February 1, 2011

Too much talk, not enough action

Thirteen Orphans
by Jane Lindskold

A long time ago, in the Lands Born from Smoke and Sacrifice, an emperor was assassinated. Twelve of his advisors, representing the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, were exiled. They took the Cat, the late emperor's son, with them. Hence they are known as the Thirteen Orphans. They settled in China, then the United States. Now, many generations later, the Orphans' descendants are being targeted by unknown assailants. Their memories and powers are being wiped out. It is up to the remaining Orphans, led by the Tiger, to solve the mystery.

Sounds interesting, doesn't it? I was expecting some sort of X-Men, Matrix, or Crouching Tiger-like action. Instead, you get super slow-mo, interrupted by intrusive thoughts, tea, snacks, and peace negotiations. Nobody turns into their animal alter-egos; instead, the Orphans' powers are making magical mah-jong tile bracelets and avoiding paper darts(!!). Nobody gets hurt or killed, and nobody can figure out the convoluted plot.  This is one book series not worth following.

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