Narrator: Andrew Kishino
Series: Green Bone Saga #1
Published by Hachette Audio on November 7, 2017
Genres: Science Fiction Fantasy
Length: 19 hours, 7 minutes
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The Kaul family is one of two crime syndicates that control the island of Kekon. It's the only place in the world that produces rare magical jade, which grants those with the right training and heritage superhuman abilities.
The Green Bone clans of honorable jade-wearing warriors once protected the island from foreign invasion--but nowadays, in a bustling post-war metropolis full of fast cars and foreign money, Green Bone families like the Kauls are primarily involved in commerce, construction, and the everyday upkeep of the districts under their protection.
When the simmering tension between the Kauls and their greatest rivals erupts into open violence in the streets, the outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones and the future of Kekon itself.
Jade City if the first book in The Green Bones trilogy, whose last book is being released later this month. I think the best way to really explain this book is a kung-fu-ish mafia story. It is the family saga of the No-Peak clan, as the reigns have just been given to the next generation. They will all have to find their place in this world where the holders of jade wield power and magic. There is also danger on the horizon as a rival clan tries to destroy them and take over all of the No-Peak territory.
A friend of mine that I’d done a lot of reading with over the years loved this book when it first came out and just on her recommendation I bought it right away, but set it aside for other reads. It is a hefty book at over 550 pages, but it is such a good read those pages flew by as I got to know the important members of the No-Peak clan and the challenges that await them. Family is everything in this book. There is so much talk of duty and honor and the training required to hold an wield the mystical jade and the properties it gives the wielder. The history to the story is large and the traditions of the Green Bones really add to the martial arts or kung-fu feel of the story.
The plot is really good and I was surprised in more than one place by the twists in the story. Lan, the oldest brother is the Pillar, leader of the clan, heart of the family and whatever he says goes. He is the calm and level headed leader of the No-Peak clan. Hilo is the temper driven and emotional Horn, or general, of the clan. He is the muscle and law for the No-Peak clan dealing out justice as needed. His job is not easy and he can be a brutal person when needed to protect the clan. But, his loyalty to family and clan is fierce.
Shae is the disgraced sister, just coming back into the family fold. She made some decisions that went against her family at one time but she will now be in a position to make amends for that as the Weatherman, master financier and spy master of sorts. Other characters with PoVs include; Anden a boy adopted into the main family trying to prove his worth, Wen the woman Hilo loves, and last a kid with Jade lust on his mind willing to do almost anything to get some of it for himself.
The Mountain Clan is also under new management and the Pillar of that clan wants to unite all the Green Bone clans by entreaty or by force. No-Peak will not yield and so a battle of both wits and brute strength is about to happen at the two clans go to war against each other. If No-Peak is to survive they will have to be both stronger, more cunning and possibly pray for a little luck to see then through this new battle.
There is a lot that actually happens in the story but so much of it is really driven by the characters and their loyalty, honor and traditions. Being a Green Bone is a coveted thing, however it comes with so many extra challenges and dangers that as you read through the story you wonder if it is really worth it. I grew to love the characters of the story; they were done so well they felt so real to me. All are flawed, with their own internal struggles and in that they become more real. This is one of the best subtle Urban Fantasies I’ve read in a long time. It had a good story, great characters and wonderful worldbuilding. The pacing is good and while it takes a little time to get acquainted with everyone each character PoV added so much more depth to the story they were all needed.
Honestly, I’m relieved I waited until the trilogy was about to be complete, as I’d hate to have to wait any time between these books.
“Expectations are a funny thing,” Wen said. “When you’re born with them, you resent them, fight against them. When you’ve never been given any, you feel the lack of them your whole life.”
“The clan is my blood, and the Pillar is its master.
On my honor, my life, and my jade.”
Andrew Kishino is a new to me narrator. He is a really good fit for this book as he brought an Asian/Orient feel to the story. He did great with both the male and female characters along with all the various PoVs. I think he made the book even better as he was able to bring the feeling of the culture of the book to life. I was able to listen at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip:
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