Dim Sum Asylum was one of my favorite stories from the Charmed and Dangerous Anthology and while I love short stories it always very nice to see them expanded. There was much excitement indeed when the author offered me a ARC-version of the story.
While I most definitely liked this expanded version, the original short in the Charmed and Dangerous anthology was actually better. Why? For one there is a lot of descriptive, flowery, writing. This is not uncommon for the author as we see it almost all her books and it’s what makes her characters so dark and angsty. In Dim Sum Asylum, however, there was a overabundance of it to the point that it kept taking me away from the plot.
For example: “I was supping at my own mortality, and the primal spark in my psyche wanted to quench all of its needs […]”
The plot itself it very much extended and there are all twists and turns, involving Roku’s new partner, his father and his mother. It’s a perfect blend, held together by Roku as a narrator. The plot was definitely good, but it was mostly drowned by Roku’s inner dark and angsty drama, so it failed to take off and at times felt long winded.
Did I like Dim Sum Asylum? Yes I did, despite the above. There is action and the author knows how to write that and keep you on the edge of your seat. Roku is also a very cool character, despite being a tortured soul, but then Rhys Ford has a way of creating characters that you just can’t help but love and of course the world is a lovely, unique blend of fantasy and paranormal elements.
Rating: 3 stars
Author: Rhys Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release date: June 9, 2017
Source: a copy was provided by the author
Genre: Urban Fantasy
* 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.