy in a way that I haven’t seen done before. In most urban fantasy novels, the guy is “dangerous” and broody and enigmatic and somehow, the heroine ends up irresistibly drawn to him, and he to her, even though they try to push each other away, or one tries to push the other away, or whatever. And okay, The Epic Crush of Genie Lo has some of that love-denial stuff in it, but it’s done to such a comic effect that I can actually appreciate it.

The two leading characters are great. Genie is a BS-free, hilariously snarky, self-aware, flawed heroine. Quentin is shorter than Genie by a lot (ROMANCE RULE BROKEN! :D) and is a lovably obnoxious, friendly bouncy-ball of a person. The romance between them is endearing, if a little accelerated around the middle of the book.

Chinese folklore also isn’t often explored in urban fantasy, but Yee brings it forth in a way that, in keeping with other elements of the story, is comic and makes it seem familiar. But this doesn’t detract from the stakes and the sense of danger and power.

Another thing that I really think I need to note is that the pacing is crisp, and the chapter/mid-chapter cutoff points are pitch-perfect: always leaving off on a zinger of a note, with no awkward transitions. A lot of authors don’t execute those well, so kudos to Mr. Yee for pulling that off.

Even though I really enjoyed this book, my absolute delight with it waned as it went on. It leaned a little too heavily on certain plot tropes, which contrasts with the rest of the story’s originality. I’ll definitely be checking out the sequel, though!

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